Charming Rhone-Alpes

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Day 1: Bagnols for 7 nights

Pick up car in Lyon Peugeot 508 or similar Full Size Class – Automatic Transmission, unlimited mileage CDW & theft included

1 suite Chai with shower, breakfast & taxes included at Chateau de Bagnols*****

Located in the heart of the Beaujolais, Château de Bagnols is an historical monument with over eight centuries of history, as well as a prestigious hotel-restaurant. Its moats, surrounding walls, towers and golden stones are surrounded by vines and set amid French style gardens.

Each room and suite at Château de Bagnols has an individual and refined décor. Rooms and suites are furnished with restored antiques and mural paintings.

For a unique candle-lit dinner, guests can dine in front of one of the largest gothic chimneys in Europe in the fine-dining restaurant. The restaurant offers guests traditional local cuisine with a contemporary twist, inspired by the quality and abundance of the produce of our local markets.

Guests have free access to the property’s spa with an indoor swimming pool, a hammam, a fitness room. Massages and a nail corner are available for an additional cost. In summer, they can also enjoy Roman outdoor swimming pool. Guests can contact the concierge to arrange activities such as skiing, horse riding, and hot-air balloon trips.

 

Day 2: Bagnols 

Day at leisure to relax

Bagnols is a beautiful little village with an attractive church and a castle in the centre. The main square, called the Place du Chateau has the Chateau running along its lower edge and the village Mairie on one side. These as well as all the other buildings in the village are built in a beautiful golden stone which comes from the quarries just above the village. There is a large stone cross on the square which was erected during the role of the Emperor Napolean (1804). A small bar/restaurant on the square gives you the chance to relax and take in your surroundings. At the top of the village is the church  which was built in the 15th century. The church windows have a very pale stained glass giving the interior a very light and airy atmosphere. It is very unusual but makes a pleasant change from the darker interiors more common in churches..

Bagnols is surrounded by vines used to make the lovely Beaujolais wines of the region. Historically the village grew up around the main trades of wine-making and stone-cutting as a result of the vines and the quarries in the neighbourhood. The quarries have closed now but wine making is still an important industry. 

Bagnols chateau has been renovated and restored by an English couple, Peter and Helen Hamlyn, and is now a luxurious hotel decorated with fabulous period furniture and surrounded by attractive French-style gardens. Famous guests include Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, Bruce Willis. The chateau dates from the 13th century and has a wonderful Renaissance mantelpiece carved with the Arms of France for a visit by King Charles VIII.

 

Day 3: Cote du Rhone wine region

Full day private guided tour to Cote du Rhone wine region with pick up and drop off at the hotel

In the morning, stop in Vienne to enjoy a spectacular view on the 2000 year’s old roman theatre and the stunning panorama on the Rhone Valley. Discover Cote Rotie vineyard, probably one of the oldest in existence in France. In Ampuis, appreciate the precipitous vertigo inducing terraced slopes of Cote Brune and Cote Blonde with 30 to 60 degree angles.

Then, visit 2 wineries, learn about the Rhone wine-making savoir-faire, the “terroir” before tasting the intense aromatic Condrieu Viognier wine and Syrah Côte Rotie appellation, also called the Queen of the Rhone Valley.

At lunch, savour the local “cuisine” in a nice restaurant in Tain L’Hermitage village or in Tupin-Semons. Menus start from € 20 – 30, not included.

In the afternoon, discover the steeply vineyards terraces of Hermitage vineyards from its emblematic St Christopher Chapel and learn about the old legend which made its name.

By 3:00 pm, be welcome a famous winery for a wine tasting of several syrah & marsanne wines. When you sample, try to capture the essence of the “king” of the Cotes du Rhone, the Hermitage red wine.

 

Day 4: Beaujolais villages

Private wine tasting at Joseph Drouhin at 2 pm

At 1 Cour du Parlement de Bourgogne (GPS address: Place du General Leclerc), right in the heart of Beaune, the Oenothèque Joseph Drouhin welcomes you in the beautiful cellar of the Duke of Burgundy’s Parliament building.  As well as more than 60 references available including some older vintages and larger formats, the Oenothèque also offers a fascinating discovery.

Upon rendez-vous ; a personalized promenade through the most ancient cellars of Beaune followed by the tasting of 6 emblematic wines from Maison Joseph Drouhin. These historical cellars cover approximately 1 hectare in the historical centre of Beaune (between the Hospice de Beaune and Notre-Dame Church), having belonged to the Canons of Beaune, the Dukes of Burgundy and the Kings of France. You will also discover with amazement roman remnants which are nearly 2000 years old.

Rest of the day at leisure to explore Beaujolais villages

We can arrange for  2 contrasting estates, for instance Domaine Richard Rottiers where young cult wine celebrity Richard is crafting beautiful expressions of Moulin à Vent which unusually for the region have barrel ageing; and perhaps a visit to Château Grange Cochard in scenic Villié Morgon where the English owners, the Wildings, who took over the estate less than a decade ago have already achieved such accolades as 90 Parker points for their Morgon Vieilles Vignes made with 80 year old vines.

Visit the beautiful hamlet of Bois d’Oingt (5 minutes from the Chateau de Bagnols). Drive into the North of Beaujolais region, the crus region (Villie-Morgon, Chenas, Odenas, Chiroublesor even Juliénas) Stops in the vines along the road and into a winery when you can meet a local winegrower and stops in tasting cellars. In few words : villages, road landscapes, vines, wines and winegrower. . .

 

Day 5: Lyon

3 hour private Foody Tour in Lyon

Do you want to have a taste of the best food in town ? Lyon is famous for several things : it’s UNESCO center, and it’s food. Let’s have a taste of both !

The tour starts in place Bellecour, the true center of the city. Around Bellecour, we will walk a little to see the main monuments (The “Hôtel Dieu”, the Celestins theatre, etc. ) There are 2 main stops here. One to taste the “Pâté en croute” and another one to taste the very famous “Quenelle”. . . The next part of the tour will take you to the Old Lyon, the famous medieval area, where you will learn all the anecdotes and stories about gastronomy back in the days, and those strange habits people had. . . After that, it will be time for a cheese & wine tasting. Then, a last “traboule”, and finally, coffee and sweets.

You’ll see many “Traboules” (there are hundreds of them), curious passageways that run beneath or even through private buildings often via a courtyard, making a secret maze through the old town. The name comes from the Latin “Transambulare” (walk through), and these alleyways date back to the 16th century when silk carriers created the house to house passages as short cuts. They were used heavily during WWII by the resistance as escape routes, and you will hear stories and anecdotes

 

 Day 6: Villages of golden stone

Day at leisure to explore

The charming villages known as “Les Villages des Pierres dorée” (villages of golden stone)

Theize has been populated for centuries. Neolithic people left flints as evidence of their presence. Some of the paving stones in the village date to Roman times and Theizé’s castle and chapel date to medieval times. The large stone cross on the village square dates back to 1567 but the little niches underneath the cross were not filled in until 1996. The figures in the niches are: the virgin Mary, Saint Claude, Saint Roch and the village saint – Saint Antoin. This cross is the Stone Mason’s Guild cross. Also in the village centre is the Gothic church of Theizé. 

At the top of the village see the old church and the Chateau de Rochebonne. The Chateau de Rochebonne was destroyed during the Hundred Years War in order to stop it falling into English hands. It was rebuilt in the 15th century . The ancient church which was once the chapel of Rochebonne contains 17th century frescoes. Theize is in the area known as the Beaujolais Region of Golden Stone as the buildings are made from lovely golden stone from a nearby quarry. The countryside arround consists of rolling hills many of which covered by grapevines and dotted by peaceful villages made of the lovely local stone.

Not far from Theizé is a 16th century Chapel the Chapelle of St Hippolyte. There are also various ‘cadoles’ – small dry stone shelters, and you can also visit Chateau de Rapetour, an 18th century castle with an interior courtyard and Renaissance galleries. Theizé is in the Beaujolais wine region making a spot of wine tasting high on the priority list.

 

Day 7: Lyon

Full day Market visit and Cooking Class chez Plum (49 minutes drive)

It’s a full day of visits to the market and cooking at PLUM. Visit Lucy’s favorite outdoor market for fresh local produce and visit her favorite fromagerie to create a cheese platter. Cook a classic French market based meal from the best of the season’s offerings, and more. We spend the time to work through several recipes and useful techniques, lots of ideas and inspiration for your own French cooking at home. The menu for this meal will be set according to what is currently in season and what is available at the market. Count on the full morning of instructive visits and cooking class well into the afternoon.

About Plum Lyon: The Plum Lyon kitchen welcomes you to come and cook in Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France. Located in the ancient silk-worker’s district on the hill of the Croix Rousse, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Plum Lyon Teaching Kitchen is offering seasonal market classes, classic French cooking, children’s workshops in English, and single subject ateliers that cover a chosen technique or theme in French cuisine. We accommodate a maximum of 6 students per class. There is plenty of opportunity for hands-on learning in our classes.

Unless otherwise noted, all of Plum Lyon’s classes are conducted in the English language. Plum’s Market Table classes are not designed for children under the age of 16.

 

Day 8: Departure

Drop off car in Lyon airport

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