France Itinerary 2024
Join me where the magic happened!
The trip of a lifetime for Julia Child and Simca Beck fans.
Surrounded by mountains, the sea, olive groves, wineries, lavender fields and rows of cypress, we’ll stay seven nights at the home of Simone Beck next-door to Julia’s former home.
“ France with Barbie was the best trip I ever took. The people, the food, the outings, the scenery, the day trips.
A week I will never forget. I’m from Germany and I have traveled all my life and this was the most fun I’ve had in one week. I have now signed up for Sweden 2022.”
— Blogger Sunnycove Chef
“ Community Cuisine expertly delivered a thorough and enriching getaway.
The attention to detail with recipes, activities, cultural experiences, and community building will never be forgotten. Thank you, Community Cuisine!”
This trip has been curated by me to be much like the food we'll cook - lovingly grown, organic, and "built on friendship" as Julia and Simca did. Excursions for our small group of no more than fourteen are unique. They're structured but organic with wiggle room to adjust our plans or menus according to the season.
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 and Simca’s cookbooks of course!
We’ll shop where they 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 who are committed to the culinary traditions of France as well as quality products.
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!
Arrive at the former homes of 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 fellow chefs over a glass of rosé as we prepare our first meal together
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. Michelin chefs are Frederique's customers who appreciate the care and respect for the animals and the quality of the meat. After visiting the pigs, we'll feast at their home, featuring Frederique's home-cured and smoked meats. Day two includes a visit to Grasse, the perfume capital of the world, where we'll visit Fragonard, the oldest perfume factory in Grasse.
Off to the open-air market in Cannes which was Julia’s favorite market. We’ll gather groceries for dinner, basket in tow. 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
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!
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.
A Monk’s Island & Winery
A boat takes us to Saint Honorat, an island that is home to 30 Cistercian monks and their monastery which was founded around the year 410. We’ll have a picnic and tour the grounds including the original monastery searched on the seas as well as where the monks live now. If the weather is warm, we’ll stick our toes in the sea. The day will continue with visits to seaside towns.
A visit to the village Valbonne
On Fridays, the village of Valbonne has the best open-air market that is known far and wide. Unlike most medieval Provencal villages, Valbonne was built according to an urban grid pattern (the streets intersect at right angles), dating back to the early 16th century.
In the center of the village is a beautiful square. In addition, there are small shops featuring everything from handmade candies to clothing and gift shops. Or perhaps, you'd like to people-watch at one of the cafés and enjoy an espresso or glass of rosé.
Goodbye for Now
This morning we say our goodbyes ...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.
Program Fee includes
Program Fee does not include
- 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. We can help you arrange your arrival and departure.
- Personal shopping and expenses
- Food and drink not included in the itinerary
- Any costs incurred during free time
- Optional excursions or extensions
- Trip insurance
- 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
Trip insurance is always highly recommended for your physical safety and financial protection. Trip funds are not refundable should you decide to cancel once final payment has been made. Final payment for trips is due three months before the trip date.
I am an affiliate for International Medical Group, Inc. which has the best coverage that I have found with multiple choices as well as clear information about Covid coverage.
Disclaimer: Community Cuisine and Barbie/Barbara Aknin have the right to cancel trips should their not be enough attendees to make the trip feasible.
Cancelations could occur due to:
Lack of attendees - trips must have a minimum of six guests
Impending issues such as pandemics, health emergencies, civil unrest, etc.
Illness or other emergencies pertaining to host and/or guide
Unforseen accommodations cancelling by rental home owner
FLIGHT AND TRAVEL ASSISTANCE
Contact Albert Zimmermann of A TO Z Travel for your flights and travel needs. Full-service travel experience with full support from beginning to end, with no waiting on hold for hours if something comes up. He’s fabulous!
tel: 408-363-9966 e-mail: [email protected]
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