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Heaven in the Hills of Umbria

Todi, Italy

Undulating hills, speckled with centuries-0ld, ocher-colored villas, surrounded by olive orchards and vineyards, glisten under the brilliant blue sky. This is Umbria, Tuscany’s breath-taking neighbor, relatively untouched by tourism. If this sounds like heaven, join us at the Villa Tre Grazie, a magnificent 16th-century villa perched on a hilltop overlooking the Tiber valley, with panoramic views of the rooftops and spires of Todi with her lovely Renaissance temple.

The Villa Tre Grazie (Three Graces), is surrounded by two hectares of gently rolling land including an olive orchard, a fruit orchard and formal gardens with terraced swimming pool and bath house.
During our weeklong sojourn, we will learn to make handmade pastas, pizzas cooked in the Villa Tre Grazie’s own 16th-century outdoor brick oven and many other Umbrian specialties. In addition to these hands-on cooking classes with local experts, we will taste the very best regional wines, cheeses and olive oils, shop for fine hand-painted Italian ceramics and hand-woven Italian fabrics in Deruta and Montifalco, and enjoy in depth tours of Orvieto and Assisi.
To round out this extraordinary week, we will take a stroll in the Umbrian hills, to enjoy the stunning views of the countryside. Andiamo!!

 

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

• Arrive at the Villa Tre Grazie in the late morning in time for a buffet lunch in the garden.
• Afternoon free for relaxing in the garden, swimming (weather permitting) or napping.
• Aperitivos al fresco at sunset.
• Festive Welcome Dinner at home in the Villa.

Day 2

• Breakfast at home in the Villa.
• Morning cooking class on hand-made pastas with several sauces taught by a very special local expert followed by lunch.
• Afternoon visit to Orvieto with plenty of time to see the sites and to shop.
• Dinner at home in the Villa.

Day 3

• Breakfast at home in the Villa.
• Morning visit in Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis who founded the Franciscan religious order in 1208. We will have a private tour of the Basilica of St. Francis, including the magnificent Giotto frescoes and other important historical sites.
• Late lunch.
•Afternoon visit to the home and painting studio of two remarkable American artists, Alan Feltus and Lani Irwin.
• Dinner at home in the Villa.

Day 4

• Breakfast at home in the Villa.
•After breakfast, we will heat up the 16th-century outdoor brick oven for our afternoon cooking class.
• Morning visit to a farm making some of the best local cheeses. We will be able to watch the cheese-making process and taste the cheeses at various stages of development.
• Visit to Deruta to shop for hand-painted Italian ceramics, both new and collector pieces. We will have a special private tour with Grazie, owner of MOD ceramics and close friends of the Villa Tre Grazie’s owners.
• Lunch in the Old Town of Deruta.
• Late afternoon pizza cooking class using the Villa’s brick oven.
• Dinner at the Villa feasting on our very own hand made pizzas and salads.

Day 5

• Breakfast at home in the Villa.
• Morning visit to the charming city of Montifalco, noted for its lovely 14th century church, San Francesco, and special hand-woven Italian fabrics. We will visit the very best fabric shops for excellent shopping.
• Lunch at the Alchemist, a delicious local trattoria.
• Afternoon wine tasting in Montifalco where we will taste the Sagrantino di Montifalco chosen by Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas for their wedding!
• Dinner at home.

Day 6

• Breakfast at the Villa.
• Morning hike in the Umbrian hills around Todi, OR free time for shopping in Todi, or relaxing in the garden.
• Lunch together in Todi.
• Farewell Dinner.

Day 7

• Linger over a final breakfast at the Villa Tre Grazie.
• Return to the Rome airport or Todi train station in the late morning.

 

Accommodations & Cost

Accommodations: Villa Tre Grazie is a magnificent private 16th-century villa, complete with orchards, gardens and swimming pool. All participants stay in the Villa Tre Grazie’s lovely bedrooms.
Included in the cost: 6 nights accommodations; all ground transportation; all meals including aperitivos 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 to and from Rome, Italy. Alcoholic beverages except as specified in the program.
Cost: $4990 per person in a double room. $600 single supplement.
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 Fabulous Feast on the Food and Wine of Bordeaux

FULLwith Chef Michel Gautier and Sommelier Kinette Gautier
Château Meyre

Patti enjoying champagne with Kinette, Maitre Sommelier

Patti enjoying champagne with Kinette, Maitre Sommelier

More than any other area in France, or perhaps in the world, Bordeaux is known for its wine. Some 3,000 châteaux produce wines, including the rich, luscious reds with names like St. Estèphe, Pauillac, and Margaux from the north, and St. Emilion and Pomerol from the east, with the delectible white sauternes such as Château d’Yquem from the south rounding out the vinicultural treasure-trove. The cuisine of the Bordelais reflects this abundance of delicious wines and features such dishes as daube bordelaise (beef, slowly braised in red wine and shallots), bar au vin rouge (bass in a red wine, cream sauce), and tourin bordelais (a wine-based onion soup, thickened with egg yolks). To the west of Bordeaux lies the great basin of Arcachon, fringed with pine forests and filled with acre upon acre of oyster and mussel beds. These plentiful delicacies are served on the half shell, poached, steamed with a cream and wine sauce, or grilled on bed of pine needles (éclade de moules).

If all this titillates your taste buds, join us at the lovely Château Meyre in the Haut Médoc for a week of the finest wining and dining with Michelin one-star Chef Michel Gautier, maître cuisinier of France, and Kinette Gautier, maître sommelier.

Kinette, Maître Sommelier

Kinette, Maître Sommelier

Their knowledge of the food and wine of Bordeaux is exceptional and their hospitality gracious and chaleureuse.

 

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

  • Arrive in the afternoon at the Bordeaux train station.
  • Settle into rooms at the Château Meyre with time to relax or enjoy a game of tennis.
  • Champagne and festive welcome dinner with the Gautier’s at Château Meyre.
  • Regional specialties and wines from Château Meyre will be featured.

Day 2

Bordeaux

Bordeaux

  • After breakfast, depart for Bordeaux.
  • Sunday Market Visit with the Chef in Bordeaux. Each participant will select one item that will be part of the surprise dinner menu.
  • Lunch at the Bordeaux market.
  • Guided tour of the old city with a focus on the history of wine-making and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine.
  • Late afternoon cooking class with Chef Gautier in his kitchen featuring items from the Bordeaux market.
  • Dinner with the Gautier’s in their lovely dining room, formerly the restaurant Le Rouzic (1 star in the Michelin Guide).
  • Wines selected by Kinette Gautier, Maître Sommelier.


Day 3

  • After breakfast, depart for Bordeaux.

    Château Meyre

    Château Meyre

  • Shopping in the morning with Kinette.
  • Visit to the Cité du Vin and lunch at Le 7 Restaurant.
  • Return to Château Meyre for the “Soirée Rose: La Vie en Rose”.
  • Dinner at Château Meyre.
  • Wines will include Rosés des Grands Crus from Bordeaux and Provence.

Day 4

  • After breakfast, depart for the medieval town of St. Émilion.

    St. Émilion

    St. Émilion

  • Vineyard visit and dégustation of wines from Château Angelus, Grand Cru Classé A, with the proprietor Monsieur Jean Bernard Grenie.
  • Lunch at the brasserie of Château La Dominique.
  • Visit and dégustation at the Château Cheval Blanc.
  • Visit and dégustation of wines from Château Sansonnet, Grand Cru Classé.
  • Cooking class and Dinner with wines from Chàteau Sansonnet.

 

Day 5

  • Visit and dégustation at Château d’Yquem.

    Château d'Yquem

    Château d’Yquem

  • Special Lunch in the area and afternoon visit of another wonderful winery.
  • Visit and dégustation at Château Climens.
  • Dinner at Château Climens with the owners featuring wines from the Château cellar.

 

Day 6

  • Vineyard visit and dégustation with Kinette Gautier at the famous Château Margaux.

    Château Margaux

    Château Margaux

  • Lunch in the village of Lynch Bages.
  • Afternoon visit to a surprise Château, Grand Cru Classé.
  • Farewell gala dinner at the Château Meyre.

Day 7

  • Departure for the Bordeaux train station after breakfast.

 

Accommodations & Cost

Accommodations: All château bedrooms include a private bathroom.
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: Transportation to and from Bordeaux; alcoholic beverages except as specified in the program.
Cost: $6,990.00 per person, $600 single supplement. 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.

 

 

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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