Golf, food & wine

In 2010 UNESCO categorised French cuisine among cultural objects that are ‘intangible cultural heritage’, underlining the importance of France’s gastronomic heritage. France retains its position as a global centre of culinary excellence and so a golf break to France offers the opportunity to experience world-class fare alongside world-class fairways. And in the same way, wine is an integral element of French life. Golfers can combine sporting and cultural passion with a golf break among the vineyards.

Domaine de la Bretesche, Brittany – A Michelin-starred experience in a fairy tale settting

A fairytale château, lakes, forest, exquisite 18-hole and compact 9-hole courses, La Bretesche (External link) is a feast for the senses and offers the very best of golf-hotel-spa. The Michelin starred Montaigu Restaurant is a gourmet experience never to be forgotten, while the Club Brasserie is ideal for lengthy post-golf lunches. For true gourmands, book yourself on a one-day cookery school, available throughout the year. You’ll find La Bretesche 45 minutes north east of Nantes.

Where to stay:

Stay on site at the Domaine de la Bretesche (External link) with a choice of luxury rooms and suites in the hotel, or a cosy cottage on the forested estate.

Hôtel Barrière L’Hotel du Golf Deauville, Normandy – Take your taste buds on a journey through Normandy

This imposing, aristocratic hotel on the Normandy coast defines a golden age of golf when wealth and style was paraded both on the fairways and in the bars and restaurants of this quintessential resort. The Lassay restaurant in the hotel combines regional Normandy and exotic flavours in sumptuous surroundings and views over the Seine Bay, while golfers will enjoy lunch and a relaxing drink in The Club House (External link) . If you can tear yourself away from fine fare and Calvados, there’s a classic Tom Simpson designed golf course (External link) waiting to be played.

Where to stay:

Of course, you won’t want to stay anywhere else than the L’Hotel du Golf (External link) itself.

Relais de Margaux, New Aquitaine – Play in the heart of the Médoc vineyards

TheRelais de Margaux (External link) is a former 19th century wine château that has been beautifully renovated and modernised and is now a 100-bedroom resort and spa. On the banks of the Gironde, the golf course is surrounded by the vineyards of the Haut-Médoc, including those that produce the world famous wines of Margaux. The golf course and resort is, as they say, premier cru.

Where to stay:

Stay on site at the Relais de Margaux (External link) where there are a variety of rooms, including accommodation specially designed for golfers.

Golf de Sancerre, Loire Valley – A superb course meandering through the world famous Sancerre vineyards

This friendly, lively golf club in central France is on the banks of the Loire and is in the heart of the vineyards that produce the region’s famous crisp Sauvignon Blanc wines. On the same seam of chalky, limestone soil that runs down from Dover to Champagne, then Chablis and on to Sancerre, this is a lovely rolling landscape and a beautiful setting for golf on a superbly conditioned course. Golf de Sancerre (External link) offers golf packages that include visits to local wine cellars, where you can also try the region’s much fancied reds and rosé wines.

Where to stay:

There are fabulous views of the vineyards and rolling landscape at Hotel Panoramic (External link) , while guests at Hotel de la Loire (External link) enjoy a special rate on green fees at Golf de Sancerre.

Golf du Cognac, New Aquitaine – A golfing paradise surrounded by nature

Just a 15 minute drive from Cognac, a town synonymous with the finest French spirit,this course (External link) sits on the banks of the river Charente, with the gently sloping course turning between woodland and vineyards, owned by the family Martell. The venue boasts an 18-hole course and a 6-hole pitch-and-putt, offering a combination of world class golf in the heart of vineyards that produce some of the world’s finest brandies.

Where to stay:

Cognac offers a variety of hotel options, including Chateau de L’Yeuse (External link) and the Hôtel François Premier Cognac (External link) , which dates back to the 19th century.