SETE GOURMET WALKING TOUR

Join your English speaking host for an intimate and unique gourmet walking tour of Sète. Stroll the streets along the canals of the “Venice” of France, past historical buildings while sampling local specialities, meeting merchants and getting historical and culturals tips. The visit will include delights such as pastry and chocolate, fine foods, cheeses and wines. Your culinary adventure will also take you to “les Halles” the harbour’s colourful and authentic fish and seafood market. On market days (Wednesday), the true scents and flavours of southern France will be abundant where you will discover seasonal produce and how to use it at home.

Nancy loves to write about her food experiences in France. Have a look at her posts on the “Romance of Roquefort“, “Cheese Etiquette“, “Who’s got the World’s Best Oysters?” and more on Barefoot Bloggers special section. Absolutely Southern French Food and Etiquette.
http://bfblogger.com/absolutely-southern-french-food-and-etiquette/

Testimonials
“Nancy McGee has created a small marvel.Rather than the traditional tours of sights she gives you precious insight to the culture and people of Sete,through the medium of its unique culinary delights.Into her experiential tour she also weaves fascinating stories that bring this unusual town to life.A must for anyone who loves to get beneath the surface of a place.”
October 2013 – Nigel Barlow UK

Shelly and I truly enjoyed yesterday ..was our highlight in Sete ..your tour gave us such insights into Sete ..that we would have not experienced on our own .At each stop we encountered vendors who were both professional and informative ..and had a real passion for there field !
We will tell Trip Advisor the Rick Stevens !!
Thanks again for such a wonderful experience !!

Sue & Shelly Sept 2013

Other unique and exclusive experiences available in Sète : – Cooking workshop from 10am to 2pm, Boat outing to oyster beds and sampling with local wines. Vineyard tasting and tours in a vintage Citroen 2HP…
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MEDITERRANEAN “Hands on” cooking workshop

With your local experienced French chef in Sète, learn how to prepare a fine three course meal with freshest ingredients and cooking in a typical French kitchen. You will be able to enjoy the meal together and partake your creations with a helping of some beautiful local wine from 10am to 2pm : 75 euros per person (min 6 – max 8). Your chef can also hold a private workshop in your holiday home in the area or cook your evening meals. Quotation on request.

Absolutely’s services featured in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

2013 Best Summer Trip #5

A network of canals and bridges crisscrosses this working port-seaside resort on southern France’s Languedoc coast. Sandwiched between oyster-rich Thau lagoon and the Mediterranean, and trailed by a kite-tail strip of sandy beaches, unassuming Sète delivers abundant sun, sea, sand, and seafood under the well-trod tourist radar.

When to Go: June-August; August 22-27, Festival of Saint Louis Joutes Nautiques, traditional Languedoc water jousting competitions staged on the Canal Royal.

How to Get Around: Start with a hike or taxi ride up 564-foot Mont St. Clair for an overview of the city, lagoon, and sea. Then head to the city center and meander along the main Canal Royal, lined with outdoor seafood restaurants and dockside bars. Beaches are on the public bus route, and most other destinations are easily reached on foot or by the ubiquitous powerboats. Sète is also the starting point for westward sails along the Canal du Midi.

Where to Eat or Drink: Dining at Terre & Mer is like pulling up a chair to a foodie friend’s crowded kitchen table. The lively market-bistro specializes in fresh oysters and mussels (straight from the lagoon). Limited seating makes reservations a must.

Where to Stay: Splurge on corner, canal-side lodging at the 43-room Le Grand Hôtel de Sète for the floor-to-ceiling windows, main canal views, and refreshing breezes off the private balcony. The vintage belle epoque facade conceals an airy, glass-roofed courtyard where the daily breakfast buffet is served. Walk from here to the marina, shops, art galleries, and seafood restaurants.

What to Buy: Canadian Nancy McGee’s Absolutely Southern France arranges custom shop, cook, and eat tours; gourmet walking tours; and local oyster bed excursions. Shop in the Sète’s fresh seafood and produce markets with a local chef and English-speaking guide, and then turn your ingredients into a traditional French meal.

Fun Fact: Jousters may get all the glory at the Festival of Saint-Louis joutes nautiques, but water jousting is actually a team sport. Each jouster is perched atop a wooden platform (tintaine) extending out from the end of a long wooden boat. Ten rowers (usually local fishermen) power the boats, and, before and during each match, an onboard drummer and oboist pump up the team by playing traditional jousting tunes.

Absolutely Southern France Receives 2013 TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence Award

 
CONTACT: Nancy McGee
 
BUSINESS: Absolutely Southern France
PHONE NUMBER:  +33 613 231035
EMAIL: nancy@southernfranceluxury.com
 
GOURMET WALKING TOUR OF SETE (France)  EARNS 2013 TRIPADVISOR CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE
 
Honoured as a Top Performing Tour as Reviewed by Travellers on the
World’s Largest Travel Site

 
Sète France May 23rd 2013 –– Absolutely Southern France (ASF)  today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 per cent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.
 
To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travellers on TripAdvisor, and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.
 
“ASF  is pleased to receive a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence,” said Nancy McGee, Director of ASF. “We strive to offer our customers a memorable experience, and this accolade is evidence that our hard work is translating into positive reviews on TripAdvisor. With 30 visiting luxury cruise ships and visitors from around the world, Sète is growing in importance as a tourist destination. Because France is known for its food and wine tradition, I identified a need to offer a gourmet experience and at the same time a glimpse of the town’s many attractions and local colour. “
 

Absolutely Southern France’s Gourmet Walking tour is an intimate and unique culinary adventure in  Sète. An English speaking guide will accompany groups of no more than six along the canals of the “Venice” of France, past historical and cultural attractions, while sampling local specialities and meeting merchants. The visit will include delights such as pastry, oysters, cheeses, wines and other fine foods. Visitors will discover the true scents and flavours of southern France while visiting the outdoor and indoor acclaimed markets with their unrivalled displays of fish, seafood and abundant local seasonal  produce.  The merchants, whose expertise is often handed down through several generations, are always delighted to explain how to prepare their produce.
Following the success of the gourmet walking tours in Sète, ASF is now offering a similar experience in nearby Montpellier.
 
ASF  provides it services and local knowledge to travellers who are looking for   unique and customized experiences such as wine tours, yoga tours and much more  on the Riviera, Provence and the Languedoc regions.

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MONTPELLIER GOURMET WALKING TOUR

> Join your English speaking host for an intimate and unique gourmet walking tour of Montpellier. Stroll the streets past historical buildings while sampling local specialties, meeting merchants and getting historical and cultural tips. The visit will include delights such as pastry, olive oil, fine foods, cheeses and wines. Your culinary adventure will also take you to the central market stalls laden with local produce and to an authentic coffee roastery, to experience the simple, fresh and elegant food of the real south of France in this bustling and vibrant city. . Other unique and exclusive experiences available in neighboring Sète : – Shop, cook & eat with your chef – picnic and paint with a renowned artist ! Boat outing to oyster beds and sampling with local wines. Vineyard tours…

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Theme based Languedoc wine tours

The Languedoc-Roussillon wine area is certainly the region where the most interesting things happen in terms of the wine-growing industry, not only for the benefit of France, but also for the world over.
This wine-growing area is the largest in the world. It is not only the largest wine-growing region and the most productive in terms of wines in France, but it is also the oldest.
The history of the Languedoc vineyard begins with the Greeks, many eras before our time, when the vine was introduced in the 5th Century B.C.  And like many other French vineyards, it developed considerably under the impetus of the Romans, having taken up the torch as fine connoisseurs of vine cultivation of their state.  Since then, the wine-growing industry has played a significant role in the regional economy.

Tours are customized to cater to clients interests, budget and schedule. Tour groups cannot exceed 10 participants as most vineyards do not allow large groups. Transportation is by comfortable air conditionned mini bus, van or car (depending on size of the group). The tour guide is a wine expert who speaks english or mandarin. The cost of these customized tours is based on the number of people, number of days and the theme of the tour. Consult our experts for advice and rates. Just send an email to concierge@southernfranceluxury.com and our consultant will immediately call you back.

SAMPLE 1 WINE AND CASTLE
The Castle tour will include 2 castles and an abbey with their majestuous cellars , learn how wines were prepared by monks traditions, and admire the magnificent architecture. Lunch will be taken in the dining hall with traditional french meal including, starter, main course, cheese and desserts and of course wines to match the meals.

 

 

SAMPLE 2: WINE AND TRADITIONS
Wine trade and culture dates back to VII C before Christ, with initially a greek influence, then a roman, and then in the XVIIth century, the wine trade began with the construction of the Canal du Midi.
A short drive to an abbey where the first sparkling wine was created by the monks in 1531. This is a beautiful abbey and we will spend a little time walking through the cloisters and taking a look at the wine cellar and the other historical buildings.
Lunch will be in a typical french auberge where the art of eating will be described, how to set the table, the shapes of the glasses, rules of etiquette, politeness in France.
Outing on canal du Midi on a barge to admire the landscape. A wine tasting will be organized while coasting on the canal with sweet and sparkling wines, favorite drinks especially for ladies. Option : Wine festival !!! depending on time of year (mainly June) , participate in a local wine festival with ancestral parades, discover wine glasses and caraffes, play traditional games etc….

 

SAMPLE 3 : WINE AND GASTRONOMY
When it is time to sit down at the table with friends, food and wine join together in celebration. Century after century, season after season… In the summer, at lunchtimes, for example, what better than accompanying fish, seafood and shellfish with a white AOC wine from the coast? In the depths of winter, hotpots and stews clamour for a bold wine, full of power and warmth.
We let you discover or rediscover the general rules for combining food and wine, putting such principles into practice in the kitchen with recipes and advice to accompany alike, the region’s wines.
Morning: a gourmet walking tour in a fishing town to sample french specialities like pastries, breads, cheeses, chocolates, seafood, coffee, and wine…and also meet merchants who will speak about the production of their food made by their families for many generations;
Lunch in a seaside restaurant to observe table étiquette, how to set a table, which glasses to use and how to select wines.
Afternoon : An absolutely fascinating tour of an oyster and mussel producer. We can promise you that you will be astonished! This is rounded off by a tasting of the freshest oysters and mussels that you will ever taste, washed down by a glass or two of the local Picpoul de Pinet white wine, the ideal accompaniment to seafood.

SAMPLE 4 : WINE AND HEALTH
Disovering organic wines and the production techniques to make natural wines. Medical research proves that moderate consumption of wine can reduce the risk of heart disease leading to a longer healthier life. The region abounds with organic vineyards, as it is the leading region in France for organic wines. This is due to the lovely dry climate leaving the vineyards free of insects and fungus.

Morning: Visit a very pretty domaine perched high up with views over to the Mediterranean on a clear day. This organic vineyard is also biodynamic which means everything they do in the vineyard and the winery is governed by the rhythm of the earth and moon. They produce red, rosé and white and after visiting the winery you will have the chance to taste them all. The visit is followed by a visit to the goat farm close by where you will meet the goats and taste their produce. Lunch in a country auberge or a picnic in the vineyards weather permitting..

Afternoon: A tour of a second vineyard. This one is also organic and produces small amounts of top class wines of all styles. The drive back to your holiday home will take you through beautiful countryside awash with colour, vineyards and olive groves produce high quality organic wines.

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