We did it! The Little French Bakery had it's first tour last month with Burkhalter Travel. We had twenty-five great people who set out to discover The City of Light. I can only speak for myself, but I had a GREAT time. I'm going out on a limb to say I think everyone had a really good time. Lots of fun, laughter, and learning all with a culinary twist.
I just have to share this photo. That's Thomas, our French guide. He picked up our weary group at the airport. I came out the doors of immigration & customs to see him and his sign. Goosebumps! We were in Paris! P.S. We were a bit sleepy, not crabby.
Here's our group in front of Versailles. It was perfect weather for walking the grounds and touring the Chateau.
Here's the short story of the trip in Q+A style:
What was the weather like?
It was in the high 60's/low 70's with 1 1/2 days of rain. The rest of the time it was sunny and gorgeous. The sunny days and warm afternoon made for very comfortable cafe stops.
Did you have good food?
We had great food at my favorite restaurants. Ille au Vache, Benoit, Brasserie Lipp, and Mariage Frere. We had a fun dinner cruise on the Seine complete with wine and a picture perfect Gateau Opera. We had great wine too. I'm always on the look out for the best desserts. We had the famous chocolate mousse, gateau Opera, baba au rhum, tarte tatin, and a tea infused cheesecake at the tea salon.
On the Place de la Madeleine, a few of us did a walking tour of some of the food shops. We stopped at Maille, the mustard maker. I bought some Chablis + Truffle mustard that they decanted into the jar for me.
The Galleries LaFayette Food Emporium gave us the tour or tours. Samples from several famous patisseries, wines, chocolates, and more. What a morning! Look at this sea of eclairs. Each was a perfect as the next.
Three of our group make a day trip to Champagne. They were there and back, drank great Champagne all in time for our farewell dinner. We'll be offering that as a separate excursion on the April trip.
One day we toured a food market . Vegetables, fruits, cheeses and more. Perfectly ripened and fun to sample.
And the shopping?
ooh-la-la! We shopped and some needed to re-organize to stay within the weight limit for a suitcase. Scarves, teas, purses, shoes... shoes... shoes... and lots of sweet presents for friends and family. Four of us set off to the area near Sacre Coeur known for apparel fabrics. It was very fun and interesting buying fabric in another country. Next time, I'll bring a bigger suitcase and a better sense of how much room fabric can take up in a bag.
The group had a fun few hours shopping for kitchen equipment using a nearby cafe as our base camp. People came & went sharing their wares and suggestions. The best part? We didn't have to carry our heavy bags back to the hotel, they left by cab!
Will you be going again?
You bet! When? I'm not sure. For now, it's wait and see. I love Paris, and can't wait to go back. However, I need to be respectful of the travel advisories, and sensitive to my fellow travelers. I'll keep you posted.
What's New in Paris?
The city was just as pretty as ever. It was Fashion Week, so there were signs here & there that something was happening. Starbucks has popped up in a few spots (we tried to ignore them, but couldn't resist the Paris mugs). The food emporium scene is huge. Hediard is doing a huge renovation. Fauchon is fancy and less grocery and much more tourist & gift items. We passed La Duree to learn that a single macaron is 4.25 euro. Yikes! We found others that were just as pretty and tasty for not the fancy price. The shoes and fashion were beautiful. The fashion reporter in me would like to tell you to buy navy blue shoes, boots and purses. Oh, and some ankle booties to wear with pants or dresses. With or without tights/hosiery.
What trip to Paris would be complete without an Eiffel Tower photo? Or two? This was our arrival day. It was a bit misty and dreary, but so were we. Jet. Lag.
The next two photos are from our dinner cruise on the Seine. Twinkly and pretty.
Thanks to all who helped make this a great trip. Next time, I'm hoping to actually to out my "big" camera rather than my iPhone. It made it easier to have conversations, but I love photographing Paris. Hope you'll think about joining us on the next trip.
And just for fun, a photo of my favorite fromage, Morbier. xoxo
Be safe, be kind and wishing you happy travels wherever you may roam.