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Food & wine

On board, guests will experience the gastronomy of France
with fine regional wines and delicious gourmet meals

The Luciole

Meals on board the Luciole are treasured times: a summer luncheon or dinner by candlelight

Wake up to fresh croissants and pastries from local bakeries along our cruise route. The culinary delights continue through lunch, with savoury dishes and a feast of salads. Our chef is encouraged to be innovative and imaginative, marrying French cuisine with a contemporary twist whilst using fresh local ingredients to inspire and spoil you. Each evening the memorable four-course meal provides the climax to each day.

Through out the week we introduce you to a variety of twenty-three delicious French cheeses, from creamy Camembert to the famous blue Roquefort. Tea and coffee is available throughout the day, or perhaps choose something a little stronger from the ‘open bar'. Special diets are easily catered for aboard the Luciole.

Evening meals

The warm ambiance, for which the Luciole is renowned, is no better experienced than when gathered round a table in anticipation of culinary delights

The four-course evening meal is the gastronomic highlight of each day. Glistening glasses and starched linen napkins set the scene of a dinner party with friends. Dining by candlelight while the sun-sets, reflecting onto the river or canal. Simply bliss. Laughter and stories flow into the evening, concluding with coffee and liquers on the sundeck under starlit nights.

poached pear Williams


Lunch is a feast of salads and savoury dishes, followed by a selection of cheese or light dessert

Lunch is a well-balanced selection of fresh culinary delights. A choice of hot and cold dishes, introduced and served by your chef. Lush salads, French tarts, home-cured meats and Burgundian specialities. There is even a chance to try snails - but its not obligatory!

One lunch on shore in a classic French restaurant

stuffed avocados

Continental breakfast

Delicious croissants and pastries from bakeries along our cruise route

The day begins with the arrival of freshly baked baguettes and pastries. Each morning we collect our bread from the local boulangerie, the bakers varying styles can be compared throughout the week. There is also a choice of breakfast cereals, fruit, yoghurts and juices. Fresh coffee, hot milk and tea are always provided by the hostesses with a cheery smile to start your day.

fresh French croissant

Our Wines

The wines we serve are carefully paired with our menus
Vintages from Burgundy, the Loire Valley and Bordeaux

We take you on a wine tour of France, through the regions and their grape varieties, selecting wines from established vigneron along with recommendations by our experienced wine merchants. The chef and our captain work closely together, pairing the wines with the fresh food served on board, introducing each wine daily.

French wines from far and near are chosen. Local vineyards are well represented with Chablis and the Yonne Valley on our doorstep . Wines from the Cote d'Or and Loire Valley are also on our list, together with selections from further afield: Bordeaux and the Alsace.

The Burgundy wines from our region have their own distinctive character. Generally, Pinot Noir grapes are harvested for the red wines along with Gamay and César. For the whites it is Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Aligoté. The 'terroir' of the Burgundy is particularly fascinating and unique. The stony vineyards, cold winters and warm summers contribute to the complex and varying flavours of each vintage, highly regarded by the wine enthusiast.

The appreciation of our Burgundy wines, as the week progresses, is a rewarding journey. We also serve the full bodied Cabinet Sauvignon wines from the hotter climes of the southerly vineyards of the Rhone Valley and Bordeaux.

French pinot noir wine Fixin

Pinot noir

A very smooth but earthy red wine with a lot of depth. Soils are a clay and limestone mixture. The winemaker also makes Gevery-Chambertin and Côte De Nuits-Village.

Chablis chardonnay wine

Jean-Marc Brocard

A very pure chardonnay with acidic and zesty mineral flavours that mellow with age. Calcareous soils and Northern so sees dramatic temperature differences. Jean-Marc been producing Chablis since 1973.

bottle of Irancy red wine

Benoit Cantin
Pinot Noir

Subtle red fruit, soft and pleasant. The vines are in a deep valley; protected from winds and storms, but sees lower temperatures. Benoit Cantin has 13 hectares (32 Acres) and his grapes are hand picked.

bottle of St Bris wine
St Bris


Full, flowery and tender. Sauvignon is rare in these parts. The town has a huge network of medieval cellars in which the wine is aged.

History of wine making

Historians find it hard to determine exactly when wine was first made, perhaps as long ago as 10,000 BC. Evidence of wine making has been found in both Chinese and Middle Eastern history. In France, the Gauls and Romans certainly cultivated vineyards, but the art of winemaking was really established by the Catholic monks, who planted vineyards to make wine for their Churches. In the 19th Century the disease Phylloxera and mildew Odium wiped out many of these vineyards, the World Wars and resulting economic downturns, also had their negative effects on wine production. Slowly the French planted and built up their vineyards again

In 1935 the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) was created to protect French wines, helping develop the wines to the high standards that we know today. Winemaking in France is now taking new routes towards sustainable, organic and bio-dynamic viticultures.

Burgundy's climate and geography

Burgundy is located in Central France and has a high percentage of woodland and forest alongside pastures and, of course, vineyards. The region experiences cold winters and hot summers due to the changes in the prevailing winds, from the South-Easterlies in the summer to the North-Easterlies in winter.

Burgundy’s geology has an enormous impact on the taste of the wines. In Burgundy, the vine roots bury down through the stony soil, reaching the limestone bedrock from the Jurassic period and the distinct strata of rock known as ‘Kimmeridgian’ and ‘Portlandian'. This limestone rock runs under the sea from Dorset in England down into central France and is composed of a large density of fossilised marine organisms and their skeletal remains, such as ammonites, coral and clams. The rock is extremely high in calcium, giving Burgundy wines their distinctive crisp mineral flavours.

Burgundy classifications

Grand Cru (1% of the total) - Reserved and named only after the best vineyards
Premier Cru (10%) - Still high quality wines. The village name is used with clarification of the vineyard
Village Wines (37% ) - Grapes are sourced from several vineyards
Regional Wines (52%) - Grapes are combined from a number of vineyards in the area

red wine and cheese board


We introduce you to twenty-three delicious French cheeses, from creamy Brie to the famous blue Roquefort

Cheese has been an important part of French culture for generations. Hundreds of different varieties have been developed using the milk from cows, ewes and goats, in a diverse range of techniques. The cheese course is introduced to you by the hostesses who give an explanation of the composition and a potted history, so you know what you’re about to taste!

Brie French cheese

Brie de Meaux

Soft cow's milk

Made East of Paris since the 8th Century. A rich, milky and sweet buttery taste of mushrooms or nuts, which takes 5-6 weeks to age.

French cheese Roquefort


Ewe's milk

The first cheese to be given AOC authorisation. Tastes salty and rich, with complex flavors due to the penicillin mold from the caves it's aged in for 4 months.

French cheese Morbier


Hard, cows milk

Originally made from the left overs of Comté, originally ash preserved the morning's milking leftovers, before being topped up in the evening. Rich, creamy and very nutty from a 1 month aging time.

French Reblochon


Cows milk

Farmers from the Haute Savoie originally made this cheese with a covert third milking in the evening to avoid paying taxes! Very pungent, with a nutty aftertaste and an aging time of 6-8 weeks

coffee cup and saucer

Open Bar

Feel free to enjoy our ‘open bar’ stocked with a tempting choice of sprits and liqueurs
Tea and coffee is available throughout the day

Special diets

Special diets are easily catered for on board the Luciole

This includes: gluten intolerance, lactose intolerance, vegetarian, vegan and any food allergy.

Please mention special diets before your cruise and speak personally to the chef on arrival. Alternative dishes will be provided to suit requests and requirements.

Hotel barge Luciole

Cruising since 1976

Phone: 00 44 1625 576880
From USA: 011 44 1625 576880

23 Adlington Road, Bollington
SK10 5JT England

1-2 Quai de la Republique, Auxerre
89000 France

© Hotel Barge Luciole 2024

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