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A Château Adventure in Normandy

 

St. Paterne

St. Paterne

with Charles-Henry and Ségolène de Valbray
Château de Saint Paterne

Normandy, the land of Camembert, calvados, cider, and cream, with its villages of timbered houses and picture-perfect rolling hills, is among the richest and most beautiful countryside in France. With miles of coastline bordering the English Channel, Norman cuisine abounds with the delicacies of the sea. Dover sole is king, but monkfish, turbot, and flounder are plentiful, as are oysters, scallops, and mussels.

Come savor these splendors with us at the lovely, 15th, 16th, 17th century Château de Saint Paterne, once the love nest of Henry IV. Charles-Henry de Valbray, a young man of “infectious enthusiasm and exquisite taste,” and Ségolène, his lovely wife, have restored the family’s château with great care.St. Paterne Salon

Tourte de Carottes

Tourte de Carottes

For six days and five nights, Charles-Henry and Ségolène de Valbray will be our hosts as we visit farms and tiny villages, stopping to taste perfectly ripened Camembert and fresh cider made the traditional way. Our cooking classes will be in Charles-Henry and Ségolène’s delightful new kitchen in the château, where we will learn to prepare such delicacies as Tourte de carottes, Sole meunière, Souris d’agneau, and Tarte Tatin with Calvados. Our gastronomic exploration will be enhanced by visits to the Normandy Beaches and the American Cemetery,  Saumur and a tour of medieval Le Mans. Cooking classes are limited to 10 participants.

 

Trip Itinerary

Day 1  

• Afternoon rendezvous at the train station in Le Mans.
• Visit to the medieval town of LeMans with its celebrated cathedral and fortifications dating from the 3rd century.
• Aperitifs and festive welcome dinner at St. Paterne

Day 2

•  A full day on the Normandy coast.
•  Morning visit to the Peace Memorial in Caen followed by a visit to the Normandy Beaches and the American Cemetery with an English-speaking guide.
•  Lunch by the sea (not included).
•  Dinner at “home” in our château.

St. Paterne Dining Room

St. Paterne Dining Room

Day 3  

•  Morning cooking class at Château de Saint Paterne.
•  Lunch at Château Saint Paterne.
•  Free afternoon for relaxing, shopping or visiting the local town of Alençon.
•  Dinner at “home” in our château.

Day 4  

• A day in the Loire Valley visiting a local winemaker with a visit and tasting in his cave.
• Lunch included (fixed menu) including wine.
• Free time for shopping or exploring the charming town and castle of Saumur.
• Dinner at “home” in our château.

Day 5  

St. Paterne Pintade à la Normandie

St. Paterne Pintade à la Normandie

•  A visit to a local bustling market and food shopping.
•  Stroll through picturesque St. Ceneri le Gerei – listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France.
•  Lunch in Saint Ceneri at a local auberge (not included).
•  Cooking class at the Château.
•  Elegant Farewell dinner at St.  Paterne.

St. Paterne Breakfast

St. Paterne Breakfast

Day 6

• Departure in the morning after breakfast.

• Transportation provided back to Le Mans (TGV station).

 

 

 

 

Accommodations & Cost

Trip Dates: Trip will begin on a Sunday and end on a Friday.
Accommodations:
 All participants stay at the Château de Saint Paterne, a beautifully restored 15th/16th/17th century château owned by Charles-Henry and Ségolène de Valbray. Each room includes a private bathroom.
Included in the cost: 5 nights accommodations; all breakfasts (5); 2 lunches and 5 dinners,  including aperitifs and carefully selected regional wines, soft drinks, etc.; 2 full cooking classes; and all sightseeing and private visits as described above.
Not Included in Cost: Train fare from Paris to Le Mans and return; alcoholic beverages except as specified in the program, and meals not specified.
Cost: $3790 per person, single supplement $500.  Important note: substantial changes in the value of the dollar may require changes in the price of the tour.
Deposit: $1000. per person.

 

Register for this trip — check-out the general information section about Les Liaisons Délicieuses trips — see what other travelers have to say — check for when this trip is scheduled or discuss a custom trip based on this itinerary.

A Château Adventure in Normandy and the Loire with the de Valbray Family

St. Paterne

St. Paterne

Normandy and the Loire

Join us in France for a truly behind-the-scenes experience in Normandy and the Loire with the de Valbray family, who will open their homes and their hearts to us as we live “la vie de château” in their exquisite family châteaux. We will begin our week in Normandy at the lovely 16th-century Château de St. Paterne with Charles-Henry and Segolène de Valbray, where we will spend three glorious days experiencing the very best of what Normandy has to offer. As we leave Normandy for the Loire, we will stop at the Abbey de Solesmes to hear the Benedictine monks sing their beautiful gregorian chants. And then, brother François and Hedwig de Valbray will welcome us for lunch at their 18th-century Château des Briottières, which will be our home for the next two nights as we explore the western Loire around Angers, visiting several other splendid châteaux. Our final two days will be in Saumur at the 19th-century Château de Verrières, home of sister Yolaine and Thierry de Valbray-Auger who will again welcome us into their home as dear friends. Everywhere we go we will be invited into private homes and introduced to France as only the French people know it. And, all week long, we will have the most marvelous food and wine and the most unique opportunities for antiquing, shopping, and exploring. Chatelain Charles-Henry de Valbray and Patti Ravenscroft, founder of Les Liaisons Délicieuses, will be our guides all week for this extraordinary adventure.

 

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

• Early Afternoon arrival at the train station in Le Mans.
• Visit the historic city of Le Mans and its celebrated medieval cathedral.
• Festive welcome dinner at the Château de St. Paterne (www.chateau-saintpaterne.com) with Charles-Henry and Segolène de Valbray.

Day 2

• Morning visit to the picturesque St. Ceneri le Gerei – listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France.
• Lunch at the home of an antique dealer in the Perche region.
• Afternoon cooking class at home with Monique DuVeau, top food stylist for Coté Sud Magazine.
• Instead of the cooking class, an optional afternoon of golf is available for those who prefer links to stoves (additional fee).
• In the evening, we will feast on our creations in Monique’s lovely dining room.

Day 3

• Experience history firsthand with visits to the Peace Memorial and Museum in Caen, the Normandy Beaches, the American Cemetary, and the celebrated Tapestries of Bayeaux.
• Dinner at Château de St. Paterne.

Day 4

• Leave for the Loire after breakfast
• Morning visit to the Abbey de Solesmes, where we will hear the Benedictine monks sing Gregorian chants.
• Lunch at the Château des Briottières with Charles-Henry’s borhter, François de Valbray (www.briottieres.com).
• Afternoon visit to the privately owned Château du Plessis Bourré.
• Festive welcome dinner at the Château des Briottières.

Day 5

• Morning visit to the old city of Angers followed by lunch at a restaurant on the banks of the Loire.
• An afternoon of antiquing.
• Late afternoon visit to the Musée Cointreau.
• Dinner in a private château of good friends of François.

Day 6

• Morning visit to the Musée Tapisserie de l’Apocalypse.
• Arrival at the Château de Verrières in the late morning.
• Lunch at Les Caves de la Genevrie, a troglodyte restaurant followed by a visit to a friend’s private troglodyte château.
• Afternoon cooking class with Yolaine de Valbray.
• Festive welcome dinner at the Château de Verrières.

Day 7

• Morning free to visit the shops and château in Saumur.
• Lunch on a barge floating down the Loire.
• Afternoon visit to several homes and gardens of family friends and relatives.
• Gala farewell dinner at the private Château de Ternay with the marquis and marquise de Ternay, good friends of Yolaine’s.

Day 8

• A morning of antiquing followed by lunch in Tours.
• Departure for Paris at the train station in Tours in the mid-afternoon.

 

Accommodations & Cost

Accommodations: Château de St. Paterne, Château des Briottières and Château de Verrières are privately owned châteaux with lovely antique-filled rooms, all with private bath.
Included in the cost: 7 nights accommodations; all ground transportation; all meals including aperitifs and carefully selected regional wines; all cooking classes; and all sightseeing and private visits as described above. Limited to ten class participants.
Not Included in Cost: Trains from Paris to Le Mans and Tours back to Paris; alcoholic beverages except as specified in the program.
Cost: $5,390 per person double occupancy with a $800 single supplement.
Deposit: $1000 per person

Register for this trip — check-out the general information section about Les Liaisons Délicieuses trips — see what other travelers have to say — check for when this trip is scheduled or discuss a custom trip based on this itinerary.

Simply Splendid Seafood in Brittany

with Chef Jean-Yves Jaguin
Château de Kerivon

In addition to being a land of mystery and legend, Brittany is a region of endless, rugged shorelines, vast salt marshes, rich interior farmlands, and simply splendid seafood. Nowhere in France can you find a more tempting array of large succulent lobsters, tender-sweet langoustines, mouthwatering scallops (coquilles Saint-Jacques), clams (praires and palourdes), periwinkles, mussels, and incredible crabs (torteaux and araignées de mer). Exquisite globe artichokes, delicately flavored pré-salé lamb, buckwheat crêpes, and cider round out the local specialties. In Brittany, the cuisine is fresh and simple. Imagine eating the freshest briny oysters right out of the sea, followed by a perfectly grilled lobster with a bottle of crisp, dry muscadet, while sitting at your own window-side table surrounded by the sea.
If this sounds like heaven, join us at the exquisite, privately owned Château de Kerivon in the heart of the pink granite coast.  Châtelain (owner) Le Viconte Gérald Rogon de Carcaradec and his wife Christine will be our hosts as we settle into la vie de château at the magnificent Château de Kerivon, which is exclusively available to Les Liaisons Délicieuses. The Château de Kerivon was built in 1741 to replace an older manoir which was destroyed. It has been continuously inhabited by Gérald’s ancestors, one of whom fought with General Lafayette in the American Revolution. Kerivon’s walls are adorned with an extraordinary collection of original 13th-century Aubusson Tapestries. Its library boasts a collection of rare antique books—La Fontaine and Rousseau to name a few—and family documents with the original signatures of Louis XIV and Louis XV. Kerivon also has an exceptional collection of antique carriages. Christy and Gérald will be our guides as we explore the Brittany coast and countryside, learn about its rich Celtic and Gallic heritage, see some ancient standing stones, and visit other splendid private châteaux and manoirs where Gérald’s friends will invite us for tea or dinner.
Chef Jean-Yves Jaguin, whose restaurant La Ville Blanche has had a Michelin star for many years, will share his passion for his native Brittany and the secrets of his exceptional cuisine. All of this will come alive in hands-on cooking classes, a market visit, and oyster and shellfish expeditions. To round out this extraordinary week, we will take several lovely promenades with breathtaking views of the sea.

 

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

• Arrival at the Guingamp train station in the afternoon.
• Tea at the Château de Kerivon, followed by a tour of the château and grounds.
• Champagne and festive welcome dinner at Château de Kerivon.

Day 2

• Cooking class and lunch with Chef Louis Leroy at the Goeland Restaurant.
• An afternoon of exploring the Côte de Granite Rose.
• Late afternoon crêpe cooking class at Kerivon.
• Soirée crêpes at Château de Kerivon.

Day 3

• Morning boat trip weather permitting.
• Light lunch at the Manoir de Lan Kerellec
• Afternoon cooking class and dinner at La Ville Blanche with Chef Jean-Yves Jaguin.

Day 4

• Morning cooking class and lunch at Le Goeland with Chef Louis Leroy.
• Afternoon of shell-fishing with Chef Leroy, followed by a walk on the lovely Ile Milliau.
• Simple seafood dinner at Château de Kermezen.

Day 5

• A full morning at the magnificent market in Lannion where we will purchase seasonal delicacies for lunch.
• Feast on our market purchases at the Château de Kerivon.
• Afternoon cooking class and dinner at La Ville Blanche with Chef Jean-Yves Jaguin.

Day 6

• Early morning market in Perros-Guirec.
• Shopping or optional 1/2-day at the fabulous new spa Agapa (additional fee).
• Moules-frites lunch in Perros-Guirec.
• Afternoon free for more shopping or walking along the coast.
• Champagne cocktail party with the chefs.
• Farewell gala dinner at the Château de Kerivon.

Day 7

• Depart for the train station at Guingamp after breakfast.

 

Accommodations & Cost

Accommodations: Beautiful antique filled rooms in a private château.
Included in the cost: Six nights accommodations; all ground transportation; all meals including aperitifs and carefully selected regional wines; all cooking classes; and all sightseeing and private visits as described above. Limited to ten class participants.
Not Included in Cost: Airfare; train to and from Guingamp; alcoholic beverages except as specified in the program.
Cost: $4,690 per person, single supplement $600.00. Important note: substantial changes in the value of the dollar may require changes in the price of the tour.
Deposit: $1,000.00 per person.

 

Register for this trip — check-out the general information section about Les Liaisons Délicieuses trips — see what other travelers have to say — check for when this trip is scheduled or discuss a custom trip based on this itinerary.

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