Reported by Kathy M. Newbern and J.S. Fletcher
Michelin-starred restaurants, private wine tours, hands-on culinary instruction and a decadent spa day make for the ultimate Girlfriend Getaway – and Frelon’s Fabulous France is inviting mothers, sisters and friends alike to experience just that on a seven-day retreat in Burgundy.
We’ve been fortunate, while traveling in Burgundy, to sample the the incredible creations of Chef Katherine Frelon, the hostess for this ultimate getaway, and we can attest that you will not be disappointed.
Guests at ‘La Ferme de la Lochere,’ a private estate with accommodations for up to 10, are immersed in all things Burgundy, whether they are tasting premier-cru wines from the Cote d’Or region or exploring the scenic countryside on a leisurely bike ride alongside the canals.
In addition to the on-site cooking lessons at the heart of each Frelon’s itinerary, the “Girlfriend Getaway” features a full day at three-star Michelin La Cote Saint Jacques that includes a private cooking lesson with award-winning chef Jean-Michel Lorain, followed by lunch and an afternoon in their exclusive spa. The holiday is regularly priced at 2,650€ ($3,630 USD) per person, double; groups of eight receive a 10 percent per-person discount. (Note: We’ve also dined at the Michelin-starred restaurant you’ll visit; it, too is a dining experience you’ll never forget.)
The term “fresh” will take on an entirely new meaning as host Katherine Frelon conducts easy-to-learn, hands-on cooking demonstrations featuring the catch of the day, prime meat from the local butcher and seasonal produce from her own extensive garden.
Venturing outside the state-of-the-art kitchen at La Ferme de Lochere, guests explore the gastronomic culture of Burgundy with a visit to the colorful markets of Dijon and a cooking demonstration by Chef Laurent Peugeot at Michelin-starred Le Charlemagne.
Described as “an education that becomes an unforgettable experience,” a day of exclusive touring with renowned wine expert Brendan Moore includes visits to Cote de Beaune, where welcoming owners offer access to rare wines and barrel tastings, and Cote de Nuits, a mecca for pinot noir enthusiasts.
The holiday culminates in a private cooking lesson with Jean-Michel Lorain – who received three Michelin stars at the record-breaking age of 27 – followed by lunch in his three-starred Michelin restaurant La Cote Saint Jacques, and an afternoon of pampering in the property’s exclusive spa. Optional excursions, starting at 100€ ($137 USD), range from a hot-air balloon ride accompanied by a bottle of champagne to a croissant making class with a renowned local baker.
Rates for the holiday include accommodation; all meals prepared on the property; culinary instruction and ingredients; transfers to and from the Montbard train station; attractions specified in the itinerary; set menus designed with seasonal ingredients by the head chef, complimented with wines especially selected by the sommelier, at both Michelin restaurants; and a complimentary cookbook from chef and host Katherine Frelon.
La Ferme de la Lochere is a 400-year-old private estate in the heart of Burgundy, conveniently located four hours from London and one hour from Paris, by train, and has been meticulously restored to reflect the rich history of the area while providing guests with modern amenities.
The property includes several charming courtyards, an extensive library, mezzanine lounge area, heated swimming pool, a spacious state-of-the-art kitchen and five individually-designed, airy bedrooms with gorgeous views of the mountains – each with private bath, fresh flowers, L’Occitane products and Wi-Fi.
Each itinerary offers free time for guests to lunch on the rolling hillsides, bike along the Canal de Bourgogne, stroll through the scenic countryside or shop in the unique towns.
If You’re Going: Frelon’s Fabulous France provides tailor-made, luxury vacations in Burgundy from April through October — plan now for the spring. Information, brochures and reservations can be obtained from Frelon’s Fabulous France, 6 Rue de la Lochere, 21150 Marigny le Cahouet, France; +33 672 865 609; or visit www.frelonsfabulousfrance.com.