Top Stops Along the Vallée de la Gastronomie

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Top Stops Along the Vallée de la Gastronomie

Note: This article is part of a bigger magazine feature called “Welcome to the Pleasure Drôme.”

Have you heard about the new tourism concept called the Vallée de la Gastronomie? Here are some of the highlights in Provence, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Burgundy-Franche-Comté.

Meet Chef Patrick Bertron

Enjoy an overnight stay at 5-star Relais Bernand Loiseau at Saulieu, Burgundy, plus a six-course meal in the Michelin- starred restaurant, a private visit to the wine cellars and a meeting with Michelin-starred chef Patrick Bertron. www.bernard-loiseau.com

Portrait of Chef Patrick Bertron in black and white

Chef Patrick Bertron

Calissons at La Confiserie du Roy René

Confiserie du Roy René, renowned maker of calissons, Provençe’s famous sweet treat, is also home to the Musée du Calisson. Here, amongst two hectares of almond trees, you can explore its history and production. www.calisson.com/fr

Exterior of Confiserie du Roy René

Confiserie du Roy René

Wine Tasting Truck

Take a tour of the vineyards around Juliénas, Fleurie and Moulin-à-Vent in a 1964 vintage Volkswagen. With a tutored tasting, you’ll sample the wines in situ from the very parcels of vines within which you’re stopping, together with charcuterie and cheese. www.chateaudejulienas.com

A tour of people in front of 1964 vintage Volkswagen in a vineyard

Wine Tasting in a 1964 vintage Volkswagen

La Grotte Saint-Marcel

Guided by caving and wine-tasting experts, take a special underground tour of the Grotte de Saint-Marcel, in the Ardèche. In complete darkness, your sense of smell and taste are enhanced, allowing a tutored tasting of Côtes du Rhône wines from the area. www.grotte-ardeche.com

A few people in boiler suits kneeling in Grotte Saint-Marcel

Grotte Saint-Marcel

Côté Fish

Regarded as one of the premium platforms for the sale of fish and seafood from the Mediterranean. Côté Fish will take you on its boat, the Saint Paul II, for a picnic lunch on board, with ultra-fresh seafood and a choice of other local products to taste. www.cotefish.fr

Two men, a chef and a fisherman in front of the Mediterannean sea - Côté Fish

Côté Fish

Balades Gourmandes

Choose between a one- or two-day programme of walking based in Côté Fish (northwest of Lyon) with a lunch stop for a picnic made up of choice local produce, followed by dinner and an overnight stay in a local chambre d’hôtes. www.arbresletourisme.fr

A couple sitting on the grass underneath a tree - Balades Gourmandes

Balades Gourmandes

Les Secrets de la Gastronomie Lyonnaise

The city of Lyon is renowned for its gastronomic prowess and high-quality restaurants. Enjoy a gastronomic tasting tour of the historic city where you’ll discover the savoir-faire of its chefs. The tour is in French. www.visiterlyon.com

Gastronomie Lyonnaise - a few people trying some food

Gastronomie Lyonnaise

Terre de Bières

Situated in Villefranche-sur-Saône, microbrewery Terre de Bières has been producing beers and artisan lemonade for 13 years and has gained a reputation for its inventive use of local ingredients such as chestnuts, honey and Gamay grapes. www.terredebieres.fr

Terre de Bières products on a tabletop

Terre de Bières

Maison du Riz

Discover the culture of growing rice in the Camargue at this dedicated exhibition centre. You’ll find out all about the fascinating history of rice- growing in the area through guided demonstrations and walks through the rice fields. www.maisonduriz.com

exterior of Maison du riz in the Camargue

Maison du Riz

Les Sablés Marseillais

A speciality of Marseille, discover both sweet and savoury sablé biscuits at this artisan biscuiterie, which uses 100% organic ingredients and has impressive eco-responsible credentials. The family business still uses traditional recipes handed down by the generations. www.lessablesmarseillais.com

Sweet and savoury Sablé biscuits in the shape of fish

Les Sablés Marseillais

Pique-Niques Dans Les Vignes de Beaujolais

Enjoy a lunch or evening picnic on a private estate among the Beaujolais vines. You’ll begin with a wine tasting followed by a choice of three pre-booked picnic menus to suit your budget from €15 to €45. www.destination-beaujolais.com/en

A few people having lunch on a table with red and white checkered tablecloth

Vignes de Beaujolais

Domaine Le Loup Bleu

Under the gaze of the Sainte-Victoire mountain, the Domaine Le Loup Bleu, at Puyloubier, is a family vineyard producing organic AOP Côtes de Provence wines. Discover the world of organic agriculture and walk among the vines and nature reserve. www.le-loup-bleu.com

A beautiful landscape - Le Loup Bleu

Le Loup Bleu

From France Today magazine

Want to be inspired by more French foodie experiences and enjoy classic French food, wine and recipes? Head to our sister website, Taste of France, here.

Images © Provence Tourisme, Etienne Ramousse/Destination Beaujolais, Vallée de la Gastronomie – France, Xavier Couraud, Lyon Tourisme et Congrès, Terre de Bières, Gil Zetbase/Wikimedia Commons

Lead photo credit : L'essentiel de Lavande picnic from France Today Magazine Issue 187

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Caroline is a freelance writer with a focus on European travel. She has toured all areas of France, but none more so than the Loire Valley where she finds the combination of rich historical culture, rural landscape and exceptional architecture - not to mention outstanding wine - an irresistible lure to return again and again. Says Caroline, "With the focus over the next three years on the Loire Valley's connection to Leonardo da Vinci, lovers of art, architecture and French culture are in for a treat when visiting the region with the many additional events and activities on offer." Caroline is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers.