Food tours when I travel. I’m a huge fan! You might remember, from Paris alone, this tour by Flavors of Paris on the Left Bank, the Context Paris Chocolate Walk, the Context “Bobo Palate: New Trends in Parisian Cuisine“, the La Cuisine Paris “Sugar Walk” of the Marais, the “Bellies on Foot” tour, again from La Cuisine Paris), or the Urban Adventures “Secret Paris” tour.
When I was planning this summer’s trip to Paris, I was excited to see a couple of newcomers (to me) to the Paris walking tour scene – local companies like Localers. I am not sure how I came across their site but the amount and variety of tours they offer in France certainly had me lost in the site for the better part of an hour. I was honoured when Romain and Thomas from Localers invited me to join one of their Paris tours this summer and suggested they choose something in line with my interests (err… food!) which is how I found myself on the Eiffel Tower food tour last week (€89 per person based on 4 people, very competitive compared to many food tours around the city).
Pitched as a gastro-historical tour of a carefully selected group of merchants and artisans with a passionate young French chef as our guide, the tour promised a behind-the-scenes tastings at artisanal food merchants, including foie gras, wine, macarons, patisseries and a private wine & cheese workshop at a “fromagerie” when the shop is closed, it sounded right up my alley!
Our guide was Maël, a chef who was raised in Brittany but who now lives and works in Paris. With experience everywhere from Michelin star restaurants to the set of a French television show where he worked as a culinary assistant, Mael also has a degree in history and sociology from the University of Rennes and loves to share his knowledge of the history of Paris and French gastronomy with foreign travelers. On my tour, he did a great job of “reading” the group and tailoring the information he was sharing to our various interests.
What I really liked about this tour was that, while there was definitely a food focus, it was not just about the food. Maël also shared information about history, architecture and art, so there’s definitely something for everyone to learn about!
A new-to-me discovery, Michel Chaudun and his tasty pavés (ganache squares dusted with cocoa)…
More chocolate was to be had at Les Petites Chocolatières (where we sampled “raisins au Sauternes” – raisins soaked in Sauternes then coated in chocolate. Divine!)
To my excitement, we headed to Jean-Paul Hévin, temple of chocolate – and macarons…
The tour includes savoury tastings too – foie gras and wine at Canard & Co.
What I really enjoyed about this tour was the amount of ground we covered. Though it felt leisurely, when I go back and look as all the places we visited (or that Maël talked about – quite often he would simply draw our attention to a noteworthy building or store), we certainly were given a lot of information so it wasn’t just our bellies that were full when the tour ended. We all had a handful of business cards, notes on our iPhones and the like and a list a mile long of places to go back to later in the trip!
And of course, what’s an “Eiffel Tower Food Tour” without the Eiffel Tower? This is the end point for the trip and I can’t think of a more fabulous way to end a morning of culinary adventures in the 7th arrondissement.
Disclosure: I was a guest of Localers on the “Eiffel Tower Food Tour”. I was not asked to write about this, nor am I being compensated for doing so. All opinions are 100% my own.
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I’m in France right now!