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Spa/Thalasso Sojourn in France – La Baule

with Les Liaisons Delicieuses
Hotel Royal-Thalasso Barrière, La Baule

Let your mind unwind while you pamper your body and tickle your palette at the legendary, Belle Epoque Royal-Thalasso Barrière in La Baule, the diamond of the Côte d’Amour. The welcome at the Hotel is truly extraordinary with personalized, attentive, yet discrete service on all levels. Miles and miles of the beautiful Atlantic coast stretch out before you with paths for walking and biking. The Lucien Barrière resort has a casino, Tennis Club (35 courts), and golf courses (45 holes), but best of all, connected to the Hotel is one of the finest centers of Thalasso Therapy in all of France.  And, Chef Mikael Amisse’s food is heavenly and very healthy.  (Chef Mikael Amisse created the menu with Michelin 3 star chef, Pierre Gagnaire.)  In addition to Thalasso/spa treatments and cooking classes, we will visit the markets in La Baule, the salt marshes and town of Guérande and the amazing Eco-museum of Ocean liners in St. Nazaire.  If thalasso/spa treatments are not of interest to you, golf, tennis and biking could be substituted for the half days at the spa. The Royal Thalasso Barrière-La Baule has 45 holes of golf, a superb tennis club, and miles and miles of places to bike.

Le Royal Thalasso & Spa

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

We will be met at the SNCF train station in La Baule Escoublac and be taken by van to the Hotel Royal-Thalasso Barrière in the late afternoon. After settling into our rooms, over-looking the sea, we have some free time to enjoy the health club, indoor pool, sauna, hammam or simply take a nap! A welcome cocktail and presentation of the program for the week will take place just before dinner, along with a local oyster tasting. A festive Welcome Dinner will be served in the restaurant, La Rotonde, at 8:30 pm

Day 2

After breakfast in La Rotonde, we will go to the spa for a full morning of 4 spa treatments to ensure our “Well Being.” After lunch, we will have time for a rest before our first cooking class with Chef Mikael Amisse, followed by dinner in La Rotonde where we will feast on our creations.

La Rotonde

Day 3

We will begin our day with a visit to the salt marshes and the charming medieval village of Guérande, home of some of the very best salt in the world. We will have lunch at a local creperie and enjoy the delicious local buckwheat crepes. After lunch, we will return to the hotel for a full afternoon of spa treatments (4 each day!) Dinner will be in La Rotonde, which offers spectacular views of the sea.

Day 4

After breakfast, Chef Mikael will take us on a visit to the markets in La Baule. There will be free time for shopping in La Baule and an early lunch at the Beach Restaurant, Le Ponton. After lunch, 4 more glorious spa treatments and then free time for a nap or a game of tennis at the Tennis Club before dinner at Le Rotonde.

Hotel Royal

Day 5

Our spa treatments today will begin after breakfast followed by lunch on the beach at Le Ponton.

Le Panton

After a walk or a nap, Chef Mikael will give us a second cooking class, sharing all of his secrets in his wonderful cookbook, La Table du Bien-Etre. Tonight, we will again feast on our own creations in the restaurant, La Rotonde.

Day 6

This morning we will visit the Eco-museum of Paquebots (Ocean Liners) in St.Nazaire where most all of the ships were and continue to be made. Entering the museum is like boarding your ship for a transatlantic cruise and “on board” the experience continues, complete with a drink in the very bar that was on the SS France which some of you may have sailed on in the 60’s! Lunch will be back at the beach restaurant, Le Ponton, followed by an afternoon at the spa. Our Farewell Gala Dinner will be held this evening at the restaurant in the Relais et Château Hotel, Castel Marie Louise.

Castel Marie-Louise

Day 7

After breakfast, we will enjoy our final morning in the spa followed by a farewell lunch at La Rotonde. We will return to the train station after lunch for a train which will get us back to Paris in time for dinner in the City of Light. Au Revoir.


Accommodations & Cost

Accommodations: The Royal-Thalasso Barrière Hotel is a combined hotel, spa and restaurant. All participants stay in the Hotel’s sea view rooms. Each includes a private bathroom.
Included in the cost: Six nights accommodations; all ground transportation; all meals including evening aperitifs and carefully selected regional wines; all cooking classes and spa treatments as described; and all sightseeing and private visits as described above.
Not Included in Cost: Train fare to and from La Baule; alcoholic beverages except as specified in the program.
Cost: $4,290. per person double occupancy, Single Supplement $600. Important note: Substantial changes in the value of the dollar may require changes in the price of the tour.
Deposit: $1,000 per person.

Register for this trip:  Contact Patti Ravenscroft at patricia.ravenscroft@gmail.com or info@deliciousconnections.com
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 Sublime Sojourn in Morocco

with Patricia Ravenscroft

Marrakech MealMorocco is a land of endless surprises. Stunningly beautiful blue skies, lush gardens, and intricately carved buildings sit amidst rustic dwellings and the bustling, simple daily life and rituals of the Moroccan people who are amazingly warm, intelligent, and a true pleasure to get to know.


We will begin our Moroccan adventure in Fes, an imperial city founded in the year 808, rich in history, culture, art, and architecture with an amazing continuing tradition of local craftsmanship. To fully appreciate the exotic and often breathtaking beauty of Morocco, we will stay at the Ryad Alkantara, which has recently been restored to its former glory. All rooms encircle the central terrace with a pool and a large garden which is filled with fragrant orange trees whose branches dance over the many lovely marble fountains. After exploring the city’s winding streets, we will savor mint tea in the balmy evening air, pungent with a host of magical scents. We will continue on to Marrakech, where we will stay in the palmerie at the luxurious Jnane Tamsna guesthouse with owners, Meryanne Loum Martin, a talented designer, and her husband, Gary Martin, a passionate ethnobotanist. Several days will also be spent in the old Portuguese port of Essaouira on the Atlantic coast.
Marrakech cookingThrough a series of cooking classes we will be taught the authentic way to prepare the most delicious tagines, keftas, pastillas, and couscous. We will be introduced to the very best Islamic art and architecture by expert local guides, who will take us to palaces and gardens of striking beauty. And, of course, shoppers will delight in the open-air markets (souks) in the medina full of countless treasures at bargain prices!


Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival at the Fes airport in the afternoon. Our chauffeur and guide Mohammed will drive us to our hotel in the medina, with a tour of the city, en route to the exquisite Ryad Alkantara. After settling into our rooms, we will be served tea in the beautiful courtyard garden. After tea our guide, Mohammed Bouftila will take us on an introductory walking tour of the medina, listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO. We will enjoy an aperitif in the garden with owner M. Saffar, who is from Fes and is a master plasterwork artisan as well as an Oxford educated intellectual. An early dinner on our candlelit terrace will follow.

Day 2

Alt text

A neighborhood market

After breakfast, our guide Mohammed will take us to all of the best addresses in the souk for carpets, leather goods, ceramics, embroidered linens, jewelry, copper and countless other treasures. Lunch will on the rooftop restaurant, La Medina. The afternoon is free to enjoy the pool, the hammam, or to treat yourself to a massage. For dinner we will enjoy musicians and delicious tagines at the Ryad La Maison Bleue.

Day 3

Moroccan Bread Making

Moroccan Bread Making

In the morning, Mohammed will continue showing us the treasures of this multifaceted imperial city. We will have lunch in the medina and return to our Ryad mid-afternoon. M. Saffir will show us all of his extensive property in the medina and he will personally demonstrate the art of intricate plaster carving. Our first cooking class will begin in the late afternoon with Fatima, who will teach us how to prepare her favorite local specialties. We will dine in the garden, feasting on our carefully prepared delicacies.

Day 4

We will journey by train from Fes to Marrakech, arriving at the Jnane Tamsna in time for aperitifs and dinner in the garden. We will tour Gary Martin’s organic vegetable garden before dinner.

Day 5

Olives and Spices

Food & Spice Market


After breakfast, we will visit the exquisite Majorelle gardens, restored by Yves St. Laurent, as well as other important monuments in Marrakech. We will lunch in the medina and after lunch will explore the food and spice markets in the souk. In the late afternoon, we will have our first cooking class with chef Baija which we will enjoy by candlelight in the garden.



Day 6

Today we will spend the day in the desert at La Pause, a magical oasis in the Marrakechi Desert. We will arrive in time for a delicious lunch on one of the many terraces. After lunch we will have a camel ride or a nap in a hammock by the pool before returning home to Jnane Tamsna where we will dine simply under the stars.

Day 7

Our final day in Marrakech will begin with a second cooking class with chef Baija followed by lunch in the garden. The afternoon is free to enjoy the pool or visit the souk with our guide for additional shopping. We will say goodbye to Marrakech at a gala dinner with Andalous musicians at Jnane Tamsna.

Day 8

After breakfast, we will depart for the seaside town of Essaouira, an old Portuguese port. After checking into our hotel, another lovely Ryad, we will enjoy lunch at a restaurant on the beach. The afternoon is free to explore the old town, the port, to visit the many charming shops, or to have a camel ride on the beach. In the evening, we will dine at a wonderful new restaurant in the medina.

Day 9

Fresh Mint at the Market

Fresh Mint at the Market

In the early morning, we will visit the vegetable, fish, and spice markets followed by a cooking class and lunch. Our chef will show us all the secrets of turning the freshest fish into the most delicious seafood tagines. The afternoon is free for shopping or an exciting dune buggy ride over the amazing sand dunes. Our farewell dinner tonight will be at a small romantic candlelit restaurant overlooking the beach.

Day 10

In the morning , we will visit the Argon oil cooperative just outside of town. This cooperative and a few others like it, all run by women, support many divorced and widowed women who previously had no possibility of earning a living in Morocco. The oil itself has both medicinal and culinary uses. It is great for the skin and makes a delicious vinaigrette – two different preparations of the oil! After lunch overlooking the port, we will drive back to Marrakech and will spend our last night in the medina at the Maison Arabe. Costumes are welcome at our Gala Dinner in the exquisite interior garden by the pool.

Day 11

Transportation will be provided to the airport in Marrakech after breakfast.


Accommodations & Cost

Accommodations: All bedrooms include a private bathroom and direct dial phone service.
Included in the cost: Ten nights accommodations; all ground transportation; all meals including aperitifs and carefully selected wines; all cooking classes; and all sightseeing and private visits as described above. Limited to sixteen people.
Not Included in Cost: Airfare to and from Morocco; alcoholic beverages except as specified in the program.
Cost: $7,790.00 per person, double occupancy, with a single supplement of $1,200. Important note: substantial changes in the value of the dollar may require changes in the price of the tour.
Deposit: $1500.00 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.

A Day in Paris with Patti

Enjoy a cup of coffee with Patti in the heart of Paris where Patti offers insights to local and favorite sites. After breakfast, walk through the Square des Batignolles, an exquisite little neighborhood park, before going on to a delightful, delicious covered market nearby.
After the market visit, you have three possibilities:

1. A return to Patti’s apartment for a personally and carefully prepared delicious lunch.

2. A cooking class and lunch at L’Atelier Guy Martin, the cooking school of Michelin 2-star chef Guy Martin.

3. A 3-course lunch with Patti at one of her favorite restaurants, which includes wine and an opportunity to meet the chef.

If you would like to spend an evening with Patti as a separate activity, there are two possibilities:

1. A gourmet dinner at the Ravenscroft’s Paris apartment with Patti and her husband, Kent. We will begin with aperitifs and continue with a first course, main course, cheese, and dessert, all paired with delicious wines.

2. Dinner with Patti at a restaurant of your choice. Patti will make the reservation and dine with you, helping you select the very best food and wine the restaurant has to offer. Patti can also arrange shopping tours in Paris for antiques, fashion, and home decorations. ‘A Day with Patti in Paris’ can be scheduled any day but Monday (the Market is closed) when Patti is in Paris between early October and early May.

This is ideal for 2-6 travelers.

Pricing is based on travelers’ custom desires, which generally ranges from 100 € – 250 € ($130 – $325) per day, including food and wine.

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