On luxury European barge cruises, guests are treated to exclusive gourmet experiences both onboard and ashore, and the Barge Ladies predict that this season’s hungry passengers will dig right in!
Onboard, even the most fervent of foodies are sure to be pleased with gourmet meals crafted from locally sourced ingredients and casual cooking lessons in demonstration kitchens. Culinary excursions ashore entice with authentic tastes and handmade treats; tasting pastries from boutique bakeries, shopping with Chef at regional markets, and sampling small batch spirits with the distillery’s owners are just a handful of the appetizing activities guests can enjoy.
You’re invited to put together a fantastic cheese board, pour a glass of your favorite adult beverage, and join the Barge Ladies for a tantalizing tour of three exciting culinary experiences debuting on the idyllic canals of France. Bon Appetit and Chin-Chin!
PICK PRODUCE FROM A GOURMET GARDEN
What could be more fun for epicureans and Europhiles than to join Chef in selecting and preparing seasonal produce from an historic French garden? On the barge Renaissance sailing in the Upper Loire, passengers will discover the Château de La Bussière, privately owned by the de Chasseval family since 1814.
“Surrounded by a lake, this castle is celebrated for its expansive grounds of ornamental flowers, beautifully manicured fruit trees, and a kitchen garden devoted to growing fresh vegetables, juicy berries, and regional botanicals,” Barge Lady Ellen reveals.
After guests pick their own veggies, fruits, and and herbs, they are treated to an onsite cooking demonstration from their private Chef in the castle’s kitchen. With French produce this fresh, tasting the culinary history and cultural heritage of the Upper Loire has never been more delicious!
Barge Lady Cruise Correspondent Kerri McConnel dishes out the details about the Renaissance’s food and wine experience here.
TASTE AND TOUR WITH A WINEMAKING FAMILY
A toast to the vines and wines of the Cote d’Or in Southern Burgundy! For five generations, the vineyards of Domaine Rion have been a family affair, and the lucky oenophiles onboard the barge L’Impressionniste are warmly welcomed into the past, present, and future of this boutique winery.
“Fourth generation owners Armelle and Bernard Rion love to share the story of their precious grapes,” says resident wine expert Barge Lady Lori. “The fruit is grown without insecticides or herbicides, gently harvested by hand, and patiently vinified using traditional French methods.”
Barge Lady guests will meet-and-greet Rion family members, explore the vineyards, tour the cellar, and, best of all, taste the variety of Premier Cru appellations and award-winning vintages for which this domaine has been celebrated since its inception in 1896. Be sure to raise a glass to the Barge Ladies!
Take a sip of this guest blog from Laura Aplin, Tour Guide of the barge Savoir Vivre, who divulges insider secrets on how to say “Cheers” as the French do.
FRESH FEASTS IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE
Exclusive to the Saraphina’s onboard dining program, guests are now served an array of wholesome salads, savory side dishes, and delicious drinks, all crafted with ingredients that Chef Emily Campfens grows in her kitchen garden. While history did not foretell that she might become a successful horticulturist (“I’ve been known to kill mint,” she laughs), Chef Emily has proved a fast learner and natural gardener.
“I’ve always wanted to cook for my barge guests with local, organic, and fresh produce,” Chef Emily enthuses. “And now I am literally picking a tomato to be eaten there and then.”
She now proudly harvests potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, apricots, cherries, and many more garden grown goodies, happily introducing her pampered passengers to the Canal du Midi’s rustic bounty. Of course, Emily’s light and flavorful cuisine is paired with local wines from the Languedoc, ensuring an approachable introduction to the region’s emerging vineyards.
Want to nibble on even more of the fresh feasts served in the south of France on the Saraphina? Then click here.
Let’s eat! For more information about the food and wine in the Upper Loire, click here. For a Barge Lady’s review on Southern Burgundy’s cuisine, click here. To book a culinary cruise in any of the regions listed above, click here.