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“Bordeaux done right!”
Review of Gourmet Touring

Gourmet Touring
Ranked #7 of 77 Food & Drink in Bordeaux
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Attraction details
Owner description: Acclaimed by Conde Nast Traveller & wine writer Jancis Robinson for their professionalism & knowledge a GT itinerary is much more than a wine tour. Every experience is tailor-made to individual clients’ requirements enabling them to experience the best food, wine and culture that the region has to offer. A licensed tour operating company, based in Bordeaux France since 2003, Gourmet Touring will organize every minute detail of your visit from beginning to end with an attention to detail that is unparalleled by others.
Reviewed May 1, 2010

My husband and I only had a couple of days to spend in Bordeaux. We were interested in learning about and tasting the fabulous wines of the Bordeaux region. We wanted a no-hassles trip so we contracted with Gourmet Touring, a company run by John and his wife Sian, to develop an itinerary for us. It was one of the smartest things we have ever done because not a minute of our trip was wasted. We attended the Ecole de Bordeaux, visited 5 vineyards and toured St. Emilion. Our lodging was arranged for us at 'La Petite Source', a beautiful 200 year old house owned by Luc and Melinda. We were invited to live at the house as if it were our home and were wined and dined by Luc, a master sommelier and Cordon Bleu chef. John did an excellent job from the moment he picked us up at the train station to the moment he dropped us off. All of our expenses were pre-paid for. John acted as a chauffer and battled rush-hour traffic, allowing us to recover from jet-lag. He is a great guy, very friendly and knowledgeable of the area. He went above and beyond the call of duty making hotel and travel arrangements for us when our original departure plans were thwarted by the Icelandic volcano. We got everything we hoped for and could not of imagined a better trip.

5  Thank Bossman59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"john mears"
in 18 reviews
"cookery class"
in 5 reviews
"bordeaux region"
in 32 reviews
"guide book"
in 5 reviews
"customized itinerary"
in 3 reviews
"suited us perfectly"
in 2 reviews
"a michelin starred restaurant"
in 2 reviews
"suggested restaurants"
in 2 reviews
"car rental"
in 3 reviews
"wine tasting"
in 14 reviews
"dinner reservations"
in 4 reviews
"incredible days"
in 2 reviews
"perfect itinerary"
in 2 reviews
"la cave"
in 2 reviews
"chateaux visits"
in 5 reviews
"fantastic trip"
in 4 reviews
"the entire trip"
in 3 reviews

130 - 134 of 149 reviews

Reviewed October 29, 2009

I booked a 3-night holiday with Gourmet Touring as a birthday surprise for my boyfriend. It was such a last minute decision that I rushed John into giving me an itinerary (I was so anxious I called him at 8pm on a Sunday and he immediately got down to it). I opted for John to not mail me the guidebook beforehand as I did not want to ruin the surprise.

We opted to be driven around as neither of us was confident of driving. It would have been fun and romantic to drive alone in the countryside, but John’s presence did not make me feel like I was on a packaged tour. He arranged our trip such that we also had time to ourselves to walk about in Bordeaux and Saint Emilion. Anything we did not understand or are curious about, John would have the answers on hand. At the end of the trip, we felt like John was a friend to us and we not only appreciated, but enjoyed his presence as well.

I would expect to have our meals in accessible locations convenient to John but no, he brought us all out of the way just so we would not miss out on fantastic food at great prices. Our meals were a good mix: an elaborate dining affair at Michelin-starred restaurant, a simpler and more rustic three-course dinner and one somewhere in between.

It’s the minute details which touched us deeply. I agreed and paid for the itinerary John proposed through email, but he continued to work on my itinerary to add in other attractions which we eventually enjoyed. The sand dune (Dune du Pyla) and organic market in Bordeaux are not to be missed! On the very first day, we were only 10 minutes early for lunch and he chose to use that time to drive us around Bordeaux so that we would be able to take in as many sights as possible. The weather was also unkind on the first day but John had already worked out contingency details.

We stayed at Chateau Pitray for the last two nights and it’s amazing. I can confidently say it’s the best accommodation I’ve had despite being familiar with hotels and suites even. It’s extravagant yet homely; the hosts stayed up to wait for us (a Count and Countess no less!) and showed us around their huge estate.

I did my own research before engaging their services and thought I would have many things covered but GT did it way better. I told John exactly what I wanted and that was what we got, hassle-free and better. I would now certainly think it’s impossible to leave Bordeaux with a good understanding and feel of the region without GT. GT has taken professionalism to a personalised level.

2  Thank Francabia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2009

These guys are great, no request too difficult, personable, considered and passionate about what they do.... all we can say is ooh la la for Gourmet Touring....

Thank hainault2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2009

Being fans of good food and wine, a holiday to the Bordeaux region seemed like an obvious choice. Looking into options we found lots of reviews for Gourmet Touring - all saying how fantastic they are - and with limited free time this year the option of someone else organising our holiday was too good to miss!

We had a couple of conversations with John to discuss what types of things we wanted to included, from meals at great restaurants to wine classes, visits to vineyards with tasting and even a spa trip and hot air balloon ride! From all of these he created a tailor made trip with various things pre-booked and plenty of other suggestions for driving routes and places to visit (towns, markets, passing by famous vineyards etc) along with lots of suggestions for great places to eat.

Some days were quite packed with pre-booked things, whilst others were free to do as we wanted – although suggested routes and activities for these days were given as well.

Our personalised tour book was as indispensable as the sat nav – which we definitely needed. All of this gave us a chance to pack in plenty during the trip – far more than we’d ever have managed to organise ourselves, but still gave us plenty of time to have the relaxing holiday we wanted.

We stayed at Chateau de Sanse, near St Emillion, and at Maison du Bassin, Cap Ferret. Both very different hotels, but both fantastic in their own way.

The service both before our trip and during was excellent, and overall it is the extra touches that make Gourmet Touring stand out. The detailed knowledge of the area, the very personalised trip, the inclusion of chauffeuring you and your car back after a gourmet meal (nice chance to enjoy the wonderful wine on offer) and the overall friendliness of John and Sian and helpfulness whenever needed. We wouldn't hesitate to use them again should we travel back to the area - or to recommend them to everyone else we know. Just a shame there isn't a cloned version of the firm in other great wine areas!

2  Thank RandK_London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 25, 2009

Today, a mixed case of spectacular Bordeaux wines arrived at our home in New York City, having been hand-selected with expert help at a wonderful wine shop in St. Emelion two weeks ago, after days of tasting and touring throughout Bordeaux led by John and Gourmet Touring. We'll see if I have the patience to keep it as long as I should, but regardless I wanted to mark the arrival with a review of Gourmet Touring and the exceptional experience we had with them.

We weren't entirely sure what to expect from Gourmet Touring, but we knew that we needed help if we were going to get below the tourist surface of Bordeaux. What John and GT created for us exceeded our expectations in every way.

The accommodation John found for us was astonishing. A gorgeously restored 200+ year-old country home, with a sparkling pool in a backyard filled with fruit trees, run by a friendly couple who served us home-made jams for breakfast every morning was so far beyond what one would get in a typical hotel we were truly amazed.

The private tours and tastings at some of Bordeaux's best wineries were both more than we expected, and far more than we could ever have arranged for ourselves. The highlights included a private 3 hour tour+class culminating in a blind tasting at Chateau Lynch-Bages, and a personal tour and tasting at world renown Premier Grand Cru Classe Chateau Angelus.

John also selected a number of restaurants that we would never have found on our own, the most memorable being a spectacular Fromagerie in downtown Bordeaux with a full basement full of cheeses powering a truly spectacular lunch buffet, and a quaint outdoor cafe in the shadows of the ancient cathedral in St. Emelion.

We chose to have Gourmet Touring drive us, rather than taking the GPS and driving ourselves. I cannot over-state the degree to which I recommend this. John got us everywhere we needed to go, on time, without being lost once. More than anything, though, this allowed us to 100% relax, take in the scenery and the experience, and let John handle all the stress.

In the end, though, what really set this trip apart was that John and Gourmet Touring truly hand-made this adventure for us. We spent time before-hand explaining to John the type of experiences we wanted to have, and he created an itinerary just for us, all the way down to arranging for a bike tour and plotting out maps for me to run through the country-side as the vacation was in the middle of training for the NYC marathon. I cannot say enough about the personal touches, and this made a huge difference over any itinerary we could have planned ourselves.

We will call John again next time we get to Bordeaux, and I highly, highly suggest you call him to create your next Bordeaux adventure. If you don't, you truly will never know what you will have missed!

2  Thank JamesClarkNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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