Exclusive for Mail on Sunday readers: Wine and dine along the Rhone with Ian Botham and TV chef Rosemary Shrager
For food and wine lovers, a journey along the Rhone river in France promises some of Europe’s ultimate delicacies – from rich Burgundy wines and fine cheeses to zesty Provence rosé.
On this unforgettable luxury river cruise through the idyllic countryside, you’ll sail past the same landscapes that inspired artists Gogh, Cezanne and Gauguin, and unearth the gourmet secrets that make this region of France one of the world’s premier culinary destinations.
As you travel along the peaceful Rhone and Saone rivers, you’ll enjoy the area’s incomparable wine and cuisine and discover its many treasures – from the medieval wonders of Unesco-designated Avignon to Lyon’s lively river banks.
You’ll be joined on board for the week by chef, TV presenter and haute cuisine expert Rosemary Shrager, who will give a private cooking demonstration and join you on a food market visit and prepare a special dinner.
Golden hour: Explore the celebrated wine-growing regions of Burgundy and Provence (pictured) on this tour along the Rhone river in France
The wine pairings will be chosen by another special guest: cricketing-legend-turned-wine-producer Ian Botham.
Ian will also be on board for the week, joining for dinner and drinks throughout the cruise.
He’ll give a talk about his career and answer your questions in a Q&A, as well as joining you for a wine-tasting.
You’ll discover the medieval wonders of Unesco-designated Avignon – such as the city’s medieval Pont d’Avignon bridge (above) – en route
MEET OUR SPECIAL GUESTS
You will be joined by Rosemary Shrager
Rosemary Shrager is a British chef and television presenter. She has experience as a haute cuisine teacher and has published eight cookbooks, including Absolutely Foolproof Cookery. Rosemary has also written two fictional novels, including The Last Supper.
Ian Botham, who’s now a crossbench peer
Ian Botham is one of cricket’s best-loved figures as a player and commentator, as well as a prolific charity fundraiser. He was knighted in 2007 and entered the House of Lords as a crossbench peer in 2020. He has developed his own range of wines and gin, Botham Wines.
You’ll be sailing aboard Uniworld’s SS Catherine, an opulently decorated ship with 80 cabins across three decks, several of them with private balconies and French verandas.
All meals are served on board, prepared using fine, fresh ingredients.
You will also have the opportunity to reflect on your adventures in the Bar du Leopard, which serves as both a dance venue and relaxation area.
There are plenty of exciting shore excursions to look forward to.
Lovers of fine wine will be wooed by the village of Tain-l’Hermitage, where Ian will join you on a private visit to Le Vineum – the wine cellar of Paul Jaboulet Aine, one of the region’s most renowned wine-growers.
Reasons to book
Taste the wines of Burgundy: You’ll explore the celebrated wine-growing regions of Burgundy and Provence, where tradition is as deeply rooted as the grapevines on the rolling hills.
Cooking demonstration with Rosemary Shrager: Chef and haute cuisine teacher Rosemary has a penchant for classic French dishes such as moules mariniere, which you will have the chance to see up close in a private cooking demonstration.
Exclusive events with Ian Botham: The wine enthusiast will join you for a tasting and a visit to the Paul Jaboulet Aine estate’s wine cellar.
Ian will give a captivating talk about his charity work and his new wine and gin brand, ending with a Q&A.
He and Rosemary will co-host a special dinner one evening, with Rosemary curating the menu and wine pairings selected by Ian.
Sample regional delicacies: The Rhone valley is the jewel in France’s culinary crown.
You’ll get the chance to sample its produce, including truffles and olives, and visit a local market in Arles to marvel at the variety of cheeses, jams, lavender and honeys.
Discover Lyon: Walk or cycle along Lyon’s secret lanes and learn why it’s the gastronomic heart of France.
You’ll find both Michelin-starred restaurants and the more casual ‘bouchons lyonnais’, traditional eating places serving hearty fare.
- A seven-night cruise in a Classic Riverview stateroom on five-star SS Catherine.
- All meals on board, prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients.
- Unlimited beverages on board, including fine wine, beer and spirits.
- Spend a full week in the company of Ian Botham and Rosemary Shrager.
- Live cooking demonstration with Rosemary.
- Visit to Arles food market with Rosemary and a Uniworld chef.
- Exclusive talk and question-and-answer session with Ian.
- Dinner prepared by Rosemary, with wines paired by Ian.
- Private winery visit with Ian in Tain-l’Hermitage.
- A wine-tasting on board with Ian.
- A range of shore excursions, as detailed in the itinerary.
- Services of an experienced Uniworld cruise manager.
- Return flights from many UK airports, or travel via Eurostar**.
- All transfers on arrival and departure days.
- All gratuities, both on board and on shore.
ITINERARY: DAY 1 Lyon DAY 2 Macon, Beaune DAY 3 Lyon DAY 4 Tournon and Tain-l’Hermitage DAY 5 Viviers DAY 6 Avignon DAY 7 Tarascon, Arles DAY 8 Avignon
HOW TO BOOK
The price: From £2,499pp*. The dates: March 26 to April 2, 2023.
Call 0808 189 3554 quoting MOS BOTHAM. To find out more, visit mailtravel.co.uk/botham.
Terms and conditions: *From price is per person, based on two sharing a Classic Riverview stateroom, subject to availability. Price and itinerary correct at time of print but may be subject to change. Single supplement applies. Deposit required. Local charges such as tourist tax may apply. ** If travelling via Eurostar, you will need to organise own transfers between train stations and to and from the ship. In the case of unforeseen circumstances, expert(s) may be substituted, and any expert-led events may be subject to change. Travel insurance is not included but required for most of our overseas trips and should be taken out at time of booking. This holiday may be sold through other selected brands. Images used may not reflect your actual tour experience. Tour is operated by and subject to the booking conditions of Uniworld River Cruises Limited.