Like planning a perfect meal, Kate Hill organizes her Culinary Adventures from charming introductions to in-depth explorations to sweet endings. Kate opens the doors to her favorite people, places, and food for very small groups of 6-8 friends- old and new. More interested in eating than cooking? How about we throw in some shopping, museums, history, and a glass of local wine? Then these are the weeks for you. Discover Gascony in Southwest France and all its riches from foie gras to armagnac, Roman mosaics to playing boules. Or join Kate on a capricious road trip through the Basque Countries of France and Spain or head for the very South of Spain- Seville and Andalucia. Each week is a self-contained adventure that weaves delicious food, art, history, and stories of the living treasures of local food producers. Want a private guide? Some trip planning? Just ask Kate. These are the special places she goes on her own days off in Europe and is delighted to share with you.
Insider's Gascony: Nerac, France
Insider’s Gascony is one of a kind, behind-the-scenes collaborative celebration of food and wine with a team of local bon vivants who love this part of France known as much as Kate does. Come to Gascony- eat, cook, celebrate, explore, shop, laugh!
Kate Hill has been teaching about and cooking this good food grown in Southwest France at Camont, her French farmhouse kitchen, since 1991. In her first book, ”A Culinary Journey in Gascony”, Kate explored the village markets and small farm producers who inspire the best chefs of France. Over the years, this collaboration expanded between Kitchen-at-Camont and the Chateau de Mazelières to help celebrate the Gascon art de vivre-both rustic and refined. Stay in this charming country Chateau while discovering the relaxed French life with new friends.
Gascony is nestled in the crook of the Garonne River between Bordeaux and Toulouse. A beautiful and most diverse agricultural area of France, Gascon cuisine reflects the gastronomic riches: foie gras to fine wines, farmstead charcuterie, armagnac, and lavish farmers’ markets sporting rainbows of fruit and vegetables. Join us and our good Gascon friends on an edible journey behind the Spring and Fall seasonal scenes of Gascony:
Stay in capacious sleeping chambers, with attached salons and kitchens in the beautiful 17th-century Chateau de Mazelières, makers of fine Côtes de Buzet wines, and discover a relaxed chateau life hosted by bon vivant Philippe Bon.
Roll up your sleeves in the warmth of Kate’s 18th century farmhouse Kitchen at Camont as we cook rustic French country dishes like cassoulet, poule-au-pot, and confit de canard at Camont. Dine in the garden, play a game of petanque, walk along the canal at Kate's culinary retreat.
Discover the secrets of French wine beyond Bordeaux and how to serve it the French way with delicious aperitifs. Côte de Buzet, Côte de Gascogne, Madiran, Cahors.
Roll through Armagnac Country sipping and warming up on one of France's most cherished eaux-de-vie with the people who distill it. Learn the secrets of choosing France's lesser known eau-de-vies.
Lunch and dine out at charming village bistros, riverside pique-niques, and Michelin-starred restaurants.
Enjoy free time to stroll the markets and small shops of Agen, Nerac, and Lectoure- three charming towns.
Visit a family duck farm to learn what it takes to produce some of Gascony's famous charcuterie- confit de canard, paté and foie gras, of course!
Create your own sweet memories of life in the French Slow Lane. Kate and her team will help you have a memorable week in Gascony.
Dates: Spring 2018 May 1-7; Autumn 2018 Sept 25-Oct 1 (other dates for groups available)
Rates: 4500€ per person double occupancy; single supplement 750€
Includes: 7 days/6 nights accommodation in double bedroom with private bathroom; all meals with the exception of one lunch; wine included with most meals; local transportation from Agen train station or airport; all excursions and entrance fees. Airfare and other transportation not included.
Basquelandia: Road Trip
French Pyrenees & San Sebastian coast
In the spirit of a true road trip, we stay in 3 different locations for 2 nights each moving from Seaside to Mountain to City and discovering the special charms of small family hotels and grand chef restaurants. Travel with Kate and discover!
I first made these forays along the Basque country back roads between sea and mountain about two decades ago, getting to know the people as well as the places, the eating joints- modest to extraordinary. I fell in love with a view, a taste, the scent of salty air. I like the small hotels and their everyday cooking in the French Pyrenees as well as the grand kitchens of Spain's coast. I like discovering new things for myself, and then sharing them with new friends.
Have you been wanting to eat your way through the seafood and pintxo bars of San Sebastian? Discover the secrets of great ham curing in the Pyrenees? Need to see the Basque pigs eating their share of acorns and chestnuts in open air parks? Or maybe just learn to say ‘thank you’ in Basque (Milesker!) so you can return again and again on your own? Come with Kate and discover the secrets of Basquelandia- part mythical, part cultural, all delicious! We meet you in Bordeaux on Day 1 and leave you in Bilbao on day 7; in between are kilometers of charcuterie, good food, and conviviality.
Stay at our favorite small charming hotels in St. Jean De Luz and Banka, and in the heart of the San Sebastian at the five-star Grand Hotel Maria-Christina. Eat at Three-Star Michelin restaurants to shepherd's favored picnic spots, and everything in between. Join Kate for a very special road trip! Write for a more detailed itinerary.
Itinerary: St. Jean de Luz, Banka, France; San Sebastian, Spain
Dates: June 5-11; Sept 13-19 2018
Rates: 4950€ per person double occupancy; single occupancy 750€
Includes: 7 days/6 nights accommodation in double bedroom with private bathroom; all meals with the exception of one lunch; wine included with most meals; local transportation from meeting point; all excursions and entrance fees. Airfare and other transportation not included.