For food, wine, and atmosphere, there is no place quite like Burgundy. Canal cruising is one of the best ways to explore the picturesque countryside and small villages of the region, all at leisure and in sublime comfort.
That’s why we work with Captain Megret on the Savoir Vivre, offering guests the best of the region. The boat is like the most comfortable apartment, but afloat, drifting past incredible scenery.
And Megret serves as its pilot and chef, hosting and leading groups of up to 8 people at a time. He has worked on the canals since 1989 and shares a deep knowledge of the region’s history, wine, and food with guests.
He sets up a gorgeous spread for breakfast, including fresh fruit and bread and pastries from local purveyors.
For lunch, Megret uses local ingredients to create seasonal menus that are locally inspired. Often lunch on board is a light buffet with hearty salads, fresh entrees, and lovely table settings.
A typical menu might include broccoli and chèvre tart and roasted pork loin with caramelized apples. A selection of salads might include a carrot coriander salad and a beet salad with walnuts and strawberries.
Here is Magret’s recipe for his broccoli and chèvre tart.
Tarte aux brocolis et chèvre
1 egg yolk
2 cups plain flour
1 cup butter
1/8 cup of water
4.5 ounces goat’s cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
half a pound of broccoli crowns
3.5 ounces milk
3.5 ounces double cream
Cube the butter. Trim and halve the broccoli crowns. Slice the goat cheese into 8 rounds.
- Put the flour, butter, and a pinch of salt in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then transfer to a bowl.
- Add the egg yolk mixture and stir with a knife. Bring together with your hands (add water if it’s a little dry).
- Roll into a ball, wrap in cling wrap and chill for 20 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 9.5-inch loose-bottomed tart tin.
- Roll out the pastry on a floured surface.
- Line the tin with the pastry, leaving a little to overhang. Line with baking paper and pie weights (if you have them), then bake for 15 minutes. Move on to step 9 while you wait for the pastry to bake, then come back to this step.
- Remove the paper and pie weights, and return to the oven for 5 minutes.
- Reduce the oven to 325°F.
- Cook the broccoli in boiling water for 2-3 minutes until just tender.
- Arrange the broccoli on top.
- Beat the eggs with the milk and double cream, then season.
- Pour into the pastry case, then top with the goat cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until just set and golden.
(Alternative method: book a cruise on the Savoir Vivre)
Lunches like these include a wine pairing too, with a red and a white wine from area vineyards and a curated cheese platter of local, artisanal favorites. An excellent selection of wines are stocked on the ship for guests to enjoy.
For dinner, Savoir Vivre guests dock and dine out in local restaurants along the cruise route. This gives guests a chance to venture into towns, and to step into some of the oldest, most beautiful traditional restaurants in the region.
Guests can soak up the ambiance of old inns and to dine in lovely villages, dining among the locals. They can enjoy a new specialty each night prepared by a different chef. Guests are escorted from the boat and driven into town, and the cost of dinner is included in the package price.
Of course in their travels along the canal, guest get to hop off and see villages by day as well, digging into the local history and visiting vineyards and wineries along the way.
Check out the Savoir Vivre, which continues to be one of our most popular cruises in France.
And be sure to tell us how your broccoli and chevre tart turns out. Bon appetit!