Delectable Dordogne: Land of the Black Truffle

Discover the flavors and natural beauty of the Dordogne, France’s black truffle country. The Dordogne — also known as the Périgord — is a region rich in delicacies and gastronomy all year round, in no small part due to the foie gras and other duck and goose-based ingredients. Come spring time, delight in morel mushrooms, white asparagus, and strawberries. Summer brings a bounty of fresh produce and fruit, and the Fall is time for walnuts, chestnuts, and more mushrooms. It can even be argued that the Winter is a wonderful time to visit, as its the best time to experience the famous black Périgord truffle, which are also known as the ‘Diamonds of Périgord.’ In fact, the truffle here is the centerpiece of many traditions in the Dordogne, and that is reflected everywhere!

Delectable Dordogne: Land of the Black Truffle Itinerary

Day One

  • Arrive on your own to the 3-star hotel, Auberge de la Truffe, and check in to your room. (Or, a transfer can be arranged for an additional cost.)
  • Enjoy a traditional welcome dinner at the hotel (wine not included).
  • Overnight.

Cooking vacation in the Dordogne

Day Two

  • Start your day with a buffet breakfast.
  • Around 9 a.m. depart for Chateau d’Abzac, in Bordeaux wine country.
  • Visit the Chateau and its cellars and take part in a pastry class at the chateau. During this two-hour course, you’ll learn how to make such classic pastries as apple tourtiere, walnut cake, and strawberry tart.
  • Lunch to follow in the chateau’s 18th-century dining room with the Baron d’Anglade (the chateau’s owner), wine included.
  • In the afternoon, take some time at leisure to enjoy the castle’s French gardens. Or perhaps take a stroll along the paths of an English-style landscaped park.
  • Return to the hotel for dinner.
  • Overnight.

Cooking courses in France

Day Three

  • Buffet breakfast.
  • In the morning, depart around 8:30 a.m. for Perigueux. With the chef of the auberge, you’ll visit the open air market, the most famous one in the region, where there’s fruit, vegetable, poultry, and flower stalls. If you travel during the winter months, you may visit the covered goose and truffle markets instead.
  • Following the tour of the market, some time on your own for personal shopping and exploring in this beautiful ancient city. Lunch on your own.
  • Return to Sorges at 2:30 p.m.
  • Stop at the truffle museum for a visit. Through the museum, learn about how the truffle grows, as well as how it’s harvested during truffle hunts.
  • Start your next cooking class at 4 p.m. This course will focus on how to best turn this strange mushroom into a delicacy. Sample menu (subject to change): omelette aux truffes, Brouillade aux truffes, rosace de magret de canard à la royale, and a dessert sabayon aux truffe.
  • Dinner to follow based on your efforts at the hotel.
  • Overnight.

Making duck during a French cooking class

Day Four

  • After breakfast, it’s time to visit a goose and duck farm to see how the birds are fattened.
  • In the morning, you’ll also visit Saint Jean de Côle, classified as one of the most beautiful villages in all of France.
  • Return to the hotel for lunch.
  • In the afternoon, take part in a cooking lesson focused on preparing a whole duck in 4 different dishes. Sample menu: terrine de foie-gras mi-cuit, les confits de canard, les rillettes, les magrets.
  • Dinner to follow based on your efforts at the hotel.
  • Overnight.

Wine at a picnic in France

Day Five

  • Breakfast.
  • In the morning, head out to Bergerac, a town situated on the northern side of the Dordogne river. Bergerac is known for its large medieval center as well as its wine. During this excursion, you’ll have a guided visit of the 17th-century family-owned Chateau de Tiregand, situated in the heart of the Percharmant vineyards located just a short ride from town.
  • Following lunch at a winery (wine included), depart to visit one of the most celebrated vineyards in the area. After seeing the modern wine production technology, enjoy a wine tasting led by a specialist.
  • You’ll also visit the 16th century Chateau of Monbazillac, which is located up above the vineyards and includes a museum as well as vaulted cellars.
  • Return to the auberge for your farewell gastronomic truffle dinner.
  • Overnight.

Bedroom in Dordogne

Day Six

  • Breakfast followed by check out and departure.