TICKETING Please do not purchase tickets until notified by Chef Kathryn to do so once we have the minimum number of participants for the Cuisine Course (minimum of 4 and maximum of 10 participants). You may fly when and however you like to allow you to use frequent flyer programs. You should arrange late afternoon/early evening flights that will allow you to travel from Paris to the Loire Valley with time for our 4:00pm rendezvous with Le Moulin Bregeon staff. Due to the distance from Le Moulin Bregeon to international airports, do not arrange any morning departure for your return flight on the day the course ends.
France is 6 hours ahead of NYC (EST). Flights departing from the United States will arrive the next day in France.
PASSPORTS AND VISAS Please check your airline for current travel restrictions. Make sure your passport is current. If you do not have a US passport, please contact your consulate for current travel information/visas for France. Please let Chef Kathryn know if you need program documentation for a visa regarding the Cuisine Course.
When you arrive at CDG airport, there are numerous ways you can travel to the Loire Valley depending on your budget.
The majority of participants take a high speed train. From CDG, you can follow signs to the buses and pick up an Air France shuttle to Gare du Montparnasse in Paris for about 20 euros. At Gare du Montparnasse, you will follow signs to the SNCF/TGV to pick up a high speed train to the Loire Valley. Depending on the time of day, you will be routed either through: Tours, St. Pierre des Corps or Angers. From one of these 3 cities in the Loire Valley, you will transfer to a local train to Saumur for our 4:00 pm rendezvous time to collect you and your luggage by Le Moulin Bregeon staff.
A round trip train ticket from Paris to Saumur costs approximately 130 euros, depending on the exact time of day and your transfer city. You can charge the ticket (although Amex is not generally as accepted in Europe as in the US), and US cards are missing a chip that most European cards use, so SNCF customer service will use a different card processing machine than the ticket machine uses.
What to know about travelling by SNCF TGV train:
· Please should time stamp your ticket in the yellow machine as you enter the platform
· There is an electronic sign board you will use to “map” your ticket with car number (VOIT) to where to stand on the train platform (VOIE). Inside the train, there is a place for luggage, and you will have an assigned seat number (PLACE ASSISE). The train has bathrooms, a café car and places to use your cell phone.
· Transfers off the SNCF train are very quick; set your alarm to tell you to move your baggage 5-10 minutes prior to the arrival time at your transfer city. The ride is very smooth and you typically cannot tell it is slowing down, but there will be a brief announcement 1-2 minutes before arriving. After the first leg, the local train to Saumur is an easy, short ride.
TIMING FOR RENDEZVOUS
Should you happen to arrive in Saumur hours ahead of our rendezvous, you can either:
· Ask the Saumur ticket agent to hold your luggage so you can walk across the Loire River to pedestrian-friendly Saumur for lunch, or
· Take a taxi from Saumur to Le Moulin Bregeon in Linieres-Bouton (about 80 euros)
ALTERNATIVE TRAVEL TO LINIERES-BOUTON
Whether by train, self drive car or chauffeur service, travel to Saumur is not included in the Cuisine Course.
By car, it is typically 3 hours coming direct from the CDG airport to our host hotel Le Moulin Bregeon. Located in the village of Linieres-Bouton, Le Moulin is about 1 hour west of Tours, 1 hour east of Angers, and ½ hour north of Saumur.
Private car service from CDG to Le Moulin Bregeon is available for about 700 euros each way. If you are interested, please let Chef Kathryn know and she will give you the contact information for two chauffeur services (and also let you know if any other participants want to travel that way, so maybe you could share the cost).
A group of up to 4 participants could rent a car from a car rental agency at the airport with GPS. This has in the past cost approximately 600 euros for the week including taxes and insurance, but excluding refueling. If you are interested in a self drive option, please let Chef Kathryn know and she will let you know if any other participants want to travel that way. Please note: the most economic cars for rent in Europe are manual drive.
KEY PHONE NUMBERS IF DRIVING TO LE MOULIN BREGEON
Chef Bernard Levenez Cell 011 33 6 74 22 44 52
Hotel Number to give Friends and Family 011 33 24 18 23 054