No trip to Paris would be complete without sitting at the terrace of a café to watch the scenes. To spend an afternoon with a friend over ‘un petit café,’ while you watch Parisians bustle by, is a form of relaxation that you cannot find anywhere else. But there is more to sitting in a café than just relaxing over a drink. Cafés are the beating heart and soul of art, culture, and food in France.
Cafés have existed in Paris since the 17th century. But they have roots as early as the 16th century, in the Salon where artists, intellectuals, writers, and society people came together to share ideas, overthrow the establishment, while sharing drinks and food. In the early days of the Salons, Ladies or courtesans led these gatherings of the “literary societies”. In the 16th century, the most famous would receive their guests once or twice a week, often from their bed. Hosted by women famous for their wit, intelligence or beauty, the Salons provided meeting places for the elite of the country.
During your exploration of the café culture of Paris, you will have time not only for tasting wine and coffee, but also for cheese, pastries, and chocolate. You will learn about French history and French psychology by experiencing directly a fundamental French passion : a passionate discussion in a café, where history, wit, literature and sociability make good food even better.
Tour Outline: Brush up your French as you whet your appetite with delicious cheese and other French snacks in one of the oldest parts of the city. While you discover these treats, learn about all the curious words that describe them and about Paris history. As your guide takes you to the oldest buildings in Paris through the winding narrow streets of Le Marais, learn all about the history of Gastronomie in France. Mealtimes, be it for Kings, authors, bourgeois, or ordinary individuals, have always been important events in France, playing various social functions according to your rank in society. Let's look for traces of the exciting stories and the history that accompanied the formation of French cuisine in the very stones, buildings, mansions, and historical places of the oldest neighborhood in Paris.
Highlights: As you journey through France’s gastronomic history, you will explore the best organic wine cellars of Paris, enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner in one the city’s oldest buildings, and visit old private mansions discreetly hiding from today's bustle. With stops to sample the flaky, buttery pastries of the authentic cafés and the best bakeries on our way, you will need a healthy appetite for this tour!
Tour outline: Follow the history of gastronomy from the Roman times up to the new bistro culture. Practice your growing French culinary vocabulary as you sample wine, cheese, and other delicious French treats along the way. This tour in the heart of Paris is a crash-course into 2,000 years of Parisian gastronomy. It covers the history of gastronomy from the Roman antiquity to the new bistro culture. You will also discover how the tradition of gastronomy remained deeply connected with national history. For kings and commonners alike, mealtimes in France have always been of the utmost importance, and revolutions started when food was short.
Highlights: If you are ready to eat your way through history, don’t forget your camera as well. You will experience the most beautiful bridges of Paris and their picturesque vantage points. You will enjoy an oasis of serenity with a glass of wine, and taste mouth-watering French nibbles or, should you feel up to it, a full authentic French meal. We'll visit Notre-Dame de Paris and the Hotel-Dieu, as we strollthrough the hidden streets of the two islands of Paris : The Cité and Saint-Louis.
Tour During this tour, follow the epic adventures of chocolate and coffee, experience the battle between wine and beer drinkers, visit the oldest market and the first modern shopping mall of Paris, where wars were waged over old and new foods. Between the oldest stones of the city and the world famous Café de Flore, enjoy the colorful and riotous stories of French cafes while peacefully tasting the most delicious pastries, chocolate, and wines. The history of Paris is full of Revolutions and popular upheavals, but one thing has kept the French together through all times : food.
Highlights: The Quartier Latin is not only a place bustling with student life. During the tour, you will see the Roman arenas of the city, the Montagne Saint-Geneviève topped with the Panthéon and the Sorbonne, and the garden of Luxembourg with its royal palace. You will enjoy the best hot chocolate at a legendary chocolate shop, visit the oldest café of Paris and wander through the city’s oldest market. On the way, you will try some award-winning pastries from the best bakery of the left bank. Finally, at Café de Flore, we will evoke all the great men who found an extension of their home in this café, and inspiration in its drinks.