Day 1: Arrive in Paris. Guests will arrive Charles de Gaulle airport and transfer via van to hotel and check in to our hotel, the Best Western Serotel Lutece on rue Gay Lussac in the 5th arrondissement. Tour commences at noon with a welcome and orientation by your leaders, Ellen and Sally, in the hotel lounge. Today, we will explore notable Tea and Chocolate treasures in and around Saint Germain des Prés and the Latin Quarter. We’ll start with a walk through the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens and down the Rue de Seine.
We will stop at one of Paris’ premier patisseries, and also at the shop of a master chocolatier. Next, we will explore the rue de Seine/rue de Buci market streets, stopping in a fine gourmet shops for artisanal oils, regional French wines, and more. You can pick up a sandwich or salad at one of the many shops for an alfresco picnic on the Vedettes de Pont Neuf one-hour Seine Cruise. We will walk to the Pont Neuf and take our Seine Cruise. We will cap off the afternoon with tea and patisserie at the St. Germain salon of the venerable Mariage Fréres. As we walk back to our hotel, we’ll show you several examples of small, characterful tea salons in this great neighborhood. We will have dinner at Le Procope or Le Reminet or comparable gourmet bistro.
Day 2: Marais. The Marais is one of the most historic, arty and lively neighborhoods in Paris. After breakfast at our hotel, we’ll start our day with a visit to the Richard Lenoir marché volant, one of the largest and liveliest Paris Sunday markets. While there is an astonishing selection of fresh and prepared food, you can also shop for jewelry, leather goods, scarves and more. We’ll enjoy a walking tour of this wonderful neighborhood, with a visit to venerable Mariage Fréres Marais shop.
We’ll also stop in at a tiny specialty shop chock full of an extensive selection of unusual honeys and quality tisanes. Then we will visit selected small chocolate shops in the Marais. You may wish to enjoy a felafel or other gourmet street-food along the rue de Rosiers for lunch on your own. We will have dinner at gourmet bistro Mon Vieil Ami, 69 rue St. Louis en Ile.
Day 3: St. Germain Day. The 6th and 7th arrondissements are full of fine tea and chocolate temptations. We’ll start the day with breakfast at the hotel then begin our walking tour. First, we will stop at a patisserie famous for green tea eclairs and mille-feuilles flavored with tea. Then, we will visit the shops of chocolatier Christian Constant and the boutique of a second master-patissier with a gorgeous selection of temptations. We’ll walk via the rue de Cherche Midi into the 7th arrondissement, with a stop at Lionel Poilane’s famed bakery, and at La Maison du Chocolat. We will lunch at L’Artisan des Saveurs tea salon or equivalent.
In the afternoon we will go shopping along the quintessential Paris shopping street, the rue de Bac, including a stop at M. Chapon’s chocolate boutique. The rue de Bac is lined with sweet small shops for fashion, food, design, items for daily (Parisian) life and more. We will visit the astonishing block-square Grand Épicerie of the Bon Marché department store. Dinner is on your own. We’ll provide an extensive list of suggestions near the hotel and are happy to advise guests on great bistros, wine bars and restaurants anywhere in Paris.
Day 4: Madeleine. We will begin this day with breakfast at our hotel. Then, we will go to the Madeleine quarter via bus or metro. Today we will taste premium first flush Japanese green teas with Carol Neigar of Chajin, and visit the world famed gourmet and tea shops that cluster on and around the Place de la Madeleine, including Laduree, Fauchon, Hediard, Betjeman and Barton. We’ll have lunch in the tea-room at prize winning artisanal chocolatier Jean Paul Hevin and then enjoy a stroll through the Tuileries gardens and up the Champs Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe. Dinner is on your own.
Day 5: Palais Royal - Montorgueil - Galleries Vivienne. We’ll start this central Paris day with breakfast at our hotel. Next, we will enjoy a morning stroll up the rue Montorgueil, one of Paris’ best market streets. Among the many top food shops there are, of course, terrific stops for chocolate and patisserie. We’ll walk or metro over the to beautiful Galleries Vivienne, a classic 1890’s passage couvert, to enjoy lunch at Á Priori Thé, a beloved tea salon. Galleries Vivienne is also home to excellent small fashion and wine shops.
Next, we will walk through the beautiful Palais Royal, enjoying the gardens and exploring the shops under the historic arcades. Later in the afternoon, we will stop for tea at La Maison de Trois Thé, a world-class tearoom and shop featuring fine, even rare, Chinese and Oolong teas, owned by tea master Madame Yui Hui Tseng. Dinner is on your own. Note: the Louvre is open late on Wednesdays.
Day 6: Montmartre - Rue des Martyrs - Nouvelle Athennes. We will begin the day with breakfast at our hotel. This day will highlight off-the-beaten path tea and chocolate treasures. We’ll stop in a beautiful, tiny confiserie full of the best chocolates and candies from all over France. This is the only Paris source for the luscious Bernachon chocolates from Lyon. And the shop sells other superb, often unusual, chocolates and candies as well as teas from a small but well chosen selection. Next we will enjoy a walking tour of Montmartre, one of Paris’ most charming ‘village’ neighborhoods.
We will stop for a light lunch in one of the cafés around the place des Abbesses, (not included in tour). Then, we’ll walk down the rue Lepic, with its windmills and food shops to the trendy and typique rue de Martyrs shopping street and then stop for tea and a pastry at Les Cakes de Bertrand, a beautiful little shop that sells fine teas, innovative cakes, and chocolates. We will have dinner at Le Reminet, Les Papilles, or other gourmet bistro in the Latin Quarter or St. Germain.
Day 7: Free day. We will begin the day with breakfast at our hotel. Sally and Ellen will be available for suggestions for shopping, museums, cultural, other tea venues, a day trip to Versailles, or whatever guests choose to do. We will have final dinner together at Le Troquet or other convivial gourmet bistro.
Day 8: Home Departure. End of the tour.
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