May 31st – June 2nd
July 28th- July 30th
August 3rd – August 6th
October 28th – October 30th
If you are already living or vacationing in France these short weekend getaways are a perfect combination of enjoyment, travel and learning, limited to groups of no more than six people. Unleash your esprit d’aventure (spirit of adventure) this spring, summer and fall on these guided, small group tours or individually anytime throughout the year.
“ Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment.” Elliott Erwitt
May 31st – June 2nd – Bring your photographic skills to another level and be guided by Colby Chester through a landscape as beautiful as it is less traveled. Discover spectacular photographic opportunities, experience highly personalized instruction and savor wonderful local flavors over lunch during the course of the day. Included in this weekend are one evening session, and optional critiques, as well as three printed images of your choice. One on one, full-day sessions can be arranged by contacting Colby directly – firstname.lastname@example.org. DSLR, point and shoot, and film cameras are preferred. Sensor minimum: 10 mpx. Tablets and cell phone photography are not encouraged.
“Wine is the only thing that makes men happy for no reason.” Saul Steinberg
July 28th – July 30th – Taste and learn about the wines of the Gers départment, known in insider circles as the “new Bordeaux”, on this enthusiast’s tour led by oenologist, Tom Fiorina. Visit charming, local, family-run wineries and familiarize yourself with the history and process of production in this region. Learn the fine points of local varietals, vintages and appellations for a better understanding of how winemaking is central to this region’s local way of life. Tours and dégustations of Pellehaut, Villa Dria, Chirolet, Plaimont and Madiran wines at Chateau Viella in the Haute-Pyrénées départment. Not sold in the United States, Madiran wines have the highest level of anti-oxidants in southern France.
“I quite like antiques. I like things that are old and the history they bring with them. I would rather fly to Morocco on an $800 ticket and buy a chair for $300 than spend $1,100 on one at Pottery Barn.” Walton Goggins
August 3rd – August 6th – Flea markets (vide-greniers) gather crowds of devotees and onlookers in search of a bargain, a rare item, a decorating idea or a souvenir. The Barcelone-du-Gers vide-grenier is the top of the list of must-see flea markets which takes place the first Thursday in August. Join me on this 4 day antiquing extravaganza. Friday we’ll visit the 13th century Château des Brocanteurs, an antique treasure chest in the bastide of Lectoure. Saturday we’ll wander the vide-grenier in the old Roman village of Eauze and on Sunday we’ll choose the best offering to punctuate this long weekend, a private tour of a local château on the registry of historic places.
“It makes disappear redness and burning of the eyes, and stops them from tearing; it cures hepatitis, sober consumption adhering. It cures gout, cankers, and fistula by ingestion; restores the paralyzed member by massage; and heals wounds of the skin by application. It enlivens the spirit, partaken in moderation, recalls the past to memory, renders men joyous, preserves youth and retards senility. And when retained in the mouth, it loosens the tongue and emboldens the wit.” 14th century Cardinal, Prior Vital Dufour
October 28th – October 30th – Liberate your senses with Armagnac, the oldest French brandy, on this Armagnac Festival weekend, led by oenologist, Tom Fiorina at the end of October. Armaganc en Fête takes place in the village of Labastide d’Armagnac in the Landes départment. You’ll receive an empty glass and the opportunity to sample from every small, family run distillery in the famous Bas-Armagnac region. Lunch will be prepared by Slow Food International in the village square. The following day we’ll visit Domaine de Ognoas, for a tasting and guided tour of their incredible estate. And, on Sunday we’ll visit Domaine de Saoubis, the only organic, sustainable Armagnac distillery in the area.
* Transportation and lunch with wine are included on these weekends unless otherwise arranged. Visit the Savoir Faire page for pricing and further details.