France·September 30 - October 6 2024

Savoring Paris & the Dordogne

A Gastronomic exploration of France, from Paris to the Dordogne

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Overview

Indulge in a week of epicurean delight and cultural immersion exploring Paris and the enchanting Dordogne region. Experience the essence of ParisIan gastronomy with a hands-on macaron baking class, vibrant market shopping tour, and an insider’s lunch hosted by Chef Veronique. Sample specialties at the city’s oldest chocolatier and dine at an innovative Michelin 1-star table. Plus, you'll savor a plant-based organic cocktail at a female-run cocktail bar, and bistro classics amid a gorgeous 1906 art nouveau interior. Fall in love with the seasonal splendors of the Dordogne region as you wander through outdoor markets, explore vineyards, and meet local artisans. Our base is a gorgeous manor house in storybook Sarlat, the culinary capital… nestled in the historic quarter with its cobblestone streets lined with remarkable monuments. Each day brings new adventures – including a regional cooking class, and organic wine tasting, plus visits to Josephine Baker's chateau, iconic fortified villages, the incomparable Marqueyssac gardens, and an artisanal walnut oil producer. You’ll delight in curated dining experiences showcasing the best of local ingredients and regional talent. If you crave culinary adventure, cultural discovery, and camaraderie, this trip is tailored just for you.

Highlights

Learn to make macarons at a renowned pastry atelier

Learn to make macarons at a renowned pastry atelier

Savor French wines and artisan cheeses

Savor French wines and artisan cheeses

Shop like a local at charming French street markets

Shop like a local at charming French street markets

Dine on local specialties in Saint-Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage village

Dine on local specialties in Saint-Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage village

Explore the iconic medieval village of Domme

Explore the iconic medieval village of Domme

Visit the Chateau de Beynac

Visit the Chateau de Beynac

Learn to cook like a Dordogne chef

Learn to cook like a Dordogne chef

Explore the fascinating world of Josephine Baker

Explore the fascinating world of Josephine Baker

Itinerary

Here's a day-by-day itinerary of the trip

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Paris

Day 1: Monday, September 30th, 2024

Arrive in Paris by 2:00 p.m. and take a taxi to the hotel. Our trip begins with a 3:00 pm check-in at the charming 4-star boutique Hotel Recamier in the heart of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood. It's on the square where the French actress Catherine Deneuve has lived since 1977.

After settling in, we'll meet our trip host for a brief introduction and take a short walk to our private macaron baking class at Maison Fleuret, a renowned pastry atelier. In this class, we'll learn to make perfect macarons from scratch using the traditional French method. Under the guidance of an experienced chef, we'll learn how to whip up the meringue, fold in the almond flour, and pipe the batter onto baking sheets.

After the class, we'll return to the hotel for a festive champagne toast.

In the evening, we'll walk to Georgette, an intimate neo-bistro awarded the Maître Restaurateur and the Ecotable labels. Here, we'll savor a gastronomic dinner prepared with seasonal ingredients.

Included

Dinner

Cooking Class

Not Included

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Paris

Day 2: Tuesday, October 1st, 2024

We'll start our day at Rue Cler, a charming market street. We'll meet Chef Veronique, who will take us on a tour of her favorite gourmet stalls and shops. As we stroll along the market street, we'll select a varity of French delicacies, ranging from fresh fruits and vegetables to artisanal cheeses and pastries.

After our tour, we'll head to Chef Veronique's elegant flat for a degustation lunch. We'll savor a carefully curated tasting menu of the delicacies we purchased during our tour, paired with exceptional French wine and champagne.

Following lunch, we'll take a short walk to the Rodin Museum to enjoy an audio-guided tour of the mansion and beautiful garden where the artist lived. We'll admire Rodin's iconic sculptures, including The Thinker and The Kiss, and learn about his life and work.

For those interested, there is also an optional visit to the historic Debauve & Gallais chocolaterie. This royal chocolatier, patronized by Napoleon Bonaparte and generations of French notables and artists, uses the finest ingredients to craft their hand-made rochers, ganaches, truffles, and pistoles de Marie-Antoinette. Or explore ever-chic Left Bank. Wander its charming streets lined with unique shops showcasing the finest French artistry and creativity.

We'll return to our hotel before heading to the trendy Oberkampf neighborhood in the 11th arrondissement, known for its innovative restaurants, wine, and cocktail bars.The evening begins with a creative cocktail at the female-run Abricot Bar, rated among the best by Condé Nast Traveler. 

Following refreshments, we'll enjoy an exceptional dinner at Michelin 1-star FIEF - Fait Ici En France, renowned for its innovative plant-based cuisine. As we savor each dish, we'll appreciate the chef's creativity and skill in transforming plant-based ingredients into culinary masterpieces. 

Included

All meals

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St. Emilion

Day 3: Wednesday, October 2nd, 2024

Our time in Paris has come to an end, and we must bid farewell to the city's magical streets and iconic landmarks. Still, our journey is far from over as we embark on new adventures in the Périgord region. From the hotel, we'll make our way to Gare Montparnasse, where we will board a train and continue our journey to Bordeaux. 

As the train glides through the countryside, we gaze out the window at the picturesque villages and verdant landscapes. We arrive at Bordeaux St Jean station and transfer to a private van for the scenic drive to Sarlat, the capital of culture, history, and cuisine in the Périgord region.

Along the way, we'll stop for lunch at Chai Pascal, a charming restaurant in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed village of Saint-Émilion. We'll savor a delicious meal of local specialties paired with a glass of the region's renowned wine.

After lunch, we explore the historic center of Saint-Émilion, marveling at the medieval architecture and charming cobblestone streets. 

Upon arriving in Sarlat, we'll check into our hotel, Le Petit Manoir. We settle into our rooms and relax, taking in the tranquil atmosphere.

In the evening, we'll savor a delectable dinner at Le Presidial, a charming restaurant showcasing the best of Périgord's regional cuisine at the height of fall mushroom season. We'll have the opportunity to feast on amazing dishes accompanied by carefully selected local wine.

Included

All meals

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Périgord

Day 4: Thursday, October 2nd, 2024

After breakfast, we'll drive to the fabulous fortified medieval Chateau de Beynac, the most authentic castle in the region. Dramatically perched above the Dordogne River, the castle offers stunning views of the countryside. A guided tour of the castle will help us to discover its fascinating history and architecture.

From Château de Beynac, we'll drive to Les Jardins Suspendues de Marquessac where we'll savor a delicious lunch. 

After lunch, we'll tour the stunning 20-hectare estate boasting over 150,000 topiary boxwood trees marveling at the intricate topiary creations and picturesque landscapes.

We'll then depart for the iconic medieval village of Domme, built on a rocky promontory with panoramic views of the Dordogne Valley. We'll explore the village's atmospheric cobbled streets, admiring the ancient architecture and charming shops.

Our last destination of the day is Domaine Chante l'Oiseau winery. We'll have the opportunity to taste a range of organic white wines made from Chardonnay, Sauvignon, and Viognier grapes. During our visit, we'll learn about the winemaking process as we taste their delicious wines in a picturesque setting.

At the end of the day, we'll return to our hotel in Sarlat, fulfilled after a day of exploring the wonders of the Dordogne region.

Included

Wine Tasting

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Castle & Garden Tours

Not Included

Dinner

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Périgord

Day 5: Friday, October 4th, 2024

Today, we'll embark on a Dordogne culinary and cultural journey.

After breakfast, we'll attend a hands-on cooking class. Under the chef's guidance, we'll learn how to prepare classic Périgord dishes, using fresh local ingredients. After our dishes are prepared, we'll sit down together to enjoy a delicious lunch, savoring the flavors of our creations.

After lunch, we'll depart for the Chateau & Gardens of Milandes, the former home of Josephine Baker, the trailblazing entertainer, French resistance and civil rights activist. We'll explore the chateau and gardens, learning about Baker's fascinating life and legacy. 

Back in Sarlat, our dinner this evening is at Aux 3 Sens, a restaurant in the medieval quarter offering a seasonal menu featuring Périgord produce with a fusion twist.

Included

All meals

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Périgord

Day 6: Saturday, October 5th, 2024

On our final day in Sarlat, we're off on a guided visit through the bustling Saturday morning market, considered among France's best. We'll wander through the stalls, marveling at the colorful displays of fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, and other local delicacies. Sample some of the market's offerings, savoring the flavors of the Dordogne region.

After we visit the market, our morning continues with a walking tour of Sarlat's historic monuments. We'll experience the charm of medieval France at the Manoir de Guisson, a furnished 13th-15th century manor. 

Explore Sarlat at your own pace this afternoon. Wander through the charming streets, admire the medieval architecture, and shop for gifts and souvenirs.

In the evening, we'll gather for a farewell dinner at Gueule et Gossier, where we'll savor the flavors of the Dordogne region and celebrate new friendships. After dinner, we'll return to our hotel for a final night's rest.

Included

All meals

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Périgord

Day 7: Sunday, October 5th, 2024

It's time to head back home! 

Before bidding au revoir to this charming town we'll enjoy a delicious breakfast at the hotel and bid farewell. From there, we'll embark on a two-and-a-half-hour drive to Bordeaux train station. 

Once we arrive, we'll hop on a train to Gare Montparnasse in Paris, which takes two hours and ten minutes. During the journey, we can sit back, relax, and admire the beautiful French landscape, cherishing the wonderful time we've had together!

Included

Breakfast

You'll Be Staying Here

Hotel Recamier

Hotel Recamier

This gem of a hotel is nestled in one of Saint-Germain-des-Prés’s most secluded spots, in the very heart and tradition of the Left Bank spirit. A timeless treasure and a haven of privacy, Hotel Récamier exceeds all expectations.

Hotel Le Petit Manoir

Hotel Le Petit Manoir

Le Petit Manoir is a charming boutique hotel located in the heart of Sarlat-la-Canéda, France. Housed in a beautifully restored 15th-century building, the hotel offers guests a unique and authentic experience of the Périgord region.

Hosts

Casey O'Brien Blondes

Casey O'Brien Blondes

This trip will be led by Casey O’Brien Blondes, a GG2P colleague based in France since 1992. A dual-national and author of two travel and lifestyle books about France, Casey knows Paris its history and vibrant culture intimately. Casey receives rave reviews from GG2P clients! 

Price

Private Room

Private Room

Everyone gets their own fabulous room!

FROM$7,298

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What's Included

What's Included

Everything specified in the itinerary

All meals (except where indicated), including beer & wine with dinner

Accommodations at unique, 4-star or better hotels

All transportation during the trip (except where indicated)

Return second class trip from Paris to Bordeaux

All museum or other entry fees

All guides, experts and tastings

Additional wine, beer, and/or spirits beyond what’s offered at meals

All personal souvenirs

Travel and medical insurance (required)

Roundtrip airfare to France

Any spa treatment desired

FAQs

The trip officially starts on the early afternoon of September 30th, but if you’re traveling across an ocean to get to Paris, consider arriving a day or two early so you have time to relax and adjust to the local time zone. If you do decide to arrive early, let us know and we’ll help you with arrangements.

Because everyone is arriving at different times and it’s not difficult to get into town, we have not included the cost of private airport transfers in the trip. When you land in Paris, just hop in a cab or an Uber after you collect your luggage. They are clean, comfortable and plentiful at Charles de Gaule airport. 

Fly into the Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris.

We will have a zoom call about 6 weeks before the trip starts to discuss all that information and give you a packing list. Here is a great website that we love that will help you with packing and travel trips.

Paris in September means the onset of the autumn season with the golden autumnal colors enveloping the city. This month sees a large variation in temperature with an average high of 21° C and an average low of 12° C. There is a chance of rainfalls, but visitors can expect more long and sunny days.

This trip will be led by Casey O’Brien Blondes, a GG2P Colleague based France since 1992. A dual-national and author of two travel and lifestyle books about France, Casey knows Paris and, its history and vibrant culture intimately. Casey receives rave reviews from GG2P clients!  

Inquire about this trip

Savoring Paris & the Dordogne

France· September 30 - October 6 2024· 6 nights

FROM$7,298/pp