By lord, it’s our second birthday! On September 19, 2009, the Girls’ Guide to Paris website was launched, and somehow two full years have flown by. We’ve all had such fun hunting down wonderful spots for you all, from chocolatiers to spas to shoe shops and so much more. A bevy of beautiful lady writers have combed the streets of Paris to bring you the best of the best, and they continue to do so every single day. I have to thank them all for their hard work and dedication to the task. I also am eternally grateful to our IT folks at Look-It Design and our incredible copy editors, Lamar and Sandra, without whom you’d see 100 typos in every piece. And there are so many more—talented photographers, great trip and travel partners . . . I could go on.
But mainly we’d like to thank you, our readers, for keeping us alive and growing. We are now read by more than 200,000 people a year, and our numbers continue to grow every month. Hooray! We would like to celebrate by thanking you for a spectacular two years, and by announcing our second-anniversary contest. The grand prize is a three-night stay at the gorgeous Château Rigaud, which is set among the vines near St.-Emilion, in Bordeaux country. No, it’s not Paris—we’d like to change it up a bit and take you away to the red-wine capital of the world in southwest France. The château operates as an exclusive hotel and guesthouse, and the winner will enjoy three luxurious nights in a terribly grand room. See details below for itinerary.*
The second and third prizes are an Ask Daphnée French lesson video app for your iPad. Fourth prize is the Ask Daphnée French language video app for your iPhone. Fifth prize is a copy of the recently published book Paris to the Past. The nonfiction account, by best-selling author and historian Ina Caro, relays numerous trips you can take via metro or RER from Paris back into history.
What do you have to do to win, you ask? Simply go to the Girls’ Guide Facebook page and upload a photo or two of Paris or something French. Get your friends to like your photo. The one with the most likes will win! Winners will be announced October 3. The last moment to send in a like is midnight, EST, October 2. Good luck to all, and may the best girl (or guy) win!
Bordeaux Vines Trip
Three-night stays at the chic Château Rigaud in the Bordeaux vines, from Monday to Thursday, running throughout fall 2011 and spring 2012, as mutually available.
Day One: Monday
Take the midmorning train from Montparnasse and arrive three hours later in Libourne, a country market town just a 20-minute cab ride from Château Rigaud, in the heart of the Bordeaux vines. Delight in the loveliness of your château bedroom, unpack and unwind with a glass of sparkling crémant and a slice of our fabulous homemade afternoon cake. There’s time for a massage or maybe a swim before dinner in the table d’hôte style, a rustic three-course meal of country fare around a shared table.
Day Two: Tuesday
There’s plenty to be said for simply chilling out at the château throughout your stay. Book a few treatments in the Rigaud Boudoir Spa and flick through the lifestyle magazines and coffee-table books that adorn the rooms. For those who prefer a little adventure, the great Bordelais châteaux await you. We can arrange a driver and the necessary appointments for you to visit châteaux and other sites in the UNESCO World Heritage village of St.-Emilion, with lunch in the stunning courtyard of L’Envers du Décor and an afternoon trip of the hermitage, monolithic church and bell tower. Supper is a selection of salads, homemade pâtés, terrines, hams and cheeses, and a classic French tart. All the food at Rigaud is made from scratch and, whenever possible, using produce grown on site.
Day Three: Wednesday
More châteaux trips? How about a drive over the hills to the region of Sauternes for a quick stop and tasting at Château Guiraud, a Premier Grand Cru Classé Sauternes. And followed by lunch in the impossibly pretty walled village of Rions? Or if you’ve done enough wine, then a little architecture and shopping in Bordeaux? Or a canoe descent on the Dordogne? (It’s really very genteel and almost no effort!) Dinner tonight is slightly upscale, and, weather permitting, it’s served under the chandelier-lit tree in the gardens. Linen tablecloths and four courses create a memorable atmosphere for your last night at Rigaud.
Day Four: Thursday
Breakfast and perhaps a last walk in the gardens before a cab ride back to the station for a train that can take you either back to central Paris or directly to Charles de Gaulle Airport for a flight home.
Three-night package with meals as described, including wines, cocktails, afternoon tea and cakes, valued at 600 euros per person based on single occupancy of a standard room. Transfers and trips are at additional cost, according to your choice from our comprehensive list of options. The château concierge service is able to arrange everything and anything after completion of a prearrival questionnaire.
Paris to the Past