La Pitchoune Itinerary
March 7 - 14, 2020
Join us for a week in the countryside of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of France.
Surrounded by mountains, the sea, olive groves, wineries, lavender fields and rows of cypress, we’ll stay seven nights at the once homes of Julia Child and Simone Beck. The last two nights, we’ll stay in a boutique hotel overlooking the Côte d'Azur or “French Riviera” in the charming city of Nice.
Our culinary focus will be on “slow food” meaning the made from scratch traditional and regional dishes of the area and France itself as well as Julia’s cookbooks of course! We’ll shop as Julia did in the open markets and meet growers and purveyors of quality products including organic and homegrown produce, cured meats and French cheeses. With friendships forged over food, we’ll spend our days visiting some very special people whom are committed to the culinary traditions of France as well as quality products.
A bit of sightseeing will also be enjoyed as we visit some of the highlights of the Côte d’Azur. Evenings will be spent in the kitchen with cooking classes and delicious dinners. Julia and Simca will be our muse!
Our itinerary gets better every trip. The itinerary is an outline with surprises along the way.
Day One - Welcome to La Peetch, the House Built on Friendship
Arrive at the former homes of Julia Child and Simone Beck and settle in. You’ll have time to explore the grounds and enjoy a cup of tea and a good book like Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Meet your fellow chefs over a glass of rosé as we dine on the veranda at our first meal together.
Day Two - Pigs & Parfum
We’ll visit Frederique and Isabelle, who raise heritage black pigs in the local mountains. These pigs live as nature intended, foraging primarily on leaves, roots, nuts, fruits, and flowers. The meat is purchased by Michelin chefs who appreciate the care and quality of the animals. After visiting the pigs, we’ll feast at their home featuring Frederique’s home-cured and smoked meats. Dat two includes a visit to Grasse, perfume capital of the world where we’ll visit Fragonard, the oldest perfume factory in Grasse.
Day Three - To Market
Off to the open-air market in Nice to gather groceries for dinner as Julia would have done, basket in tow. We’ll shop and have lunch as well as see a bit of Nice. Friend Beatrice Levinson, Naturopathe - spécialisée GAPS, will guide us through the market. We’ll search out traditional regional specialties like tapenade, olive oil, goat cheese, spices and lavender honey. We’ll also visit the surrounding area. In the evening, Beatrice will join us for dinner and prepare one of her specialties.
Day Four - A Day in a Michelin Kitchen
Into the kitchen with chef Alain Llorca at Michelin-starred restaurant Alain Llorca. After arriving for coffee and croissants we’ll head down to the kitchen for a cooking class with chef and his staff. Then, champagne and amuse bouche followed by a Michelin lunch overlooking the sea below. Très magnifique!
Day Five - Medieval Villages & Stunning Views
A tour through the French Alps and medieval villages. On to Gourdon from which the whole French Riviera can be seen and Saint Paul de Vence which is surrounded by ramparts dating from 12th Century. Picasso, Marc Chagall and Renoir have stayed here, inspired by the light and superb environment. There will be time for lunch and shopping.
Day Six - A Monk’s Island & Winery
A boat takes us to Saint Honorat, an island which is home to 30 Cistercian monks and their monastery which was founded around the year 410. We’ll have a picnic then visit the winery owned by the monks and sample their wine and honey also produced on the island. The day will continue with visits to seaside towns.
Day Seven - Spontaneous Adventure!
Day seven is a free day. Our driver and I will put together a day planned around the interests of the group. This could be a visit to the alps, shopping, or hunting for truffles. The possibilities are endless!
Day Eight - Goodbye For Now
This morning we say our goodbyes to Julia’s home and each other.
Consider extending your trip for a day or two in Nice. Nice sits on the pebbly shores of the Baie des Anges. There’s the Musée Matisse and Musée Marc Chagall and Roman ruins. The Cours Saleya open market, dating back to the early 18th century, is located in Vieille Ville (Old Nice) off the Promenade des Anglais. Monday is the open air antiques and bric-a-brac market.
A day trip can also be arranged to see the best of the Riviera. This tour would begin along the scenic middle corniche and a stop in Villefranche to visit the old town and citadel. It includes:
Cap Ferrat where you'll visit the Ephrussi de Rothschild's villa and its seven gardens. Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, also called villa Île-de-France, is a French seaside villa designed by the French architect Aaron Messiah and constructed between 1905 and 1912 by Baroness Béatrice de Rothschild.
The medieval village of Eze, perched dizzyingly high on the cliffs above the Mediterranean. You'll have time to meander the streets, shop and have lunch. Another option is to visit the exotic garden.
Monaco, where you'll visit the castle, square, Cathedral, and Monte Carlo casino.
An extra fee is required for this post-trip adventure.
$5450 per person, shared room & en suite shower
$6650 single occupancy, double bed & en suite shower (one available)
$6150 per person, shared master suite, en suite soaking tub, shower & private porch (one suite available)
Join Me! For detailed information, terms, conditions, payment schedule and registration form, email me here.
Program fee includes:
Seven nights at Mas Bramafam / La Pitchoune
Daily petit déjeuner - light buffet breakfast
Three to five cooking classes with meals
Seven dinners, see the itinerary
House chosen wine and nonalcoholic beverages at all planned meals at home and while on excursions
Planned excursions too lengthy to list here, please see the itinerary
Private transportation on all planned excursions
Planned restaurant meals, see the itinerary
Note: We have rented the homes “AirB&B style,” meaning there will be no daily maid service. We will have a washer and dryer on the premises and will happily wash and restock towels.
Not included in the program fee:
Airfare to and from France and/or the Nice International Airport
Transportation to and from La Peetch at the beginning and end of the trip
Personal shopping and expenses
Food and drink not included in the itinerary
Any costs incurred during free time
Optional excursions or extensions
Nonrefundable passport fees
Excess baggage charges
Airport taxes that are collected on the spot in foreign airports, departures taxes, airport fees, airline and federal security fees and ticket handling fees, surcharges due to changes in currency, any mandatory new or increased fees/taxes/fuel surcharge (if any) levied on airline tickets, hotels, incidental expenses in hotels, and hotel room upgrades.
Tips for Community Cuisine staff, drivers and/or house concierge