France has been known for hundreds of years for its food. The very thought of French pastry, like Kouign Aman, Macaron, or the Paris Brest, gets your mouth watering. The simple yet perfect baguette with Bordier butter is an excellent reason to board a plane. These are the folks who invented the Michelin star system, so they've been taking food seriously for a very long time. And let's not forget the wine … from Bordeaux to Burgundy. The wine scene in France is an embarrassment of riches. A food-focused gourmet trip to France is a no-brainer. Through food, we learn about the culture of a place, its history, and the differences between its regions. On this culinary adventure to Paris and the Dordogne, you'll take a macaron class, enjoy a wine and cheese tasting, visit one of the oldest Chocolatiers in Paris, and dine with a Michelin star chef. Plus, you'll sample a plant-based organic cocktail in a female-run cocktail bar. You'll visit the best kitchen supply stores in town and savor a meal surrounded by gorgeous art nouveau interiors dating back to 1906. Then, you'll be whisked off to Bordeaux for a visit to picture-perfect St. Emilion, famous for its wines, and from here to Sarlat in the Dordogne for a four-night stay at a gorgeous manor house. In this famous region, you enjoy a regional cooking class, visit Josephine Baker's home, explore a walnut farm, and savor organic wine tasting. If you appreciate good food & wine, this trip was tailored just for you.
Here's a day-by-day itinerary of the trip
Arrive in Paris by 2:00 p.m. and take a taxi to the hotel. Our trip to Paris 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 shop. 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 refreshing 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.
Let's start the day with a delicious breakfast at our hotel. Then, we'll embark on a guided stroll through the magnificent Luxembourg Gardens. We'll admire the manicured lawns, ornate fountains, and elegant sculptures as we discover the history of the gardens and the famous people who have frequented them.
Next, we'll take a short bus ride to E. Dehillerin, the city's oldest culinary supply store. We'll browse the store's vast selection of products and perhaps even find a unique souvenir to take home.
Shop and explore to your heart's content this afternoon. Our host will provide us with a list of tempting destinations.
If you're 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.
We'll go back to our hotel before heading to the Oberkampf neighborhood, a trendy enclave in the 11th arrondissement known for its innovative restaurants, wine, and cocktail bars.
We'll start our evening with a creative cocktail at the Abricot Bar, a welcoming female-run establishment rated among the best by Condé Nast Traveler. Soak up the lively atmosphere and enjoy the company of other foodies and cocktail enthusiasts as you sip your drinks.
After our cocktails, we'll have a delicious dinner at Michelin 1-star FIEF - Fait Ici En France. The restaurant is renowned for its innovative plant-based cuisine, prepared with the freshest seasonal ingredients. As we savor each dish, we'll appreciate the chef's creativity and skill in transforming plant-based ingredients into culinary masterpieces.
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, take the opportunity to taste a variety 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 wines and champagne.
In the afternoon, we'll take a short walk to the Rodin Museum for 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.
After the visit, you have free time to explore the ever-chic, timeless neighborhoods of the Left Bank. We'll wander along charming streets lined with unique shops showcasing the finest French artistry and creativity.
In the evening, we'll meet in the hotel lobby for a short walk to Bouillon Racine, a landmark restaurant known for its elevated classics. In the elegant art nouveau interior, we'll savor a delicious meal of French comfort food paired with a bottle of carefully selected wine.
Then, take a leisurely walk back to the hotel.
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. We'll then depart for Sarlat, eager to discover our new destination.
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.
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 Chateau de Beynac, we'll drive to Les jardins suspendues de Marquessac where we'll savor a delicious lunch.
After lunch, we'll continue onward to Gardens of Marquessac, a stunning 20-hectare estate boasting over 150,000 topiary boxwood trees. We'll explore the gardens at our own pace, 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, which means 'songbird' in English. The place is a winery where 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 and enjoy the 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.
Today, we'll embark on a culinary and cultural journey in the Dordogne region.
After breakfast, we'll visit a chef's kitchen, where we'll learn how to cook regional dishes. The class will be hands-on. Under the guidance of Richard from Cook Dordogne, we will prepare a couple of classic Périgord dishes using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Once our dishes are prepared, we'll sit down 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 and civil rights activist. We'll explore the chateau and gardens, learning about Baker's fascinating life and legacy. We'll also pay our respects to Baker at her final resting place, the Pantheon in Paris, where she is the only American-born woman and the first black woman to be laid to rest among France's heroes.
In the afternoon, we'll visit the Domaine de Vielcroze, an award-winning producer of truffles and nut oil.
Then, we'll return to our hotel in Sarlat. In the evening, we'll enjoy a delicious dinner at Aux 3 Sens, a restaurant in the medieval quarter that offers a seasonal menu featuring Périgord produce with a fusion twist.
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, we'll join our guide for 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.
It's time to head back home!
Before leaving 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 journey 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!
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.
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.
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 and its history and vibrant culture intimately. Casey receives rave reviews from GG2P clients!
From Paris to Périgord, a culinary and cultural feast for the senses
Experience world-class cuisine from Paris to Périgord. Here, you'll find some of the best restaurants in the world. Whether you're looking for Michelin-starred dining or a casual meal at a local bistro, you're sure to find something to your taste.
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
The trip officially starts the afternoon of September 29th, 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!