France or Spain ?

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Aug 30th, 2011, 06:31 AM
  #1
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France or Spain ?

I am starting to plan a trip to either rural France or northern Spain.I would consider other countries. Probably a week or less. I'll be going alone , i'm late 50s and adventursome . Last year I did about aweek in Malta ..it was incredible! I llove food and culture ...speak abit of French and Spanish. I dont want to stay in a lrge city...a "farmhouse"or villa thas got some place to walk to and I would really like to take some local cooking classes. Ive done some in Italy and they were given at a small villa that we stayed at. My budget is probably flexible..I do like some fluff! Any ideas/recommendations?.
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Aug 30th, 2011, 07:27 AM
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The Basque country in Spain.
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Aug 30th, 2011, 07:46 AM
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San Sebastián on the Basque coast (pop 180 000) is the culinary capital of Spain if not all of Europe. Several beautiful small villages along the coast towards Bilbao and inlands, all close to San Sebastián. The whole region is food-crazy, beautful landscapes and a distinct culture that people take great pride in.
"Is San Sebastián the best place to eat in Europe?" from Guardian/The Observer: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandsty...rink.shopping2
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Aug 30th, 2011, 07:49 AM
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The Périgord has everything you're looking for, and more.

As for cooking classes,

http://www.lacombe-perigord.com/enroll.html
http://www.aubergade.com/uk/atelier-des-sens.php
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Aug 30th, 2011, 07:53 AM
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I'd love to spend a few days in the Narbonne area. Here's a nice-sounding cooking school with lodging. This isn't a recommendation from personal experience as I haven't been, but you can research it.
http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction...oussillon.html
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Aug 30th, 2011, 07:54 AM
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The Basque country is in both France and Spain. The language Euskara is of unknown origin and as Kimhe points out San Sebastion or Donostia is the best eating town in Spain.
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Aug 30th, 2011, 09:47 AM
  #7
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How about Galicia or Girona?
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Aug 30th, 2011, 10:04 AM
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Bask in Basque.
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Aug 30th, 2011, 10:55 AM
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How about Galicia or Girona?

Girona is worth a day and then you would bounce around from town to town including Cadaques.

Galicia is varied and you can visit such places as Lugo or the beautiful Islas Cies and of course, Santiago de Compostela which is not a large city.
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Aug 30th, 2011, 12:10 PM
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At the risk of getting criticism for voting against S. Sebastian, we were there in May (northern Spain). SS is a great city, but we spent one night in a smaller town just over the border into France (Ste. Jean de Luz). Our next stop was 4 nights in S. Sebastian. Much larger city than we expected, and we decided to cut the visit short after two nights and returned to St. Jean de Luz for those other two nights. Much less busy.
Just our preference, and to each his own.
In general agreement that you can't go wrong up in that Basque country, for what seems to be your desires for the week.
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Aug 30th, 2011, 01:31 PM
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Hmmm you are all wonderful info sharers! I think I am leaning toward Girona as San Sebastian does seem to be a Large city...How about Gijon ? I seem to be finding lots more cooking classes near the French border...Basque/Provence. I like the sound of that type of cuisine! Anyone have any input on that thought?
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Aug 30th, 2011, 02:05 PM
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There is much to discuss about which is the best eating town in Spain.
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Aug 30th, 2011, 02:55 PM
  #13
 
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Why don't you pick two spots, one in each country, near the border, and divide your time between them?

I would presume you can get some input in here on which town near Spain would give you the best "French" Basque experience and which near France would do the same for "Spanish" Basque.
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Aug 30th, 2011, 03:08 PM
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San Sebastian is not a large city, the population is 186,000. Maybe it is because I come from New York but I had more kids in my gym class.
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Aug 31st, 2011, 05:59 AM
  #15
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Aduchamp you are funny...I am a small town gal who loves to travel...when Iam solo I like smaller towns...hmmm. I like the idea of French and Spanish...is a week sufficient for that and anyone have suggestions? Iam going to satar another topic on that thought.
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Aug 31st, 2011, 06:18 AM
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Here is a Hotel I have stayed at in the country near Tours France with cooking classes. You can walk, row a boat in the river or just visit local castles

http://www.tortiniere.com/AtmosphereUK.asp
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Aug 31st, 2011, 08:09 AM
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Frank,
That hotel looks superb. Makes me want to fly there next week.
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Aug 31st, 2011, 08:21 AM
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ekellyga,
The chateaux is 4-4.5 star, with the food 5 star. Their chef is out of this world magnifique and I thought pougal would want to learn from. Its a place where everybody dresses up for a 3hr dinner, then retires to one of the library rooms for after dinner drinks & socialize. Conversation icebreaker starts with what you enjoyed the most at dinner, then moves on to other subjects
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Aug 31st, 2011, 03:48 PM
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The only "problem" with Tours is that it is about 7 hours from the Spanish border. That would be quite a distance to bridge on a 7 day vacation.
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