Chocolate and wine are perhaps the most evocative legal substances on Earth. Combining them makes for a stellar cruise theme brought to you by the one of the most qualified and charismatic couples in barging, Captain Jason Ashcroft and Chef Dawn Coles.
Having met circa 2000 while crewing on other canal cruises, each of them bring an extraordinary skill set to the Saroche’s superlative barging experience. Together Dawn and Jason have created a signature cruise program, immersing guests into Southern Burgundy’s compelling cultural treasures.
A lifelong foodie, Chef Dawn is a graduate of the prestigious Concord Hotel and Restaurant Management Scheme in the UK, with a personal passion for French cuisine. Having established close relationships with local producers and purveyors, Dawn relies on the region’s freshest ingredients for her seasonal menus and creative recipes. Her artistic plating and vibrant table settings are sure to further delight even the most exacting of epicureans.
Unique to the Saroche, Chef Dawn invites guests into her demonstration kitchen each afternoon for an informal cooking lesson as she crafts the evening’s dinner selections. Locally-sourced meats, produce, and cheeses are in the spotlight as Dawn reveals the secrets to contemporary French culinary techniques, much to the delight of the foodies and Francophiles who will then consume her gourmet creations!
Captain Jason earned his degree in hospitality from the renowned Ecole du Hotelier on the shores of Lac Leman; after stints in Switzerland, England, and East Africa, Jason finally landed on the French canals, where his pedigree met the demands of hotel barges with an emphatic simpatico. In addition to serving as the Captain and Tour Guide aboard Saroche, Jason is also an accomplished Chef and avid wine enthusiast.
Aligned with Dawn and Jason’s sophisticated palettes, excursions introduce guests to many local attractions, among them an indulgent exploration into the aforementioned pleasures of chocolate and wine. Guests enjoy special samplings at Cote d’Or vineyards both large and small, while a tasting at a boutique chocolatier appeals to, well, everybody.
Cabins are cheerfully designed in a country cottage style, offering ample storage and modern bathrooms. When not socializing in the salon, guests can laze in the hot tub, or explore the countryside’s greenery and scenery by bicycle or on foot.
Last visited in 2015