Saint Germain

The 6th arrondissement is chic. It has always been regarded as an intellectual center with many writers, artists and creative people living here. It is the home of Paris publishing and antiquarian book and print dealers. Over the past few years many luxury fashion brands have located stores in the area. St-Germain was a center of bohemianism and existentialism in the glittering cafe society of the post-war years.

Les Deux Magots café started life in 1813 as a drapery, selling silk and other luxury items. It took its name Les Deux Magots' from a successful play of that time: The Two Magots of China. By 1884 Les Deux Magots had transformed itself into a wine merchant's on the corner of St Germain des Pres just as the area was transforming itself into a artistic quarter with the presence of the publishers Grasset and Gallimard and the theatre Le Vieux Colombier.

Legendary figures of the art world frequented Les Deux Margot Cafe de Flore: Verlaine, Oscar Wilde, Guillaume Appolinaire and in the tense pre-war atmosphere, Saint Germain des Pres became the intellectual centre of Paris : Gide and Malraux regularly ended up in discussions on the café terrace. Paul Eluard introduced Dora Maar to Picasso here. Every morning, Jean Paul Sartre with Simone de Beauvoir would take his seat at Les Deux Magots and write for hours, often without pause, but sometimes stopping to talk to Ernest Hemingway, another regular customer.

Across the road is Brasserie Lipp, still favored by politicians, writers and celebrities competed with each other for the favor of these artists and intellectuals. They became like community centers and over the years each group of friends would stake out their territory and discuss the ideas of the day.

Jardin du Luxembourg is the most loved park in Paris. It is large and has fountains, flowers, statues, tennis courts, concerts in the summer and on Sunday. Within the park is located the Palais du Luxembourg, home to the French Senate. Next to the senate is the Musee du Luxembourg, which often has art exhibitions. Nearby on rue de Fleurus lived Gertrude Stein and her companion Alice B. Toklas who opened their home to many famous expatriates, writers and artists, including Hemingway and Picasso.

Costs :

Picnic Promenade 119€pp for 2
Proposal Photographer 100€
4hr Photo Tour 300€ per group of 4
3hr Chocolate Tour 130€pp for 2

Cost per person decreases with larger groups.

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Picnic Promenades with Culinary Storytelling:

Along the Seine from rue Bonarparte to rue du Bac is a pleasant place for strolling with its lovely view of the Louvre and the high-class antique stores in the surrounding streets, called the 'Carre de Rive Gauche'. In mid-June there is a festival and street party when all the shops have an "Open House". The quai here is named in honor of Voltaire who died in a house on this spot in 1778.

Propose on Pont des Arts:

Built in 1803, Pont des Arts the first iron bridge in Paris was built for pedestrian use and has benches along its length. The bridge stretches from the Institut de France to the Louvre Museum, and has one of the loveliest views in Paris. It is one of the bridges where couples spend a romantic moment putting a lock on the railings to show their love. Our photographer will capture the moment!

Photography Tour:

We'll start the tour outside one of the oldest churches in Paris in St Germain de Pres opposite the Louis Vuitton store. From here we will take the back streets running parallel to Boulevard St Germain up to rue Buci which is filled with people and cafes so a great place to learn photographic portraits. From here we will explore an exciting cobbled street which Benjamin Franklin walked on and borders by a small remaining piece of the ancient wall which Surrounded Paris. Time for a quick coffee and then head up the hill past the Odeon Theatre and into the lovely Jardin de Luxembourg where there are always interesting shots - men playing chess, kid with their boats on the pond, Tai Chi classes, a working beehive, gardens and more.

Chocolate Tour:

This exciting gourmet tour will introduce you to some of the Best Chocolate in the World. You will learn about the history of Chocolate in France and why French chocolate is not the most famous but why it is the best. What is the difference between artisanal-made chocolate and industrial chocolate, How is chocolate made and what is considered excellence in chocolate What are the basic rules of buying chocolate and how to read the labels.

Famous Streets

L'Ecole des Beaux-Arts on Rue Bonaparte is France's most acclaimed art school. It was founded in 1811 by Napoleon who lived on the street when young. On rue Visconti once lived Racine, and Balzac had his print shop at #17. Parallel to rue Visconti at #5 rue des Beaux-Arts, Edouard Manet was born in 1835.

On rue Jacob is the house and studio, now museum, where Delacroix lived and where he was frequently visited by George Sand and Frederic Chopin. Richard Wagner also lived on Rue Jacob, as did Thomas Jefferson when in Paris. At #7 Racine lived when young; Richard Wagner resided at #14 from 1841 to 1842; Ingres once lived at # 27 and Hemingway occupied a tiny upstairs room at #44. Natalie Barney's former residence is landmarked but not open to the public. In the garden you can see a small Doric temple bearing the inscription A l'Amitie, "to friendship." Off Rue Jacob is one of the most charming squares in Paris, Place de Furstenberg.

Rue de Buci is a pretty little marketplace surrounded by cafes and restaurants and leads into rue de Seine which is filled with galleries all the way to the river. On rue Mazarine was the theatre where Moliere made his first appearance as an actor and opened a theatre, the Comedie-Francaise. The oldest cafe in Paris, founded in 1686, Cafe Procope is in the same street.

The area around Odeon is famous for its art cinemas and restaurants and is a favorite meeting ground for students attending the Sorbonne, giving it a vibrant atmosphere.

Cour du Commerce-St-Andre is a partially covered quaint passage, it was built in 1776. The workshop where the first guillotine was built stood in this passage. It became a hotbed of revolutionary activity where Marat printed his revolutionary pamphlets. Danton and Desmoulin lived at #20, which was demolished during the building of blvd. St Germain by Haussmann in the mid-19th century. Danton's home has been commemorated by a statue of him at the Carrefour de 1'Odeon next to the Metro. On the nearby Rue de l'Ecole de Medecine Marat was stabbed in his bath by Charlotte Corday.

Rue de l'Odeon was the original home of Sylvia Beach's bookstore, Shakespeare and Company She is particularly associated with Hemingway and the publication of James Joyce's 'Ulysses', but she encouraged and helped Ezra Pound, Archibald MacLeish, Thornton Wilder and F. Scott Fitzgerald. At the top of the hill is the Theatre de l'Odeon, designed in 1782 to hold nearly 2,000 people, the largest in Paris at the time.
Every French king's brother was traditionally called Monsieur-le-Prince. This street was popular with resident Americans as James McNeill Whistler, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Oliver Wendell. Hence the name of the street.

Saint Sulpice

Work on the church of St-Suplice, at one time Paris's largest, began in 1646, but is still ongoing. It has one of the world's largest organs, comprising 6,700 pipes. The Chapelle des Anges (Chapel of the Angel) has two frescoes by Delacroix which were painted in Delacroix's final years and were a high point in his career. Outside the Church is a large square with the 1844 fountain by Visconti at its center. It is the location of the annual Foire de Saint-German held at the beginning of June and which lasts for a month. This fair has been an annual tradition for centuries.

The oldest Abbey in Paris dating from 543 AD, and the heart of the sixth. This church has always been an important religious center, and over the years acquired immense property. The church got its name from the peasants who would come here on pilgrimage in the 8th century. Saint-Germain-des-Pres meaning Saint Germain of the Fields. Around the year 1000 a new church in the Romanesque style was built with three bell towers, two were destroyed but the third, the gate-tower, is still in place.

Local Museums

• Musee de la Monnaie - Coins and historical documents
• Musee Delacroix - Home and studio of Delacroix
• Musee d' Histoire de la Medecine - Medical History
• Musee de la Mineralogie - Mineral museum
• Musee du Luxembourg - Art exhibitions
• Musee Zadkine - Home and studio of the Russian sculptor
• Musee Hebert - Works of painter Ernest Hebert 1817-1908
• Museum of Italian landscapes

“We have just returned home from our wonderful month in Paris and Nikki and I felt that we must tell you again how much we enjoyed our Wine tasting tour which we found to be a very rewarding experience thanks to not only your experience and knowledge, but also your very warm and friendly personality. We had a great time during our stay and the short time that we spent with you was certainly  an outstanding “Hi-lite”. Thank you again so much.  Well done!! "

Bill & Nikki