A wonderful way to get a look into life in France is by visiting local food markets. French Side Travel has a fabulous network of expert guides and professional chefs to show you the best of the each market along with regional and seasonal specialties. Read on to discover part two of the ultimate foodie experiences in France.
The Ultimate Foodie Experiences in France: Part Two
Marseille: Private Gourmet Tour Including Cassis and Bandol
Experience the best of Provence with both foods and wines in Marseille and the east coast.
Discover the highlights of Marseille, the second-largest city in France. You will learn all about the particularities that make this city so unique. You will cross the Phocéenne town from the famous old harbor to the Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica and through the winding seaside roads, called the corniche.
Next, travel across beautiful landscapes along the road from Cassis to La Ciotat. Once a very important shipyard in Europe, La Ciotat now focuses on the yacht industry. Enjoy free time to stroll along its little charming harbor.
After La Ciotat, you will reach the region of Bandol which is famous for its vineyards, especially rosé wines. You will have the opportunity to discover behind the scenes of an enchanting Domaine hidden in the hills, with a private wine tasting by a passionate winemaker. The winemaker will be happy to share his savoir faire and secrets. Taste wines while enjoying a breathtaking view of the colored rocky massif of Sainte-Baume.
Nice: Market Tour, Cooking Class and Lunch
Start your day at the famous Cours Saleya market. The narrow maze of centuries-old streets in Vieux Nice opens up onto this splendid market space lined with bars, cafés, and restaurants on either side, with market stalls down the center. You will get to shop like a true Niçois, sample locally-grown produce, and meet the farmers.
Though the bigger stalls are the most eye-catching thanks to their bright colors, what is really interesting are the small producers’ stands. The fruit and vegetables are not as uniformly shaped, but every ingredient is local and much of the produce is organic. Choose a menu focused around the best seasonal produce. Of course, there will be cheese and wine to make the meal complete!
After the market visit, it’s time to head to the cooking studio where you will help prepare the meal. No need to worry if you are a beginner – the atmosphere is relaxed! After cooking, sit down to an authentic Niçois meal and toast your efforts with a glass of local wine. This experience will truly give you a hands-on introduction to Nice’s cuisine and culture.
Where to Stay in Nice
This famous 5-star property has overlooked one of the French Riviera’s most beautiful bays for a century. Unique and timeless, it is one of the most elegant hotels in Europe, and it has been classified as a historical monument. Facing the Mediterranean Sea on the famous Promenade des Anglais, the hotel is just a few minutes’ walk from Nice’s historical center.
The hotel has attracted a veritable “who’s who” of international clientele, kings of the old and the new world, and many of the world’s rich and famous have signed the guest book: Salvador Dali, Princess Grace of Monaco, the Beatles, Louis Armstrong, and Elton John. Jeanne Augier, the owner of the Palace since 1957, has devoted her life to the preservation and the development of this unique heritage. Staying at this hotel is stepping into French history and culture.
The perfect combination of historic and contemporary is the property’s trademark. Equipped and personalized with exceptional period furniture, each one of the 128 rooms and 26 suites draws its inspiration from the most remarkable French art periods from Louis XIII style to modern art.
Have your breakfast under the copolla imagined by Gustave Eiffel, have lunch in the Rotonde restaurant surrounded by white horses and have dinner at the Chantecler, the Michelin star restaurant. And inbetween, why not having a drink at the warm and welcoming bar.
Rhône Region: Evening Wine and Cheese Cruise Along the Rhône River
Perfect for a summer evening, enjoy a memorable evening aboard an elegant boat on a cruise along the Rhône River between the Saint-Joseph hillsides and the Hermitage Hill. You’ll enjoy both the wines and landscapes of these two well-known appellations.
The gorgeous wooden boat is outfitted with two terraces on the front and back. It offers a great connection with the environment and ensures a festive and convivial moment. Cruise along the river while tasting three wines accompanied by an assortment of regional products including caillette and goat cheeses. Children are welcome and can enjoy local fruit juices.
Paris: Private Tour of the Best Foodie Shops in Paris
This gourmet guided tour in Paris is an excellent opportunity to discover the history of French food as well as spotlight French chefs. Your food expert guide will share with you this savoir-faire that has forever defined French gastronomy.
Discover the best pastries in Paris and the latest trends in pastries with chefs like Pierre Hermé, Christophe Michalak, Thierry Marx and Philippe Conticini. Of course, you will get to sample their “signature” recipes, which are a mix between culinary tradition and innovation.
During this food-centric walking tour, you will enter in some Meilleurs Ouvriers de France’s shops, a title which since 1924 has been awarded to the best French craftsmen including butchers, bakers, ice cream makers, chocolate makers, confectioners, cheesemakers and fishmongers.
Provence: Luberon Villages and Markets Tour
Explore the Luberon’s charming markets and villages and enjoy an authentic Provençal market experience. The market schedule changes based on the day of the week, but you can expect the itinerary to include a combination of the best sites and villages like Gordes, Roussillon, Lourmarin, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, the Abbey of Sénanque, and Apt.
The area is stunning. Take in Rousillon’s vibrant ochre-colored homes, the lavender fields in Senanque in June and July, Gordes’ medieval streets, and L’Isle-Sur-la-Sorgue’s gentle canals. Of course, this tour will also engage all of your senses and include wonderful tastings of local specialties. Definitely an ultimate foodie experience in France!
Market days are as follows: Gordes on Tuesdays, Roussillon on Thursdays, Lourmarin on Fridays, Apt on Saturdays, L’Isle-Sur-la-Sorgue on Sundays.
Where to Stay in Provence
Hotel Villa La Coste
Situated halfway between the historic town of Aix-en-Provence, home of Cezanne, and the famous Luberon Nature Park, this Palace hotel is set in the midst of the Provençal landscape, in the heart of a biodynamic vineyard. It is an international destination for art, architecture, and natural beauty.
The property features 28 Villa Suites, surrounded by gardens, herbs and flowers and each opening onto a spacious terrace offering expansive views over vines and valley. The hotel’s contemporary architecture is emphasized by local materials and embraces the natural setting.
The close-to-nature philosophy runs through in each of the four contrasting restaurants, all of which feature organic produce.
The Spa with its clean lines, natural stones and light wood convey contemporary elegance in keeping with the spirit of the property. 100% natural treatments featuring regional ingredients: oils from Provençal plants and flowers, mineral salts, clays and more are used.
We hope part two of the list of ultimate foodie experiences in France helps to inspire future travel. Click here to read part one. French Side Travel would love to help you plan a dream trip to France with a custom, completely tailor-made itinerary. Some of our favorite destinations in France include Paris, the South of France, Normandy, and Paris. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!