Project Description

Culinary Delights in France

~ Brittany & Normandy, France ~

(April 30 – May 14, 2020)

FEATURING:

John GilchristCalgary’s foremost authority on international cuisines.

Philippe Legendre International Chef and educator in the fine art of French cuisine.

* learn more about each of these accomplished individuals by clicking on their respective names

Nantes, Brittany, France, Normandy and Juno Beach. Breton style culinary feasts.  Fleur de Sel and harvesting scallops.  Crepes and Salted Caramels. Markets and shopping. Seafood to spices and cheeses. Beaches and relaxation. Castles and Gothic Cathedrals. Wineries and Apple Ciders.

Brittany, the most northwest region of France, has one foot steeped in Celtic culture and the other firmly in French.  With a nod to  Great Britain across the English Channel, this “Lesser Britain” maintains its own language, character and culture.  Home to some of the world’s oldest standing architecture from the 5th Millennial BC, Brittany joined with France only in the 1500s.

Come with us as we explore the history, culture and cuisine of one of France’s least-known areas.

ITINERARY

DAY 1 – Thursday, April 30, 2020 Depart Calgary International Airport

Overnight: On Board Meals Included: on board – TBA

Meet TYW at the Calgary International Airport at 12:00 for your flight to Nantes, France via Amsterdam

KLM 678 departing at 3:10, arriving into Amsterdam at 8:05 +1

DAY 2 – Friday, May 1, 2020 Nantes to Quimper

Overnight: Oceania Quimper Hotel Meals Included: LD

Depart Amsterdam at 10:30 arriving into Nantes at 12:10 

12:10 Bonjour and Welcome to Nantes.

Upon your arrival into Nantes, you will be met by your tour director, Chef Philippe Legendre. 

After lunch and a short walk, continue to Quimper. 

~ Quimper is Brittany’s oldest city settled during the Roman times and still today fiercely proud of its Celtic heritage and Breton culture.  Enjoy your first taste of Brittany with a typical local Breton style dinner. Bon Appetit!

DAY 3 – Saturday, May 2, 2020 Quimper

Overnight: Oceania Quimper Hotel Meals Included: BL

Begin the day with a walking tour of Quimper including the old Bishops’ Palace and the Cathedral of St. Corentin, built in the 13th century, one of the oldest Gothic cathedrals in Brittany. Be sure to notice its stained glass windows and the two spires towering 75 metres above. Enjoy the medieval garden that has earned the ‘Remarkable Garden’. Be sure to stop by the shoppes for the famous pottery and embroidery,  including one name that’s not to be missed: the Henriot-Quimper Faience pottery works, a local institution.  Since 1708 Quimper faience (“faïence” in French) is painted by hand, and production continues to this day.  When in Quimper, one must visit the Manoir du Kinkiz for their exceptional award winning ciders. On your guided tour you will learn the art of distillation, then the creation of their perfected liqueurs and aperitifs enhanced with multiple flavors of local fruits. A votre santé ! www.kinkiz-terroir.bzh    Enjoy the rest of your free day.

It’s the season of the Saint Jacques in France ~ The harvesting of the scallop shell. (until the end of May)

On this occasion, the Domaine du Kinkiz offers a delicious recipe with this excellent shell and Pommeau de Bretagne AOC, Manoir du Kinkiz of course!

Scallops, Muslin sauce with Pommeau de Bretagne scents.   serves 4 people:

12 scallops 4 egg yolks 

100 g thick cream 15 cl Pommeau de Bretagne Kinkiz Manor 

30 g butter Salt and  pepper 

Preparation: 

The Muslin sauce: Cook in a bain-marie (double broiler) the 4 egg yolks, Kinkiz Pommel, the thick cream with salt and pepper while whisking until a slightly frothy sauce is obtained. Keep warm.  In a frying pan, melt the butter and cook the scallops with salt and pepper. Cooking must be fast (maximum 2 minutes per side) to brown the sides of the shells. Serve very hot on a sauce background.  Accompaniment: a leek fondue and sliced ​​apples sautéed in butter.

DAY 4 – Sunday May 3, 2020 Quimper with Carnac and Quiberon

Overnight: Oceania Quimper Hotel Meals Included: BLD

This morning head off to Carnac, best renowned for the Carnac Stones, one of the most extensive Neolithic collections in the world with over ten thousand prehistoric standing stones spread across three alignments. It is claimed that these stones were collected and erected by the pre-Celtic communities of Brittany

From Carnac, you will continue to the Quiberon, also known as the Peninsula of Dreams. Jutting out to sea for 9 miles (14km) you can enjoy the rugged coastline, sandy  beaches and quaint fishing villages. 

DAY 5 – Monday May 4, 2020 Quimper to Benodet

Overnight: Oceania Quimper Hotel Meals Included: BD

Today visit the quaint village of Port Maria used to be France’s main sardine fishing port and still keeps about 200 boats bobbing in the water.  The village of Saint-Pierre is best known as being the home of La Belle-Iloise fish cannery, where you can take a tour of the factory before enjoying a tasting. 

The big treat of the day is the Salted Butter Caramels ~ enjoy!

This afternoon, be prepared for a lesson in culinary ~ a hands on lesson that is dedicated to teaching the art of creating crepes and pancakes from grand-mère’s secret recipe. Bon Appetit!  

DAY 6 – Tuesday, May 5, 2020 Quimper to Rennes

Overnight: Le Saint Antoine, Rennes Meals Included: BL

Today we’re off to our third Breton city – the capital Rennes. Upon arrival we’ll enjoy lunch and a walking tour of the city, well known for its medieval half-timbered houses and grand Rennes Cathedral Parc du Thabor includes a rose garden and aviary. Most old Rennes was burnt down in 1720 when a fire ravaged the city, however some authentic areas still remain. See the 15th century Duchesne Tower, the Parliament, the Royal Palace and town mansions.  The rest of the day is your to explore.

DAY 7 – Wednesday, May 6, 2020 Rennes and St. Malo and Cancale

Overnight: Le Saint Antoine, Rennes Meals Included: BL

We’re off to the coast today to the port of St Malo for a walking tour and visit to La Maison du Beurre. Then we’ll shift to Cancale for seaside oysters, where these magnificent molluscs have been cultivated in this attractive fishing village for hundreds of years. Cancale’s oysters are of the hollow variety, grown by individual farmers in a park, whose beds can be seen at low tide with  more than 15,000 tonnes are produced each year.

DAY 8 – Thursday, May 7, 2020 Rennes to Bayeux and Juno Beach

Overnight: Le Saint Antoine, Rennes Meals Included: BD

Bayeux ~ home of the famous Norman Tapestries, also known as “La Telle du Conquest”. This medieval work of art, stitched in 1067, is really a 70 metre long embroidered scroll, which depicts, in 58 scenes, the epic story of William of Normandy’s conquest of England in 1066. Also visit the incredible Notre Dame de Bayeux, an interesting Gothic cathedral with an 11th-century Norman-Romanesque nave dating from the times of William the Conqueror.

After lunch continue your adventures travelling north to Normandy to the Juno Beach Centre including the D Day beaches. This museum and cultural centre opened on June 6, 2003. It represents the war effort made by all Canadians during the Second World War and is dedicated to the 3rd Division landings as well as Canada’s full involvement during the war. Before returning to Rennes, stop to see the Mulberry Harbor in Arromanches and the 360 cinema depicting ‘Normandy’s 100 days” with 19 minutes of an exceptional archive of unseen film footage collected from around the world.

DAY 9 – Friday, May 8, 2020 Rennes and Dinan

Overnight: Le Saint Antoine, Rennes Meals Included: BD

After breakfast we are off to historic Dinan today for a morning walking tour. Dinan is without doubt one of the most attractive and best preserved small towns in all of Brittany, with its 1.8 mile long ramparts, 18th century half-timbered houses, attractive port and cobbled streets filled with art galleries and craft shops. Dinan has also been designated a Ville d’Art et d’Histoire (Town of Art and History) where the town is filled with artists, sculptors, engravers, bookbinders, glassblowers and more.

Have fun shopping! Return to Rennes for dinner.

DAY 10 – Saturday, May 9, 2020 Rennes to Mont St. Michel 

Overnight: Le Saint Antoine, Rennes Meals Included: BD

This morning transfer to Mont-Saint-Michel. This tiny island is set in the mesmerizing bay where Normandy and Brittany merge and is linked to the mainland by a 2 km long causeway. Enjoy the view of the bay area which is a UNESCO world heritage site. Visit the Abbey of Mont St. Michel, one of the most popular attractions outside of Paris welcoming over 2.5 million guests per year.  Spend the rest of your day here exploring, before returning to Rennes for dinner.

DAY 11 – Sunday May 10, 2020 Rennes to Nantes with a stop in Vannes and Guerande

Overnight: Mercure Nantes Centre Meals Included: BD

Nantes ~ Nantes, a city on the Loire River, once the capital of Brittany with a long history as a port and industrial center. It’s home to the restored, medieval Château des Ducs de Bretagne, where the Dukes of Brittany once lived. 

On the way, we’ll stop in Guérande. Here they say it is worth its salt!  Take a tour and hear the stories about the towns salty history and walk along it’s ramparts, wandering  through its narrow streets filled with arts and crafts, galleries and speciality food shops.   Next, visit Terre de Sel in Pradel; here you can learn about salt harvesting and visit a salt pond with a paludier (salt harvester). Fleur de Sel ~ a great souvenir to carry home. 

Next, you are off to Vannes, another walled town characterized by narrow cobbled streets and medieval gates. On your walk, take in the beautiful Chateau Gaillard, the walled gardens and the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Vannes, blending both  Romanesque and Gothic styles, while Place des Lices square is lined with colorful half-timber houses. The harbor, to the south, features restaurants and boats that cruise the Gulf of Morbihan.  End this great day in Nantes with Dinner.  

DAY 12 – Monday, May 11, 2020 Nantes

Overnight: Mercure Nantes Centre Meals Included: BL

After breakfast, take a leisurely walking tour of Old Town, Nantes. Begin your journey with a market visit ~ starting with ‘The Food and Wine Talensac Market’, Nantes’ oldest and largest market opened on 8th January 1937, specializing in local producers from Brittany and Vendée, the Loire Valley and the Nantes region. From the freshest of seafood to spices and cheeses – you will everything at the Talensac Market. After lunch continue with a full walking tour of Nantes, including the Château des Ducs de Bretagne, the centre of Old Nantes, the Cathedral, along the Erdre River, the Place Royale, the Passage Pommeraye and the Place Graslin.                 https://www.marche-talensac.fr/ 

DAY 13 – Tuesday, May 12, 2020 Nantes with a visit to Angers 

Overnight: Mercure Nantes Centre Meals Included: BD

After breakfast board your private coach to Angers, situated on the border of the Loire Valley. Tour the medieval Angers Castle, built in 1231. Here you will see the famous Apocalypse Tapestry, measuring 100 yards in length. This incredible piece of art portrays the end of the world as described in the Book of Revelation; really a piece of propaganda commissioned by Louis, King Henry which features in the tapestry as a seven-headed monster.

Only a short drive from Angers is the 15th century Domaine du Closel Chateau de Vaults winery where we will have a tour and tasting. 

The taste of an exceptional landscape !

“The family vineyard Les Vins Domaine du Closel is located at the Chateau de Vaults winery in Savennières, Grand Cru of the Loire Valley. We shape, manage and develop the biodiversity in our vineyards be respecting and preserving the natural cycles in the ecosystem Tha authentic and lively wines we produce are expressions of our land, our work in the vineyard, and the harmony we strive to maintain. We are artisanal winemakers, artisans of taste and the art of French living. To visit and discover our dry white, red, rosés and sparkling wines is to taste Chenin Blanc from Savennières and Cabernet Franc from Anjou, feel under your feet the slopes of our slate hillsides warmed by the sun of Anjou, be dazzled by the light of the Loire, inhale the fragrances of old roses, hear the ocean breeze rustling in the foliage of the park’s old trees, experience a beautiful page of history in a traditional Anjou mansion.”  ~ Evelyne de Pontbriand, Vigneronne / Winemaker

After lunch, return to Nantes followed by a dinner of crepes and galettes.

DAY 14 – Wednesday, May 13, 2020 Nantes to Saumur 

Overnight: Mercure Nantes Centre Meals Included: BD

We  drive to Chateau de Saumur, the historic town is located between the Loire and Thouet rivers, and is surrounded by breathtaking vineyards. During Germany’s occupation of France in World War II, Saumur was best known as the site of the Battle of Saumur (1940) where the town and south bank of the Loire was defended with great honor by the teenage cadets, also known as the Cadre Noir. Among many celebrities calling Saumur home, most notably it was the birthplace of internationally renowned fashion designer Ms. Coco Chanel (1883-1971).

Combier is also the home of the world’s first triple sec, and is made according to the exact specifications of a proprietary recipe created in 1834 by Jean-Baptiste Combier and his wife Josephine. Enjoy your tour and tasting of liqueurs. 

“Comparing Combier to conventional triple sec is like comparing a Monet to a kid’s finger painting” – Tasting Panel

DAY 15 – Thursday, May 14, 2020 International flight

Overnight: On Board Meals Included: B/On board, TBA

Early morning departure from Nantes for your flight to Calgary via Amsterdam

Air France departing at 07:40, arriving into Amsterdam at 09:30

KLM 677, departing Amsterdam at 12:25, arriving into Calgary at 13:25

B – Breakfast    L – Lunch   D – Dinner

Inclusions

  • 13 nights accommodations 
  • Great breakfasts, 6 lunches and 9 unforgettable dinners
  • All private transfers
  • Your private and professional TYW tour director, Chef Philippe Legendre
  • Amazing culinary experiences with crepes, caramels, oysters and so much more

Exclusions

  • All gratuities
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Items of personal nature
  • Mandatory Travel Insurance

TRAVEL FACTS – 

Luggage Allowance:  

Allowances are governed by each airline. Please confirm with your airline of choice.  If you choose to fly with John Gichrist on the air package offered by Travel Your World, one piece of luggage is included.

Travel Visa: 

Not required at the time of this post if travelling with a Canadian passport.  However, modifications to this policy are determined by each country and can change without notice.

Climate:

May in Brittany: Highs of 18° & lows of 10°

May in Normandy: Highs of 18° & lows of 10°

Currency –  Euro

*Please note: This tour is subject to final edits.

TOUR PACKAGE PRICE:

$6,860.00 Land Only

Based on 25 participants in shared accommodations

$7,285.00 Land Only

Based on 22 participants in shared accommodations

$7,860.00 Land Only

Based on 20 participants in shared accommodations

Single supplement is an additional $1,200.00

*Add 4% to the above rates for credit card payment.

Join John Gilchrist and Travel Your World representative, Heather Richards, in flight with air rates of $1366.50, inclusive of air taxes.  *Minimum 10 passengers required for this group air rate.

For alternate air quotes and reservations contact  tours@tyw.ca  | 780.739.2245

– For enquiries please contact tours@tyw.ca –

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