French Food & Wine Tasting Experience

6th - 10th November 2024

A Sensory Experience Like No Other

Join us from 6th to 10th November for a sensory immersion in the food and wine of the Aquitaine region of France. Hosted by Olive & Charlie, and guided by Maggy Paul-Martinet, you will embark on a journey of sensory delight...savouring the foie gras of Aquitaine, the oysters of Arcachon, the renowned wines of Bordeaux, Medoc, Saint-Emilion - Pomerol - Fronsac, Entre-deux-Mers, Graves, Sauternes, Blaye, Côtes de Bourg and much more...

About the Experience

Your sensory journey will strike the perfect balance between exploratory visits to local wine makers, and restorative downtime in Maggy's warm and welcoming home, nestled amongst the vines of the Charente. We will visit local markets absorbing the sights and sounds of this region so famed for its viticulture.


Day 1: Arrival and Welcome

  • Arrival at Bordeaux Airport, where you’ll be greeted by your hosts, Olive and Charlie.
  • Transfer to Chateauneuf sur Charente and your country dwelling for the weekend.
  • Settle into your comfortable accommodation and relax.
  • Enjoy le dîner “Aux saveurs d’automne” (Flavours of Autumn), meet your fellow guests and discuss the exciting days ahead.

Day 2: Charentaise Markets & Vineyards

  • Begin the day with a delicious French breakfast
  • Embark on a morning visit to the bustling markets of ancient Angouleme.
  • Lunch by the beautiful Charente river with a quintessential French pique-nique. 
  • Vineyard visits in the afternoon to local wine growers who produce their own wine and supply  Hennessy, Courvoisier and Remy-Martin amongst others. 
  • Evening dinner will continue the oenological theme with a series of courses inspired and infused with local pineau and cognac. 

Day 3: Echappée à St Emilion

  • After breakfast, we escape to St Emilion, one of the most renowned wine regions of this part of France…
  • There we visit the Trocard vineyards for a tour and wine tasting 
  • Lunch is at the magnificent bar à vin le Cloître des Cordeliers
  • Finishing the day with evening dîner “autour de la raclette” back at Maggy’s

Day 4: La Charente et le Cognac

  • After breakfast we take a walk in the surrounding vineyards experiencing busy harvest time.
  • You can alternatively kick back, rest and relax by the pool.
  • Lunch back at Maggy’s will dive into authentic local produce 
  • An afternoon “balade fluviale sur la Charente à bord de la Demoiselle 
  • Top off the day with a cocktail on the rooftop bar of Martell in preparation for…
  • Our farewell Dîner “du Maître de chai” à la maison 

Day 5: Closing and Departure

  • A final dip in the pool or morning walk amongst the vines…. 
  • …a final French brunch before bidding farewell to your hosts and fellow guests
  • Transfer to Bordeaux Airport for your return flight, taking with you cherished memories and newfound culinary talents.

Please note that this itinerary is subject to change.*

About Your Guide

Maggy Paul-Martinet is the very best guide you could have for this sensory immersion. An amatrice du vin with a career spanning hotel management and catering, she then spent 25 years at Air France, traveling the world and experiencing diverse cultures, cuisines and wines. Her love of French food and wine runs deep and it is a love and appreciation she now shares generously with others. A devoted mother and grandmother, her passion for hosting shines ever brighter.

About Your Hosts

Olive and Charlie will be your hosts for the week, ensuring a seamless and unforgettable experience from start to finish. Having made the move from Ireland to France some years back, they fell in love with the Charente region and have dedicated themselves to creating retreats that combine quality instruction and authentic French experiences, from the delicious local food and wine to visits to unique local attractions.

About the Venue

This very special weekend will be hosted in Maggy’s family home – an 18th century manoir surrounded by the vineyards of the Grande Champagne du Cognac region close to the beautiful town of Chateauneuf sur Charente. The house is a truly special place - a bustling family home - which emanates warmth and charm in equal measure. This will be your 'home from home'...

Travel Arrangements

If travelling from Ireland, we recommend Aer Lingus flights: Dublin – Bordeaux on Wednesday 6th November and Bordeaux – Dublin on Sunday 10th November. This will ensure you have complimentary airport transfers to and from Maggy's home. If you are travelling from the UK, from another airport, or arriving by train, let us know and we will work with you to ensure optimum travel options.
Please do not book your flights/trains before we confirm minimum sign-ups. We will inform you at the earliest date possible.


The all-inclusive cost of this exclusive Food & Wine Tasting Experience is €1,020 per person sharing or €1,460 if you wish to avail of a private room. The fee covers accommodation, food and wine, day trips, as well as transport to and from Bordeaux airport if you book the recommended flights. Flight costs are not included and must be arranged by you separately. A non-refundable 50% deposit is required in order to confirm your booking.

Book Now

It's time to treat yourself to a truly immersive experience in the heart of France's Cognac region. In order to secure your booking, a 50% non-refundable deposit must be paid. The remaining balance is due by 6th September 2024.
With limited spots available, we encourage you to book soon to avoid disappointment.

Register Your Interest in Our Food & Wine Experience

As we are in the process of fine-tuning some details of this experience to ensure it provides a transformative experience, we are currently not accepting immediate bookings. However, we recognise that you might already be considering this retreat for your future plans.
Once you express your interest, you'll be among the first to receive updates about the retreat. We'll keep you informed about when bookings will open and any exciting details or enhancements to the itinerary as they are confirmed.

    Like a Gathering of Old Friends

    Olive and Charlie were so kind, generous and hospitable and really couldn’t do enough for the group and to make our stay as comfortable as possible. There was a lovely balance between our sessions and local trips. It became like a gathering of old friends after the first night at dinner...I’ll certainly be back!

    Miriam Glynn

    Genuinely Warm & Welcoming

    This weekend exceeded my expectations. Olive & Charlie are wonderful hosts, immediately creating an environment which is genuinely warm & welcoming. Which in turn makes the group dynamic work effortlessly. I really cannot recommend it highly enough and look forward to my next trip to Olive & Charlie.

    Jennifer Callan

    Far Above My Expectations

    My Painting holiday with Ceangal was far above my expectations: our hosts Olive and Charlie were very generous with their time, local knowledge and transport to beautiful local painting sites and towns. Our introduction to gourmet French cuisine, cooked lovingly by Maggy our very talented chef, was a real treat.

    Olivia Hayes