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EXPLORING PROVENCE WITH CHEF BOB WAGGONER

Through our “Expertly Done” travel series, explore cultures, food, and wine enhanced by the knowledgeable, approachable insights of Premier’s hand-selected experts like Chef Bob Waggoner. Secure your spot for a once-in-a-lifetime tour of Provence's finest wine and culinary offerings under the guidance of one of the most highly acclaimed chefs in the United States and France.

May 19-30, 2020 and May 29-June 9, 2020
12 Nights From $5,840 Per Person; Double Occupancy
*
Single Supplement: An Additional $1,500
Based upon 16 people.


INDULGE ALL OF YOUR SENSES IN PROVENCE

Overview
From Grasse, St. Paul de Vence and Pont de Loup, to Villefranche-sur-Mer, Aix en Provence, and Gordes … and the many picturesque villages in between, Chef Bob Waggoner will enliven your senses. Partake in wine and olive oil tastings, gaze upon sunflowers and lavender fields, and experience unsurpassed culinary delights throughout your 12-night trip through Provence. Return to Le Mas de Belle Provencial home to relax perched high up in the countryside and gaze upon the Luberon mountains, the village of Gourdes, and the home's olive groves and luxurious pool.

Enjoy five Chef dinners and two optional cooking classes with Chef Bob, two Chef dinners with curated local French chefs, five wine tastings at some of the finest wineries in the Luberon Region, and an AOC olive oil tasting as highlights of this exclusive Premier experience.
 

Limited openings remain for these two Premier Experiences in Provence. Call Maria at 843.237.9903 or email maria@premiertravelsc.com today to secure a spot or to discuss the itinerary further. 


DAY-BY-DAY IN PROVENCE


Day 1
Depart United States for Nice, France

 

Day 2 – Grasse, France

Arrive Nice International Airport in the morning. Stop for a light lunch at Michelin Bib Gourmand L'Amandier de Mougins followed by private transfer to your hotel in Grasse (45 minutes); three nights in La Bastide St. Antoine, a Relais & Chateaux hotel. Check-in your hotel with free time to explore the village on your own. Dinner on your own.

 

Day 3 – Grasse - Pont du Loup - St. Paul de Vence - Grasse

After breakfast at La Bastide St. Antoine, your guide will pick you up from the hotel to bring you on a guided visit to Maison Galimard, a renown perfumery in Grasse -- considered the perfume capital of the world. After lunch at leisure in Grasse, you will then travel to the charming village of Pont du Loup, famous for the growing of its violets, with a tasting at Florian Confiserie & Chocolaterie -- an acclaimed confectionary since 1921 and honored with the Coupe d’Or du Bon Goût Français, the “Gold Cup of French Good Taste -- and free time to shop. You will transfer to St. Paul de Vence for a guided walking tour to explore within the medieval walls encircling the narrow streets and capturing the heritage of more than a thousand years. You will have time to stroll through St. Paul de Vence and take in some shopping. You will return to freshen up before a quick transport to dinner at Michelin Bib Gourmand Lougolin Restaurant to settle in on the terrace under the lime trees and enjoy the view of the plain and the city of Grasse with Chef Bob.

 

Day 4 – Nice - Villefranche - Eze

This morning following breakfast, you will be transferred to Old Nice for a gourmet tour, which starts with the Cours Saleya market, a must-see on the French Riviera with its striped awnings protecting the beautiful and delicous produce. Chef Bob Waggoner will guide you through a tasting of traditional socca, pissaladière, goat cheese, and baguettes. You will learn about the local ingredients and products of the south of France and the way they are used in the traditional food. It, of course, will be an opportunity to stroll the famous Marche aux Fleurs Cours Saleya -- the flower market -- and learn about the long-standing history of Nice as the carnation capital of France. You will have time to explore Old Nice extensively, making time to taste rare wines of the region. You will depart to Villefranche for lunch at la Cave Nature, a wine cellar and restaurant offering only organic and local products, and leaving time for you to freely peruse the village before making your way towards Eze, a charming hilltop town with jaw-dropping views of the Mediterranean Sea on the Cote d'Azur. Wander the cobblestone streets decorated with hot pink bougainvillea, as you pop in and out of its shops and galleries before returning to Grasse and La Bastide St Antoine and dinner at leisure.

 

Day 5 – Aix-en-Provence – Villa Le Mas de Belle Combe, Gordes, France

Following your final breakfast at La Bastide St. Antoine, you will depart Grasse for your lovely villa in Gordes. On your way, you will enjoy the amazing town of Aix-en-Provence, founded by the Romans in 103 BC. Aix-en-Provence has been called the city of a thousand fountains and is known for its colorful market, which will be in full swing on this Saturday guided walking tour. This is market day in Aix, so you will explore the market with Chef Bob, discovering the vegetables and fruits, cheeses, herbs, olive oil, and all the flavors of Provence in the center near Cours Mirabeau. After lunch at leisure in one of the many cafes in Aix-en-Provence, you will have time to enjoy renown shopping and to peruse the many art galleries before transferring to Villa Le Mas de Belle Combe -- your home in Provence for the next seven nights. You will be warmly welcomed home with a champagne toast, hors d'oeuvres, and a locally acclaimed Chef’s dinner.

 

 

Day 6 -– Gordes

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.


*NOTE: Itinerary subject to change. Premier Tours & Travel reserves the right to modify programs and itineraries (including arranged sightseeing, accommodations, aircraft, trains, vessels, and so forth) at any time due to unforeseen circumstances or circumstances beyond Premier Tours & Travel’s control. In the instance our Expert host cancels due to unforeseen circumstances, the tour will continue in its entirety. Every effort is made to operate our itineraries as planned but alterations may need to be made after the final itinerary has been issued. Airfare is not included.

 

Premier Experiences, Premier Advantages

  •  English-speaking Premier Director and local Premier representatives
     
  • Airport meet and greet
     
  • Private transfers
     
  • 3 nights in the beautiful and charming village of Grasse at La Bastide St. Antoine, a Relais & Chateaux hotel
     
  • 7-night stay at the beautiful Villa Le Mas de Belle Combe near the hilltop village of Gordes
     
  • Breakfast daily; select lunches
     
  • Welcome dinner in Grasse
     
  • Five Chef dinners with Chef Bob Waggoner /two Optional Cooking Lessons with Chef Bob
     
  • Two Chef dinners with a locally acclaimed French Chef
     
  • Hand-selected tastings at wineries and olive oil mill
     
  • Curated tours and experiences, including entrance fees and taxes
     
  • Internet (where available)
     
  • 24/7 Premier

 

ABOUT CHEF BOB WAGGONER
 


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.