Wake up to breakfast and an amazing view of the hillside village of Gordes, France. Spend the morning in beautiful, medieval Gordes. On a guided tour, walk through the vaulted, arcaded lanes that reveal the town’s many charms. Visit the Caves du Palais Saint-Firmin a Gordes, which boasts a variety of artistic features, provide evidence of life in Gordes (listed as one of France’s most beautiful villages) from the Middle Ages onwards, and offer visitors a wonderful opportunity to immerse themselves in the history of this mysterious, semi-troglodyte world. Moving from room to room, visitors will learn all about the history of the place and the know-how associated with the oil production process. Late morning, enjoy a nougat tasting from the famed Maison Perrert with an aperitif (Rosé, white or red wine, still and sparkling water, fruit juices, savoury bites) served in the gardens (privatized for the occasion). Stop in a café for lunch or have a picnic on your own overlooking the Luberon region then enjoy the balance of your day at leisure at the villa. This evening, Chef Bob will be hosting his first Chef’s Dinner, including an optional cooking class, at the villa for your enjoyment.
Day 7 – Roussillon – Bonnieux - Menerbes
Break your fast then head out to enjoy the hilltop villages of Roussillon, Bonnieux, and Menerbes. In addition to walking tours, you will have free time to peruse each quaint locale and lunch at leisure in Bonnieux. Along the route, you will stop in La Maison du Fruit Confit by Les Fleurons d'Apt to experience the renown candied fruit coveted throughout Provence and the world. In Menerbes, you will make a visit to Domaine de la Citadelle to visit the cellars and taste their delectable wines. You will return to luxury of the villa for a lovely Chef's dinner with Chef Bob.
Day 8 - Avignon - Chateauneuf du Pape
After breakfast at the villa, you will depart for the village of Avignon -- one of the most historically significant towns in France. From 1309 to 1377, it was the seat of the Catholic popes. It remained under papal rule until becoming part of France in 1791. This legacy can be seen in the massive Palais des Papes (Popes' Palace) in the city center, which is surrounded by medieval stone ramparts. Your tour of Avignon will of course include Les Halles d'Avignon -- the famous covered market -- at which Chef Bob will lead you through the stalls selecting exquisite local ingredients for future chef's dinners at the villa and a perfect taste of Provence.Following lunch at leisure, you will depart for Chateauneuf du Pape between Avignon and Orange, France. In the XIVe century Pope Jean XXII, chose Chateauneuf as the location for their summer residences, and then decided to plant vines on the stony land which surrounded their landholdings. For a long time, the wine production remained a secret but in 1929, it was officially recognized and bestowed with its own appellation: Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This appellation means that the wine production in Chateauneuf du Pape is subject to strict controls to ensure that the 55 vineyards produce extremely fine wine. In addition to a walking tour of the village, you will enjoy a private wine tasting in the historic and stunning Cave Saint Charles in the heart of Chateauneuf du Pape. After the wine tasting, you will be transferred back to the villa for a Chef's dinner at which Chef Bob will incorporate some of the ingredients purchased at market.
Day 9 – Saint-Remy - Les Baux - Fontvieille
In the village of Saint-Remy in the heart of Provence, forever entwined with the legacy of Vincent van Gogh, you will find everything Provencial you desire as you stroll along the boulevards under the shade of century-old trees. Your guided walking tour will take you around the narrow little streets, discovering squares where children play in the fountains, and the attractive boutiques and art galleries that make the town’s historic centre so lively. You will enjoy strolling through the local market place, brimming with fresh produce, baguettes straight from the oven, fragrant herbs, and seasonal specialties … taste and select some French cheeses to take back to the villa. Enjoy lunch at leisure at one of the many cafes and restaurants before departing for Les Baux. Les Baux-de-Provence is a listed heritage site that has won titles such as “One of the Most Beautiful Villages in France” or "Station classée." Enjoy a walking tour and shopping time before heading to Fontvieille, a small provençal village in the heart of the Alpilles near to Alphone Daudet. It is here where the Sourdon family has produced its fine olive oil in a typical "Mas" from the 12th century. You will visit the mill run by Anne and Magali -- who share (like their ancestors) a real passion for the "Vallée des Baux" and its olive cultivation tradition. You will partake in oil tasting with olive pastes and toasts. You will be transferred back to the villa for a Chef’s dinner with our local French chef and Chef Bob.
Day 10 – L'Isle sur la Sorgue
L'Isle sur la Sorgue is one of those places in Provence that should not be missed. Therefore, following a delicious breakfast at the villa, you will be taken to this "island city" that lies at the foot of the Vaucluse plateau in the plains of Comtat Venaissin. The river Sorgue surrounds the city and canals cut through its narrow, ancient streets through which your guided tour will take you, allowing time to explore the shops and visit the famed antique market.You will then be meeting at Chez Stephane for a French aperitif, cheese and charcuterie, and wine pairings before returning to the villa for an afternoon of well-deserved leisure. Enjoy a cooking class (optional) along with a Chef’s Dinner with Chef Bob.
Day 11 – Gordes
Your last day at the villa will be a day of leisure to relax by the pool, take a hike to enjoy the landscape of the area, or take a walk into the lovely village of Gordes to visit the local galleries and shops for last minute gifts to take back home. Enjoy a farewell dinner with Chef Bob.
Day 12 - Gordes
Breakfast at the Villa. Check-out of Villa Le Mas De Belle Combe and Transfer to Marseille Airport for your flight home.
* PLEASE NOTE: THE COST OF AIRLINE TICKET IS NOT INCLUDED; We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance. If you decide to purchase travel insurance, we are happy to help you with that. If deemed necessary, this itinerary may be altered at the discretion of Premier Tours & Travel, Inc. Contact Maria at 843.237.9903 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more or to register to join this exclusive tour. Only a few spots remain for May 19-30, 2020.
Chef Bob Waggoner Bob received his formal training with Michael Roberts at Trumps in Los Angeles from 1981 to 1983, and later in France at a constellation of Michelin-rated restaurants with chefs Jacques Lameloise, Charles Barrier, Pierre Gagnaire, Gerard Boyer and Mark Meneau. At 23, he took on his first chef position at the private club “Members” in Caracas, Venezuela. Chef Bob Waggoner returned to France at age 24 to become chef of the Hotel de la Poste in Avallon for three years. Then, in 1988 at age 26, in the town of Moneteau in Burgundy, he became the first American chef to own his own restaurant in France, the much acclaimed Le Monte Cristo. He is one of the few Americans to be Knighted with the “l’Odre du Mérite Agricole” from the Government of France. In 1991, Waggoner was offered the opportunity of Chef de Cuisine with Chef Jean-Pierre Silva, the two-star Michelin, at Le Vieux Moulin in Beaune, France. After 11 years in France, he returned to the States in 1993 to cook at the award-winning Turnberry Isle in Florida, before joining The Wild Boar in Nashville, where he earned the restaurant a coveted AAA Five-Diamond Award and the Grand Award from Wine Spectator. He finally found his way to Charleston where he was Executive Chef of Charleston Grill at Charleston Place for a dozen years. Every year, Chef Bob was at the Charleston Grill, it was awarded AAA Four-Diamond and the Mobile Four-Star award, and in 2001-2005 he was nominated four times for The Beard Foundation "Best Chef Southeast" award. Always well regarded as a media-savvy chef, he has won an Emmy for his television show “Off the Menu” with Turner South. He also hosted 2 cooking shows with PBS, U Cook with Chef Bob and Sing for Your Supper with Chef Bob. Currently, he is the owner of “In the Kitchen with Chef Bob Waggoner” where he hosts cooking classes in a relaxed, casual, and sophisticated atmosphere. With his easygoing nature, he can teach anyone the culinary tips and techniques for "how it's done" in the finest restaurants.dining or a casual breakfast.