Culinary Traditions and Treasures of Paris
For art, architecture, fashion and culture, Paris is one of the great treasure houses of the world. Steeped in history and tradition, food and wine are the heart and soul of her culture. Your journey is as much about experiencing the food and wine as it is about the sites and activities, providing a balance between fueling your spirit and feeding your soul.
Highlights include local culinary and wine expert guides and docents, lunch with a culinary journalist, cooking lesson with a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef, private baguette class with an award winning baker and private museum tour with an art historian.
This trip can also be customized to include other parts of France.
From US$5,500.00 per guest, double occupancy, including four-star accommodations in the wonderful St Germain neighborhood on the Left Bank with daily breakfast, VAT and service. The actual cost will vary depending upon room category selected and fluctuations in exchange rates.
This program can be customized to individual needs, tastes and preferences. Customization will affect the final cost.
Upon arrival at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, your driver will be waiting for you as you exit the Customs area. Enjoy a leisurely transfer from the airport to your hotel. The day is yours to explore Paris on your own. While in Paris, the classically Parisian neighborhood of St-Germain-des-Prés will be your home. Adjacent to the Latin Quarter on the left bank, St-Germain is a wonderful walking neighborhood of genteel blocks lined with art galleries, storied cafés, chic shops and designer boutiques. The secret of the district lies in discovering its narrow streets, hidden squares, and magnificent gardens.
This evening, you’ll discover the enchantment of Paris and experience the magical after-dark ambience of the "City of Lights". Escorted by your private driver-guide, you’ll delight in the spectacular brilliance of the illuminated monuments and structures ~ Notre Dame Cathédral, Eiffel Tower, Pyramid of the Louvre, the Place de la Concorde, the Champs Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe, the mansions along the Seine and more.
A tour of a Parisian market is the perfect way to get your immersion started. This morning, accompanied by a local culinary expert such as a chef or author, you’ll visit an authentic neighborhood market. As you stroll amongst the stalls, discover how the market functions, food provenance and the concept of terrior, how Parisians shop for their food and the impact of this on the French diet and gastronomic philosophy.
Allow us to suggest an excellent authentic Parisian bistro for lunch.
Your introduction to Parisian cuisine continues this afternoon as you have a historic look at the Parisian market where the former central city market was at Les Halles, using as a thread the 1873 Emile Zola novel Le Ventre de Paris (The Belly of Paris). Although the shimmering glass and metal buildings described by Zola no longer exist, you’ll will explore surviving vestiges of the culinary landscape he described. Visiting specialty food shops for some of the best tastes Paris has to offer, your culinary expert guide will extend Zola's metaphor to contemporary Paris and explore the connections between food and culture in the city today.
This morning you’ll enjoy a delightful introduction to Paris. Accompanied by your expert guide, you’ll explore the central neighborhoods - the Ile de la Cité, the Latin Quarter, Odéon, and the Louvre district. This is the historic heart of Paris. Old and new mix in a visibly fascinating way here, telling the story of the periods and peoples - from ancient Roman settlers to Résistance fighters - who helped shape the city. Your walk includes major landmarks such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the Sorbonne, the medieval Hôtel de Cluny, and the Palais du Louvre but you will also see things not highlighted in guidebooks. Quiet, tree-lined plazas and tucked away courtyards, filled with meaningful details, capture the spirit and history of Paris.
Restaurants, a defining feature of urban dining around the world today, remained a uniquely Parisian
phenomenon until the late nineteenth century. Today you’ll be joined by an expert in the history of artful dining. Over the course of a sumptuous lunch in the classic French tradition and enjoyed in a landmark Neoclassical setting, this event will trace the emergence, evolution and influence of the restaurant. Following lunch, walk through historic Saint-Germain-des-Prés, to explore the development of cafés and brasseries, as well as the
ingredients that provide the underpinning for the cuisine served at these establishments.
This evening, discover the wines of France, from Bordeaux to Burgundy. Wine and France are inextricably intertwined. A thread in the fabric of French life and culture, wine has helped to shape France's history, gastronomy, and the urban landscape, and like France itself, French wine has evolved throughout the ages. During your 2.5 hour French wine discovery, you’ll explore the evolution of wine in France through a melding of history, the wine-making process, food and wine pairings, current trends, and tasting techniques while enjoying four different French wines.
With a good introductory base developed over your first days, today you’ll take to the streets of the chic
rue de Bac. Accompanied by your culinary expert, you’ll visit some of the cities top specialty food shops, an award winning bakery, one of the city’s oldest cheese shops, the city's only mousse bar, a famous delicatessen or a family run wine cave, enjoying tastings and in-depth discussion of various culinary topics along the way.
For lunch today, you’ll visit one of the most talked about restaurants, accompanied by a culinary journalist,
to discover the current trends in Parisian cuisine. Having learned the history of the restaurant yesterday, the aim of this lunch is to get to know the current restaurant scene in Paris. What are today’s trends? Who are some of the cities best chefs? What is on the horizon of the Parisian culinary scene? Likely topics of conversation as you dine and savor some of these tastes for yourselves.
With the remainder of the afternoon free, you can take a stroll along the river Seine or through the Tuileries Garden (Jardin des Tuileries), the lovely public garden located between the Louvre Museum and the Place de la Concorde, walk up the Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe or cater to your shopping desires by strolling along the rue du Faubourg St. Honoré and rue Royale, or the famous rue Montaigne in the ‘Golden Triangle’ for an incredible array of luxury goods from Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Rochas, Dior, Céline and Chanel,
We suggest dinner at one of the city’s exceptional and highly-regarded restaurants as a perfect end to the day.
Paris is home to some of the world's best chocolate makers, sellers, and aficionados and each has gained notoriety for their special technique, and flavor. This delicious jaunt through Paris' upscale St Germain neighborhood will not only entice your palate but will also open your eyes to the complicated science involved in the chocolate making process. During the course of this 3-hour walk, you will not only visit several of these chocolate specialists, you’ll also discuss the process of how this delicious melt-in-your mouth concoction is derived from a simple bean.
In keeping with the chocolate themed day, after lunch you’ll venture across the Seine to have an exclusive visit to the laboratoire of one of the city’s most talked about chocolatiers. After your visit, have a quick stop at a few of the Right Bank’s best bakeries and pastry shops.
Your cooking class this evening is not an average cooking class. This experience, led by a Cordon Bleu trained chef, aims to enhance your gastronomic skills while enjoying the art of French cooking. This personalized lesson integrates your personal desires with our chef’s experience in cooking, art and French culture. Various menus are proposed from gastronomic tradition to creative fusion.
In search of the perfect baguette? Try your hand at baguette making during a private baguette and viennoiserie (croissants, pain au chocolat) class given by an award winning baker in an authentic bakery.
After class, you can enjoy lunch at a bistro in the area or take a walk through the Luxembourg Gardens and have a picnic using the baguette made during class.
This afternoon, visit either the Opera Garnier or the Louvre Museum, great architectural treasures of Paris...
The Opera Garnier is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. The history of this performance hall is dark and interesting, and spans from architecture to literature and music. Led by your guide, you will be amazed by its rich architecture. The abundant decor, the splendor of the various foyers and the variety of materials used will take your breath away. The numerous paintings and sculptures allow the Opera Garnier to be not only a theatre but also a museum at the same time.
A medieval fortress, the palace of the kings of France, and a museum for the last two centuries, the architecture of the Louvre Palace bears witness to more than 800 years of history. Your guide will lead you through the most significant collections, weaving a timeline of art and history along the way.
A beautiful ending to your week discovering the treasures of Paris...
Bidding adieu to Paris, your driver will transfer you to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport for your journey home.