I worked with the folks at this travel agency to plan an anniversary trip for my husband and I to France in June 2018. We knew loosely where we wanted to go, and our travel planner helped narrow down our vision and really focus in on the types of places and experiences that would be most memorable for us -- ultimately we ended up visiting Paris, Bordeaux, and Dinard (Brittany region) over the course of our 10 day trip.
Everything was planned very neatly and I had no worries throughout. Near the end of our trip we even ended up having a train schedule move up (30 mins earlier than our tix) and this travel agency not only contacted me but also our hotel to notify us that we needed to leave our hotel earlier than planned. This was hugely important because I wasn't checking email regularly and I'm sure we would have missed the train.
They also went above and beyond and notified each of the hotels that we were celebrating our anniversary, and at every place (3 separate hotels) we got the royal treatment -- champagne, flowers, and upgrades. It really made us feel special.
There were a lot of highlights from the trip, but three things really stood out that I'd recommend to anyone:
1. Wine tasting in Bordeaux. Our travel planner suggested two options for wine tasting excursions -- one that was pretty traditional, small group van tour vs. one that was small group + bikes. The bike tour is the option we went with and I'm so glad we did! I was nervous having not been on a bike in a decade, but it was so much fun and an wonderfully unique way to see the countryside -- even if you're not regularly on two wheels. We visited the town of St. Emillion, which was just fantastic, had lunch in a private room at a chateaux, and then visited another chateaux for tastings and a tour. Overall it was just a really special day and both my husband and I enjoyed ourselves thoroughly
2. Our hotel in Bordeaux was outstanding - specifically b/c of our top floor room with a balcony. Location was perfect, breakfast was on-point every day, but the best part was that we could take a bottle of wine back to our room every evening and just sit outside looking at the city lights.
3. Cooking class in Paris. We met our chef in a little market, he walked us through the vendors in the market and together as a group of about 10 people we decided on our menu for the day based on what was freshest. We then hopped the metro back to the kitchen and started cooking. Everyone pitched in to create this beautiful meal: mushroom cream soup, duck, cream-based potato gratin, caramelized turnips, and an apricot souffle. It was so much fun for everyone (even the men) participated in a meaningful way in bringing it to life. Then, we shared a beautiful lunch together. Such a unique and fun experience and a way to get to know and interact with people you otherwise would never meet.
The only thing I'd do differently if going back is opt for a different location of hotel in Paris. The hotel we stayed at was actually great -- in the Opera district, close to everything. But after spending four days walking around we really fell in love with the St. Germain district -- just all the cafe's, art, and shops were adorable and more in line with our personal style and how we like to relax.
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