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  Riviera Retreat 

A Culinary Journey to the French Riviera

May 28th - June 4th, 2022
October 15th -22nd, 2022

from 4870 USD single 

What our guests say:


“France with Barbie was the best trip I ever took. The people, the food, the outings , the scenery, the day trips. A week I will never forget. I’m from Germany and I have traveled all my life and this was the most fun I’ve had in one week. I have now signed up for Sweden 2022”                                                                    Blogger Sunnycove Chef



Barbie Aknin



Join me where the magic happened!

The trip of a lifetime for Julia Child and Simca Beck fans.


Join me for seven nights and days in the former summer home of Simca Beck where recipes were created for the Mastering the Art of French Cooking series of books. Our week will be filled with cooking, sight-seeing, and soaking up the spirit of these beloved homes in Provence.

Surrounded by mountains, the sea, olive groves, wineries, lavender fields and rows of cypress, we’ll stay seven nights at the home of Simone Beck next-door to Julia’s former home.

This trip has been curated by me to be much like the food we'll cook - lovingly grown, organic, and "built on friendship" as Julia and Simca did. Excursions for our small group of no more than fourteen are unique. They're structured but organic with wiggle room to adjust our plans or menus according to the season.


Our culinary focus will be on “slow food” meaning the made from scratch traditional and regional dishes of the area and France itself as well as Julia and Simca’s cookbooks of course!

We’ll shop where they did in the open markets and meet growers and purveyors of quality products including organic and homegrown produce, cured meats and French cheeses. With friendships forged over food, we’ll spend our days visiting some very special people whom are committed to the culinary traditions of France as well as quality products.

Sightseeing will also be enjoyed as we visit some of the highlights of the Côte d’Azur. Evenings will be spent in the kitchen with cooking classes and delicious dinners. Julia and Simca will be our muse!


























Simone Beck, known as "Simca," and her husband Jean Fischbacher lived in Paris when, in 1949, Simone and Julia Child met at a party in the Bois de Boulogne. They forged a sisterly bond that lasted throughout their lifetime. 

The two started "Ecole des Trois Gourmandes" along with Louisette Bertholle in 1951. In 1961, the threesome started their next project together, Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume One. In 1970 Simca and Julia published their second book together, Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume Two.

Simca and Jean moved to the old Fischbacher family property in Provence near Nice in 1974. The property was known as "Vieux Mas in Bramafam." Here they built La Campanette with the kitchen and pegboard wall that Simca wanted.

In 1961, Julia and Paul moved back to the United States, where Julia soon became America's first kitchen celeb. As the cooking show and fame increased, Paul and Julia went back to visit Jean and Simca for a vacation two years later. The Côte d'Azur weather, farmers markets, and smells of lavender called to Julia and Paul. With a handshake, Julia and Paul leased a plot of the potato patch and built La Pitchoune. "La Peetch" which means "the little one" was "built on friendship." Paul and Julia relished part of every year at La Pitchoune, hosting many famous friends.

Eventually, once Paul, Jean, and Simca passed, Julia no longer found joy in visiting La Peetch and gave the house back to the Beck family. La Pitchoune was sold. Simca's nephew Christian Beck eventually purchased La Campanette and owns it still.

Today, architect and designer Alexandra Lacarrère owns the original Le Vieux Mas Bramafam. "Mas" is the term for a traditional farmhouse found in the Provence region of France. Beautifully restored with a blend of the old stone house and sleek, modern design, Alexandra has opened up the home to the outdoors and the French countryside.

Read the full story in the memoir, "My Life in France" in which Alex Prud'homme, Julia Child's grandnephew, collaborated.

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$5730 per person:

Based on shared room & en suite bathroom with shower

$6230 per person:

Shared master suite, en suite soaking tub, shower & private porch (one suite available)

$6730 per person:

Single occupancy, double bed & en suite bathroom with shower (one available)


$5830 per person:

Single Occupancy, Double Bed

$4870 per person:

Shared Room, twin beds 

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Day 1: Welcome

Arrive at the former homes of Simone Beck and settle in. You’ll have time to explore the grounds and enjoy a cup of tea and a good book like Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Meet your fellow chefs over a glass of rosé as we prepare our first meal together.








Day 2: Pigs & Parfum

We'll visit Frederique and Isabelle, who raise heritage black pigs in the local mountains. These pigs live as nature intended, foraging primarily on leaves, roots, nuts, fruits, and flowers. Michelin chefs are Frederique's customers who appreciate the care and respect for the animals and the quality of the meat. After visiting the pigs, we'll feast at their home, featuring Frederique's home-cured and smoked meats. Day two includes a visit to Grasse, perfume capital of the world, where we'll visit Fragonard, the oldest perfume factory in Grasse.

Day 3: To Market

Off to the open-air market in Cannes which was Julia’s favorite market. We’ll gather groceries for dinner, basket in tow. Friend Beatrice Levinson, Naturopathe - spécialisée GAPS, will guide us through the market. We’ll search out traditional regional specialties like tapenade, olive oil, goat cheese, spices and lavender honey. We’ll also visit the surrounding area. In the evening, Beatrice will join us for dinner and prepare one of her specialties.


Day 4: A Day in a Michelin Kitchen

Into the kitchen with chef Alain Llorca at Michelin-starred restaurant Alain Llorca. After arriving for coffee and croissants we’ll head down to the kitchen for a cooking class with chef and his staff. Then, champagne and amuse bouche followed by a Michelin lunch overlooking the sea below. Très magnifique!


Day 5: Medieval Villages & Stunning Views

A tour through the French Alps and medieval villages. On to Gourdon from which the whole French Riviera can be seen and Saint Paul de Vence which is surrounded by ramparts dating from 12th Century. Picasso, Marc Chagall and Renoir have stayed here, inspired by the light and superb environment. There will be time for lunch and shopping.


Day 6: A Monk’s Island & Winery

A boat takes us to Saint Honorat, an island which is home to 30 Cistercian monks and their monastery which was founded around the year 410. We’ll have a picnic and tour the grounds including the original monastery searched on the seas as well as where the monks live now. If the weather is warm, we’ll stick our toes in the sea. The day will continue with visits to seaside towns.







Day 7: A visit to the village Valbonne

On Fridays, the village of Valbonne has the best open-air market that is known far and wide. Unlike most medieval Provencal villages, Valbonne was built according to an urban grid pattern (the streets intersect at right angles), dating back to the early 16th century.

In the center of the village is a beautiful square. In addition, there are small shops featuring everything from handmade candies to clothing and gift shops. Or perhaps, you'd like to people-watch at one of the cafés and enjoy an espresso or glass of rosé.

















Day 8: Goodbye For Now

This morning we say our goodbyes ...Consider extending your trip for a day or two in Nice. Nice sits on the pebbly shores of the Baie des Anges. There’s the Musée Matisse and Musée Marc Chagall and Roman ruins. The Cours Saleya open market, dating back to the early 18th century, is located in Vieille Ville (Old Nice) off the Promenade des Anglais. Monday is the open air antiques and bric-a-brac market.


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  • Seven nights at Mas Bramafam / La Cmpanette

  • Daily petit déjeuner - light buffet breakfast

  • Three to five cooking classes

  • Seven dinners, see itinerary

  • House chosen wine and nonalcoholic beverages at all planned meals at home and while on planned excursions

  • All planned excursions, see the itinerary

  • Private transportation on all planned excursions

  • Planned restaurant meals, see the itinerary

  • Note: We have rented the homes “Airbnb style,” meaning there will be no daily maid service. We will have mid-week service if you desire. A washer and dryer is on the premises for your needs

  • We will happily wash and restock towels.


  • Airfare to and from France and/or the Nice International Airport

  • Transportation to and from La Peetch at the beginning and end of the trip. We can help you arrange your arrival and departure.

  • Personal shopping and expenses

  • Food and drink not included in the itinerary

  • Any costs incurred during free time

  • Optional excursions or extensions

  • Trip insurance

  • Nonrefundable passport fees

  • Excess baggage charges

  • Airport taxes that are collected on the spot in foreign airports, departures taxes, airport fees, airline and federal security fees and ticket handling fees, surcharges due to changes in currency, any mandatory new or increased fees/taxes/fuel surcharge (if any) levied on airline tickets, hotels, incidental expenses in hotels, and hotel room upgrades.

  • Tips for Community Cuisine staff, drivers and/or house concierge

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DATES:     May 28th - June 4th, 2022                       October 15th - 22nd, 2022

PRICING:  (See Pricing/Room Options)


BOOKING: Click here

 Credits: Photos: Sam Zide         Styling: Yasna Glumac