Exclusive for Mail on Sunday readers: Get a taste of the Rhone with chef Raymond Blanc
An ancient route for traders, the beautiful Rhone Valley is home to countless vineyards and vibrant orchards – and it’s the produce, the food and the wine that have made the region one of Europe’s ultimate foodie destinations.
On this all-inclusive eight-day luxury Rhone river cruise, you’ll be joined by Frenchman Raymond Blanc, one of the fathers of modern British cuisine.
His Manoir aux Quat’Saisons restaurant has spawned some of Britain’s most talented chefs, including Marco Pierre White, Sat Bains, Heston Blumenthal and Michael Caines – but Raymond’s passion for food has its roots in France.
French fancies: On The Mail on Sunday’s exclusive eight-day Rhone river cruise you’ll explore charming destinations, including Avignon (pictured)
Delightful: You’ll board your luxurious ship, Scenic Sapphire, in Lyon. Pictured is the city’s Saint Jean Cathedral
YOUR SPECIAL GUEST
You will be joined by Raymond Blanc
Chef Patron of the two-Michelin-star Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire, Raymond Blanc worked his way up from a cleaner in France to one of the world’s best-known chefs. From a young age, Raymond helped his father grow vegetables, and he fell in love with food while cooking with his mother. He opened his first restaurant in Oxford in 1977 before buying Le Manoir in 1983. Raymond has presented many TV series, including ITV’s Simply Raymond.
‘Most French life revolves around mealtimes and my family was no exception,’ he says. ‘For my mother, cooking was an act of love. At an early age, I was taught to love and respect food, for its beauty, its freshness and also its price.
‘This simple philosophy has been a strong influence on my career as a chef.’
You’ll witness that love on display as you take part in an interactive cookery demonstration with Raymond, including the chance to taste his creations and ask him your cookery questions during a Q&A and book-signing. You will also receive a free copy of his latest cookbook (one per booking) and enjoy a special truffle-themed dinner created by Scenic’s expert chefs for this trip.
Your sailing begins in Lyon and you’ll travel along the Rhone, stopping at Macon, Vienne, Avignon, Viviers and Tarascon to explore these charming destinations and feast on the region’s best food. You’ll tour Roman monuments, visit vineyards and enjoy all-inclusive food and wine in the ship’s fabulous restaurants.
REASONS TO BOOK
Meet Raymond Blanc: You will meet the much-loved French chef and take part in a series of exclusive events with him. Join Raymond for a book-signing and question-and-answer session while you enjoy a cocktail, before seeing him in action the following day during an interactive cooking demonstration aboard ship.
Ultimate foodie adventure: The Rhone Valley is the jewel in France’s culinary crown and there will be plenty of chances to sample its produce, including meeting a local farmer’s specially trained truffle-snuffling dog and tasting what it finds, exclusively for this bespoke itinerary. You will also feast on a special dinner featuring the delicacies of the region.
Cruise in style: Scenic Sapphire is an all-suite Space Ship, with all-inclusive food and drink included in the price. Your luxurious ship boasts a selection of fine-dining restaurants, an elegant bar, salt therapy lounge and fitness facilities, and a sundeck with vitality pool. You’ll be able to learn local recipes from our expert chefs at Scenic Culinaire, the on-board cooking school.
Excursions galore: Choose from a wide range of trips on your eight- day itinerary, from shopping with a chef then cooking your purchases to visiting vineyards and an olive farm and exploring the architectural wonders of Arles and Avignon. At Avignon’s prestigious Palais des Papes, after the doors close to the general public you will be invited to an exclusive Scenic Enrich concert inside this elegant 14th Century palace.
- Return flights from up to 16 UK airports.
- Seven nights in a luxury Scenic Sapphire suite.
- Exclusive cooking demo with tasters from Raymond Blanc.
- All-inclusive food, premium beverages, wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner.
- Free copy of Raymond’s latest cookbook (one per booking).
- Menu created by Scenic chefs for a special dinner.
- Choose from 16 Scenic Freechoice excursions and one exclusive Scenic Enrich event, including a classical concert and beaujolais wine-tasting.
DAY 1 Fly to Lyon DAY 2 Lyon, Raymond Blanc talk and Q&A DAY 3 Macon, truffle-farming, Raymond cookery demo DAY 4 Vienne DAY 5 Viviers DAY 6 Avignon DAY 7 Avignon to Tarascon DAY 8 Tarascon, return to UK
HOW TO BOOK
The price: All-inclusive from £2,620pp*. The dates: July 14 to 21, 2022.
Call 0161 516 5479, quoting MOS RAYMOND BLANC. To find out more, visit mailtravel.co.uk/raymondblanc.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS: *Price shown includes relevant discounts and is based on two people sharing an entry-level cabin. Save £2,000 per couple for new bookings made before July 14, 2022. Single supplement applies. Subject to availability. Timings of Raymond’s events are subject to change and there may be slight alterations to the itinerary due to operational restrictions. Drinks included except fine or rare wine and champagne. This trip is ATOL-protected and our travel partner, Scenic, is ABTA-bonded.