Honeymooning in France - Recs for going all out

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Kaitlyn K.
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Honeymooning in France - Recs for going all out

#1 Post by Kaitlyn K. » June 16th, 2018, 7:02 am

We are going to be in France for part our honeymoon between Sept. 22 and Oct. 3. The plan is to spend time in Nice, Marseille, Rhone Valley and finishing in Lyon. Im looking for some recommendations for dining, activities, wine as we go. We are especially hoping to finish things up with a multi-course dinner in Lyon with wine pairings at a Michelin starred restaurant.

As of now I've been able to secure appointments Clusel-Roch and Rostaing, with a tentative appointment at Balthazar. I've reached out to many others, but with harvest it has been hit or miss to make appointments. The forum has given some great suggestions for dinner in Northern Rhone as well. We don't have anything scheduled for CdP, so I am looking for one or two places that would be good to visit (preferably one classic producer and one off the beaten path/up and coming). I wasn't planning to schedule anything in Provence/Bandol but would like to hit a few restaurants in and around the that may have great lists.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated for all locations.
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Honeymooning in France - Recs for going all out

#2 Post by Barry L i p t o n » June 16th, 2018, 10:27 am

Beaucastel gives great tours and visits.

On your drive through the Rhône Valley , there is Vahlrona chocolate factory in I think Tain l’Hermitage, same town as Chapoutier.

We really enjoyed staying in Villeneuve les Avignon, just across the river from Avignon, if you plan on doing day trips to CdP. We’d go into Avignon for dinner, but would be spared the traffic when headed off wine tasting. There’s a nice Relais and Chateau hotel there.

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Honeymooning in France - Recs for going all out

#3 Post by Kaitlyn K. » June 16th, 2018, 1:29 pm

That sounds great! Wine and chocolate!
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Honeymooning in France - Recs for going all out

#4 Post by Yao C » June 16th, 2018, 2:22 pm

Hotel de la Villeon in Tain-l'Hermitage is lovely (get the suite), and seconding the Valrhona hocolate factory tour. We did both on our honeymoon last year. Also Les Mangevins for dinner
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Honeymooning in France - Recs for going all out

#5 Post by Ramon C » June 16th, 2018, 6:17 pm

When in Nice,a dinner or lunch at Mirazur at Menton, the last French town at Cote d'Azure right before the Italian border and only 25 minutes by car from Nice.

http://www.mirazur.fr/

At Ampuis, how about a tasting appointment at Domaine Jamet?

At Cornas, how about at Thierry Allemand?
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#6 Post by Peter Kleban » June 16th, 2018, 6:48 pm

Congratulations on your (upcoming, I assume) marriage! Hope you have a great time in France. Should be a good time to visit, still warm but vacation season will be over.

If you like small, pretty, charming and slightly out-of-the-way places, you might consider Vaison-la-Romaine. It's about a half hour NE of CdP in the foothills. The center has some nice Roman ruins. There were some interesting restaurants and hotels. We were there about 12 years ago, so please check it out first, but if it's anything like it was you could have a very nice time. We stayed in a rambling old chateau that was quite something. They had two grand pianos just sitting there, and you could play on them if you liked. At dinner, a memorable bottle of Vacqueyras (which is nearby).
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#7 Post by H Wallace Jr » June 16th, 2018, 6:53 pm

Congrats-
That is a lot of territory to cover with a lot of changes of hotels. The trip might be more enjoyable / less stressful if you fly into Marseille and work your way up or in and out of Lyon.
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#8 Post by Peter Kleban » June 16th, 2018, 7:02 pm

Hardy is making a good point. You have 11 days, so it might be much more relaxed, and give you more time to see things other than hotel clerks, if you pick say 2 places to stay and then make day trips from each of these.
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#9 Post by Ed Kurtzman » June 16th, 2018, 8:05 pm

I've had 2 excellent lunches at Hostellerie de Chateau des Fines Roches near Chateauneuf. If the weather is nice, they offer outdoor dining. It's such a good place, I'm surprised it's not more well known on WB.

You could always make an excursion out to Roanne and spend a night at Troigros. The restaurant needs no introduction, but the rooms in the hotel are very modern and worth a lot more than they charge for them.

Pic is one of my favorite restaurants in France, and the rooms are very cool. This is in Valence, which isn't the greatest city, but it's a short drive from some of the best areas in the Northern Rhone.

In Condrieu, Beau Rivage is good place for lunch after a morning tasting appointment. The dining room overlooks the Rhone.

After your appointments in Cote Rotie, how about spending a night at La Pyramide in Vienne and walking downstairs for dinner? The rooms are just okay, but the restaurant is amazing. Maybe they've updated the rooms since my last time there.

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Honeymooning in France - Recs for going all out

#10 Post by Kaitlyn K. » June 16th, 2018, 8:31 pm

Ramon C wrote:When in Nice,a dinner or lunch at Mirazur at Menton, the last French town at Cote d'Azure right before the Italian border and only 25 minutes by car from Nice.

http://www.mirazur.fr/

At Ampuis, how about a tasting appointment at Domaine Jamet?

At Cornas, how about at Thierry Allemand?

Thanks for the recommendations. I hadn't thought about Jamet so much, but Allemand was high on my list. I just couldn't find any contact info.
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Honeymooning in France - Recs for going all out

#11 Post by Kaitlyn K. » June 16th, 2018, 8:32 pm

Ed Kurtzman wrote:I've had 2 excellent lunches at Hostellerie de Chateau des Fines Roches near Chateauneuf. If the weather is nice, they offer outdoor dining. It's such a good place, I'm surprised it's not more well known on WB.

You could always make an excursion out to Roanne and spend a night at Troigros. The restaurant needs no introduction, but the rooms in the hotel are very modern and worth a lot more than they charge for them.

Pic is one of my favorite restaurants in France, and the rooms are very cool. This is in Valence, which isn't the greatest city, but it's a short drive from some of the best areas in the Northern Rhone.

In Condrieu, Beau Rivage is good place for lunch after a morning tasting appointment. The dining room overlooks the Rhone.

After your appointments in Cote Rotie, how about spending a night at La Pyramide in Vienne and walking downstairs for dinner? The rooms are just okay, but the restaurant is amazing. Maybe they've updated the rooms since my last time there.
Thanks Ed. Ive heard good things about Beau Rivage so I think that we are going to be making a stop there.
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Honeymooning in France - Recs for going all out

#12 Post by George Hejna » June 17th, 2018, 5:49 am

Where are you flying in and out of? Seems to me unless you have been it would be difficult to go all out in France without a stop in Paris. Certainly the dining options are unlimited.

Outside of wine/wineries. What else do you plan/like to do?

George

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#13 Post by Kaitlyn K. » June 17th, 2018, 6:43 am

George Hejna wrote:Where are you flying in and out of? Seems to me unless you have been it would be difficult to go all out in France without a stop in Paris. Certainly the dining options are unlimited.

Outside of wine/wineries. What else do you plan/like to do?

George
George, we have been to Paris. We are flying from Croatia (starting there for 5 days) to Nice. Aside from the wine, we are going to mostly do the touristy/sightseeing activities including day trips to Monaco while in Nice and probably spending a 1/2 day in Cassis. I think that we will have a stop in Avignon as well. My plan is to use a tour aggregator like Viator or TripAdvisor while we are in some of these places. Im also going to be sure that we rent a car and drive most of the time we are in France. Its probably going to be fast-paced from Marseille to Lyon but I am looking for some hidden gem ideas that maybe aren't on those aggregators that the WB crew has discovered.
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#14 Post by Ramon C » June 17th, 2018, 6:56 am

Kaitlyn K. wrote:
Ramon C wrote:When in Nice,a dinner or lunch at Mirazur at Menton, the last French town at Cote d'Azure right before the Italian border and only 25 minutes by car from Nice.

http://www.mirazur.fr/

At Ampuis, how about a tasting appointment at Domaine Jamet?

At Cornas, how about at Thierry Allemand?

Thanks for the recommendations. I hadn't thought about Jamet so much, but Allemand was high on my list. I just couldn't find any contact info.
Small family-run wineries are not the easiest to contact and both Jamet and Allemand are family operations. First, I emailed Jamet and faxed Allemand (my French co-worker wrote the message in French for me), did not get response within 3 days, then I called. Corinne (Jamet) and Allemand's wife, respectively, answered my calls as I recall that they were the designated English-speakers in their Domaines. They said they're aware of my email/fax but couldn't quickly respond. Anyway, appointments were set.
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#15 Post by dbailey » June 17th, 2018, 7:30 am

If going all in for your honeymoon then I would very strongly recommend

http://www.chateaudebagnols.com/en

One of the most luxurious and romantic hotels in the world.
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#16 Post by Howard Cooper » June 17th, 2018, 6:11 pm

When in Nice, go to the flower market one morning. It is fabulous. Also, I loved the Chagall Museum.
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#17 Post by Jeff Bloom » June 19th, 2018, 4:41 am

In Nice, I'll second the Chagall museum and dinner at Mirazur (although a bit of a drive, it's fantastic). I'll add the Matisse museum in Nice as worth a visit.

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#18 Post by Dan.Gord0n » June 19th, 2018, 6:10 am

Near Nice I would recommend going to St Paul de Vence and visiting Maeght Foundation.

Up in the hills and small towns just to the West of Tain Hermitage is hotel/restaurant Régis et Jacques Marcon which is a *** Michelin. Stayed there for a couple days years ago (just a ** at the time but clearly special) while visiting some wineries in the N. Rhone. While a bit out of the way, it was worth the effort having had 2 amazing dinners there (had stayed at Pic a couple times on prior trips and that is a great choice as well for a night or two and at least one dinner - more convenient but perhaps less romantic as a place out of way in a small town).

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Honeymooning in France - Recs for going all out

#19 Post by Kaitlyn K. » June 20th, 2018, 7:24 am

Thanks everyone for the recs, especially the beautiful hotels. Wondering if people have wine shops recs in these areas?
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#20 Post by YacobovE » June 20th, 2018, 7:35 am

Jeff Bloom wrote:In Nice, I'll second the Chagall museum and dinner at Mirazur (although a bit of a drive, it's fantastic). I'll add the Matisse museum in Nice as worth a visit.
I'll third both the Chagall museum and dinner at Mirazur. The Chagall museum was one of the most enjoyable museum visits I've had. And Mirazur is one of my favorite restaurant experiences ever (I've been twice in the last 5 years)...they also have a great wine list and amazing olive oils that they make in conjunction with a local olive oil miller (the yuzu infused oil is insane, last visit I bought a bottle to take home).

I'd also add Louis XV (Alain Ducasse's 3 Michelin starred restaurant) in the Hotel de Paris in Monaco if we're talking about going all out. And then I'd look into staying in the town of Eze. We stayed at Chevre d'Or, which was amazing. The other high end option is Chateau Eza. I'd probably skip dinner at the two michelin starred restaurant in Chevre d'Or, but I would definitely have lunch at Restaurant Les Remparts (which is the outdoor patio) at Chevre d'Or. The view is insane and the fresh fish options are some of the best simply prepared fish I've ever had.
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#21 Post by Kaitlyn K. » June 20th, 2018, 11:33 am

We are definitely trying to book a table at Mirazur
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