Master Chef at the Mansion

Expand your culinary skills in our French kitchen with Master Chef Alain Fabrégues. Create delicious meals from the elegant candlelit dinners to casual barbeques on the front terrace – or picnics in the exquisite Pyrenean countryside.

In the French autumn of 2020, Le Belvedere has once again coupled this exceptional experience with the genius of Master Chef Alain Fabrégues, MOF, a natural chef, whose unique relationship with the Pyrenees comes from summer holidays spent in the mountains as a child with his family. Alain’s restaurants, The Loosebox and Bistro des Artistes have won many awards and prizes, and have been renowned around Australia, including Best Restaurant in Australia three times. In 1991 Alain became a holder of the prestigious ‘Meiller Ouvrier De France’ the highest honour attainable by a craftsman,and is now prevented from entering any personal competitions. Since then, Presidents Mitterand and Chirac each awarded Alain, by decree, a knighthood.

Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) (1991)
Chevalier de L Ordre du Mérite Agricole ( 1994 )
Chevalier du Mérite National ( 2004 )

Alain will be making his personal selection of wines, champagnes and digestifs coupled with each meal from his favourite regions in France including Bordeaux, Languedoc, Beaujolais, Medoc as well as others. France offers some of the greatest wines, with the greatest variety and this is an extremely unique opportunity to pair perfect French wines and Champagne with the genius talent of Master Chef Alain Fabrégues. Join Alain on a food safari through a 700 year old French market, choosing ingredients from the best local produce or forage for fungi, wild herbs and berries on a walk through the unique Pyrenees countryside.

Arrival & Welcome

  • You will be welcomed and collected at the Lourdes airport / train station.
  • Drive to Le Belvedere – relax, unpack and begin to unwind.
  • Meet with Australia’s most famous and highly awarded world renowned Master Chef Alain Fabrégues, Meilleur Ouvrier de France 1991 ( M.O.F), Chevalier de L Ordre du Mérite Agricole ( 1994 ), Chevalier du Mérite National ( 2004 ) followed by a light lunch and a selection of some light wines.
  • Early evening you will be presented with the first of a unique selection of Champagnes and French sparkling wines to be enjoyed on the terrace – Champagnes from the Champagne region – Sparkling wines from France.
  • Candlelit dinner on the Terrace (weather permitting) – Dinner by Master Chef Alain Fabrégues – a selection of wines from the Bordeaux region finishing our meal with a specially selected Armagnac.

First Master Class with Master Chef Alain Fabrégues

  • Breakfast
  • Morning lesson with Master Chef Alain Fabrégues – The Pyrenees has always had a reputation for its cuisine since the Romains and adjoins the famous Basque region – in the morning Alain will focus on Tapas and specialities from the Basque region – coupled with wines from Basque area.
  • A light lunch of Tapas from our lesson of the morning
  • We continue the afternoon lesson with Master Chef Alain Fabrégues – still with our focus on specialities from the Pyrenean Region
  • Candlelit dinner on the Terrace (weather permitting) Pyrenean Style – coupled with wines from Pyrenean region.

Taste and Share Master Class - Black Diamonds

  • Breakfast
  • Our morning second cooking lesson with Master Chef Alain Fabrégues starts in the valley forrests with a local mountain guide foraging for champignons and local fungi.
  • A light luncheon wines from the Île-de-France region.
  • After lunch Alain your cooking lesson will commence in the kitchen preparing the champignons, truffles and local fungi creating a special dish for the evening meal. Our special guest from Perigord, will deliver some special truffles AKA the Black Diamond.
  • Champagne & aperitifs served with truffle Tastous from Cahors on the balcony at Le Belvedere followed by a more formal dinner prepared by Alain in the main dining room - a selection of wines from the Île-de-France region.

A Magnificent Natural Wonder

  • Breakfast
  • Be prepared to experience emotions that only nature can evoke. We head to a group of natural cirques in rare perfection. Gavarnie is the most famous and spectacular. It is unique in the whole world – and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Picnic lunch in the beautiful Circque de Gavarnie prepared by Alain – light luncheon wines from the Beaujolais region
  • Return to Le Belvedere for an aperitif and chitchat followed by dinner at a local restaurant specialising in local produce, with Alain.

An Appetite for Adventure

  • Breakfast
  • Morning – weather permitting – a visit to the village of Cauterets and the famous Pont d'Espagne followed by a late lunch at the waterfalls restaurant or for the more adventurous a selection of outdoor adventures awaits.
  • Returning to Le Belvedere late afternoon.
  • Dinner at Le Belvedere with a special selection of wines from Burgundy will be paired with the "Cassoulet".
  • After dinner you will wind down with coffee, Armagnac and digestifs.

Visit to the famous Chateau Bouscasse

  • Breakfast
  • We drive together to Château Bouscasse. Since 1980, Alain Brumont has selected the best terroirs in the town of Maumusson-Laguian. It is on these great hillside terroirs nestled on the limestone cliffs and composed of the finest varieties of clay from the South-West, that Alain Brumont produces four exceptional vintages. At the confluence of the Hautes-Pyreneans, Pyrénées Atlantiques and Gers in Gascony, Alain Brumont leads an extraordinary wine adventure. Immerse yourself in his world and discover his estates, Château Montus and Château Bouscassé followed by a tasting of estate wines accompanied by appetisers, lunch and wine pairing at Table Bouscassé.
  • Dinner at Le Belvedere with Alain – and we start this special dinner with one of the specially selected wines from the Chateau.

Market Day – Tuesday Argeles Gazost Cuisine du Marche

  • Breakfast
  • Visit to the famous and one of the oldest farmers’ markets in the region in Argeles Gazost. This market is over 700 years old, select and try local sheep and cow cheeses, charcuterie, local fois gras, wines, goats cheese, honey or just wander the market place and small village of Argeles with Alain.
  • Afterwards a drive for a picnic lunch at the stunning Lac D’Estang in the mountains (weather permitting if Lac d’Estang is not possible lunch at the house then a visit to the famous Chateau and village of Pau).
  • Dinner on the Terrace
  • Wines from the ever more popular Languedoc region finishing with a stunning cheese platter, Armagnac and digestifs.

Bon Voyage & Bisous

  • Breakfast followed by a gentle morning walk for those who wish to partake in some morning exercise
  • Pack-up and goodbye
  • Transport to airport / train

What is Included and What to Pack

  • Transfers to and from Lourdes (excludes flights to Lourdes, personal spending money and personal insurance)
  • All meals including a daily health breakfast of fresh seasonal fruit, yoghurt, a selection of cold meats and homemade gravlax salmon, croissants, baguettes, eggs, bacon, etc., lunch sourced from local farmers of the region and then sumptuous dinner’s either at the house or at a selection of specially chosen restaurants of the region.
  • Selected beverages – an excellent selection of champagnes and wines from the region, house armagnacs, house beer and non-alcoholic drinks
  • Shared accommodation and bathroom facilities (twin share)
  • All organised activities
  • Please note that due to unforeseen weather changes could occur to the itinerary however we will endeavor to ensure that the full itinerary as shown above is completed.
  • What to Pack? Comfortable, casual, and relaxed is the theme of your week (perhaps just one pair of heels). Summer wear, sneakers (walking shoes), casual wear swim suit and a warm jacket as the nights can sometimes be a little chilly and as we are in the mountains, the weather at high altitude is cooler.

To book, click on the link below. A 50% non-refundable deposit is required. The balance is required 12 weeks prior to the arrival date.