I love Paris in the summer…. and a giveaway

You all know how much I love Paris, right?  Any chance I get, I’m there. So when the opportunity presented itself to spend this coming summer in Paris again, how could I say no?  I’ve got a couple of projects I will be working on whilst I am there in July that I will tell you about when all the details are confirmed (I’m pretty excited to share this when I can!) but in the meantime, I am thrilled to announce that I will be also partnering with Le Dolci here in Toronto and La Cuisine Paris to lead you on  “A Culinary Adventure in Paris” from July 23 – 27th 2012. (and I am SO excited that my mum will be joining me on this adventure!)

That’s right – a whole week of food and fun in the City of Light!  Read through our itinerary* below to see what we will be up to and hey, just to say thanks for reading, there’s a worldwide Paris-themed giveaway for you to enter!

DAY 1 Monday 23 July.  Meet at  La Cuisine Paris for a breakfast briefing where you will get to know the culinary school that you will call home for the next week. Café au lait and traditional French pastries will be served.   After that, we roll up our sleeves, put on our baking hats and start the week making the much loved pain au chocolat and the buttery, flaky pastry named for its distinctive crescent shape; the croissant.  After class, enjoy your buttery creations during a lunch break along the Seine River, located opposite the school.

In the afternoon we’ll take in a “Sweet” tour of Paris discovering delicious, hidden treasures of St Germain.  You’ll discover elegant pastries, silky, full-bodied chocolates and the delights of a tiny, quaint “viennoiserie,” home to amazing Alsatian strudel—and that’s just the beginning. You’ll explore a splendid crêperie whose house specialty is a crêpe with home-made salted caramel sauce which you can enjoy with a glass of cider.

In the evening, a welcome dinner will be arranged where the group will get to know each other better and talk about the day’s kitchen adventures and tastings over vin rouge and traditional French fare.

DAY 2 Tuesday 24 July This morning, the group will head off on a macaron tour of Paris visiting some of the world-renowned macaron houses like Laduree and Hermé. This research and taste testing is all in preparation for an afternoon of making your own macarons back at La Cuisine Paris.

Your evening is free to explore Paris’s wine bars, bistros and restaurants at your leisure.

DAY 4 Wednesday 25 July  Learn how to make some of France’s most famous desserts. You will discover the art of the French chocolate desserts and also learn the technique of the ‘Choux’ pastry, which is the base for many famous desserts such as éclairs, profiteroles, and more!

Your afternoon is free for exploring the city!

In the evening, there is an optional Wine Tasting Dinner. Enjoy a gourmet three-course meal, paired with four outstanding French wines, one Champagne and a digestif.   Your sommelier will help you refine your wine knowledge, teaching you how to taste wine properly, navigate a wine list, and how to choose wine at a restaurant. He will also expertly guide you through the main wine regions of France, explain how to read a French label, and how to pair wine with food.  An informative, fun and delicious evening you won’t want to miss.

DAY 5 Thursday 26 July  Spend the morning with a chef from La Cuisine Paris touring one of the oldest markets in Paris, the Marché Maubert! Learn how to pick the best products and compose your luncheon menu with the chef.

After the market visit we take a pleasant walk through the Île Saint Louis to return to La Cuisine where you will have a hands-on cooking class and work with the chef to create a gourmet lunch using your fresh market products. There is no set menu in this class; it is up to the group and the chef to be creative and choose their menu based on the fresh fish, meats and produce that they find at the market! After preparing your fabulous French meal, we enjoy it as a group with some wine. This is a four-hour session of market tour and eating so you have the afternoon free to walk off the calories or laze by the Seine in preparation for the evening’s optional activity.

In the early evening, there is an optional Champagne cruise on the Seine.  During the cruise you’ll taste three different Champagnes: usually one Brut, one Demi-sec and one Rosé – served by a sommelier who is there to answer all your questions about Champagne… or Paris!

Your evening is free to seek out some fine food and wine at the restaurant of your choice.

DAY 6 Friday 27 July  In the morning class at La Cuisine Paris we learn the secrets of the French baguette and breads. At the end of this workshop you will have made a selection of French breads. You will learn to knead and work your bread by hand – all breads will be baked fresh and you can take them from the oven to your hotel room, if they make it that far!

In the afternoon, there will be an optional bike tour for those wishing to see more of Paris and burn some of the calories they’ve consumed this week! Or take this opportunity to do some last minute souvenir shopping!

On our final evening, we have a final dinner together celebrating the end of a fabulous foodie week with our new friends.

Doesn’t this sound like so much fun?

In terms of accommodation, participants are welcome to book their own, however, we’ve also partnered with the gorgeous Hotel Jeu de Paume – a charming four star hotel on the Île St Louis within walking distance to some of the most famous areas of Paris like le Marais and le Quartier Latin and just a quick stroll along the Seine from our home base of La Cuisine Paris. As its name suggests, the hotel is housed in a renovated former Royal tennis court, built under Louis XIII, at the beginning of the 17th century.  Offering 27 rooms 27 rooms and 3 suites, all of which are elegantly decorated and equipped with a full bathroom, minibar, flat screen LED TV, phones, and free WiFi access, the Jeu de Paume is a comfortable base for your week exploring Paris.  We have a block of rooms reserved at a special rate for us until mid-May.

Want more information? Check out the details about Le Dolci’s first foodie trip to Paris here. I’d love to see you in my first ever tour group I lead around Paris!

* Itinerary subject to change.

Now, onto the giveaway. If you’re me and you come across a blog with the name God, I love Paris, you just know you will love it.  If you’ve ever lived in Paris and  you read Amy Thomas’ musings about life in the City of Light, where she worked writing copy for Louis Vuitton for two years, you’ll be able to identify with her love for the city along with the many frustrations that come along with living there. Her blog and book, Paris my Sweet, which was just released this month, are a love letter to Paris, but a realistic one that I totally identify with.  So many times when I was living there and found myself on the phone to my mum and dad, frustrated by the French bureaucracy and complaining about it, one of them would ask me why I stayed. I could never quite put my finger on it – Paris is easy to fall in love  for so many reasons.

Thanks to the kind people at Source Books, I have one copy of Paris my Sweet to give away to a lucky reader.

I’m opening this up to readers worldwide because I think everyone should read Amy’s book.

To enter: Simply leave me a comment on this post telling me which part of the Culinary Adventure in Paris trip you would like the most and why.

For a bonus entry, tweet the following message:

I entered to win a copy of @GodILoveParis ‘s book Paris my Sweet over at @eatlivtravwrite. You can too! http://bit.ly/zfSxH7

Then come back to leave me a separate comment telling me you did.

Contest closes on Monday March 5th at 9pm EST. Winner will be announced the following day.  Good luck.  Oh and hey, I’d love to see YOU in Paris this summer!


67 thoughts on “I love Paris in the summer…. and a giveaway”

  1. I would personally look forward to day 6, since the French baguettes are the best in the world! I live in Belgium myself and although our bread is ok too, I love to cross the border (and drive all the way up to Paris as soon as I get the chance 🙂 for a freshly baked, crunchy and soft on the inside French baguette. OMG, just the thought of it… Well, that’s my favourite part. I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

  2. Oh what a fun week this sounds like! I cannot wait to visit Paris for the first time…someday soon I hope! In the meantime, I hope to just win this book! My favorite part would be the making of croissants…because it means the later on eating of fresh croissants.

  3. You have no idea how jealous I am! Paris! Food! Cooking!
    I have only been to Paris once and loved every second of it!
    Everything about your upcoming stay sounds amazing but I think the Champagne tasting on the Seine is what sounds extra special to me. I mean, just the flair!


  4. I am actually planning a trip to Paris late July/ early August (my first time there!) and am planning on taking a class or two at La Cuisine Paris. I am most interested in exploring the markets- and eating all of the food of coarse!

  5. The entire trip sounds absolutely amazing, but I would most like to do the macaron tour of Paris because it seems like the perfect way to do some “research” before attempting to make them myself!

  6. Learning to make French desserts would be heavenly. I have never been to Paris, & can’t imagine I ever will get there – thus the need to enjoy the journey through other people.

  7. I would love to have your Day 2 on my bucket list, because macarons have always been a marvel for me –> eating them, baking them (only getting it right once out of many tries), staring at macaron food porn haha, etc
    I have a massive admiration for Adriano Zumbo, who is famous for making macarons in Aus, and I’ve even made a dedicational tumblr for him 🙂 (zumbolove.tumblr.com) despite never having the chance to taste one of his delicacies before. And knowing that the macaron from Herme and Laduree are obviously King and Queen of the macaron world, I’d love to be able to have that awesome and genuine macaron-making experience!
    I studied French for 5 years, and France is definitely one of the places I am planning to go to in the near future.

  8. Day 6 is my favorite, because the delicious making of baguettes and what lovely way to savour Paris by riding on a bike through the city. And relaxing dinner with friends. C’est la vie!

  9. Well if this doesn’t want to make any foodie go to Paris I don’t know what will. This is an amazing itinerary, wish I could go, but I was just in Paris and won’t be back until October. I had the opportunity to peek into La Cuisine Paris and the place is adorable and fun! I am not looking to enter Amy’s book giveaway as I have already devoured it, but I wanted to let you know I will certainly promote your program in Paris – it looks killer!

  10. I am starting a new job in one month. I got the lucky news that the week following my birthday in August I – yes me! – will be spending five AMAZING days in… well, of course you can guess it… PARIS!!!! So this book would be a great start for me. I have this overambitious desire to learn French, but even I know that’s not going to happen.

    What a wonderful giveaway! *crosses her fingers*

  11. C’est magnifique!! Sounds even better 2nd time round after 1st reading it on Le Dolci…..so wish I could be participating……..mmmmm, a week in Paris – what a wonderful birthday present that would be…………

    I think I would love the Champagne Cruise on the Seine and the optional Wine Tasting Dinner the most.

    WHY……..because I would be secretly hoping that Mr Neil would be the sommelier 🙂

  12. I was almost holding my breath the whole time I was reading this post! It all sounds so amazing amazing amazing! I am saving to go to Hong Kong but I’ve never been more tempted to change my plans as I am this very second. Esp when I got to the part about the bread baking


  13. Sounds incredible! I’m heading to Paris in two weeks and CANNOT WAIT! I think I’d have to go with the croissant baking class, b/c – duh! Croissants!

  14. This is a wonderfull culinary tour and the best day for me will be day 2. I need to learn how to make macarons with beautifull feets!

  15. Day 4 sounds amazing. I love pastries but I’ve been afraid to learn how to make them. I could gain 5 lbs in a week just eating pastries and desserts!

  16. my my.. Paris has been like a dream to me. This trip sounds so exciting! It’s hard to pick a favourite but I would have to say the Choux pastries! C’est magnifique!

  17. well done on that Paris trip in the summer, Mardi. You make me realise that I shouldn’t be taking the life here so for granted and stop thinking how much I’d love to visit Toronto one day!

  18. I love Macarons a lot and have yet to get a chance to go to london. I love the visit to laduree and herme! Is just so wonderful! Thank you so much for this giveaway (:

  19. is not easy to make nice breads! I love the visit to learn about bread and baguette in London! Is such an eye opener! You’re so sweet to giveaway this lovely book. Thank you!

  20. Beautiful pictures!
    I’d love the dessert exploration on Day 4 best, since I grew up with a French “second mother” (our families kind of merged in an apartment complex with kids of the same age, and we’ve been inseparable ever since) who treated me to the most scrumptious creations 🙂

  21. Oh Mardi! How wonderful you get to go to Paris & experience this food journey with your Mom 🙂 I so wish I could meet you there…it would definitely be how I’d want to experience Paris…through culinary eyes & being with people who love food just as much as I do! I wouldn’t miss the wine tasting dinner & especially the tour of the market to pick fresh produce & then go cook it with a professional chef & eat the lovely meal together..oh & the bread…the BREAD!!! Would love to have a lesson on how to make french bread, that picture blew me away & I just starred at it for the longest time…it was that tasty looking. So happy for you!

  22. Oh, my Mardi- this is positively awesome! I don’t think I can choose which part of the tour I’d like best, but maybe the part focused on the sweets?!

  23. This is just too amazing of a trip! Paris in the summer… I would not be able to wait at all until learning the secrets to making a French baguette. I mean, if I could learn and master that, I would totally open up a bakery in LA! So excited for you 🙂

  24. unfortunately, i won’t be able to join you in paris even if i really want to. unless i can bring a 6-month-old baby with me! LOL, just kidding!

    to make up for it, i hope i win the book! my favourite part of the foodie trip is the croissant class. i really, really, really want to learn how to make authentic, buttery croissants!

    by the way, mardi, i’m phasing out my folie a deux blog because i feel like i’m moving towards a different direction (and the name folie a deux hardly applies anymore). i’m now blogging at Tartine and Apron Strings. hope to see you there! please come visit me 🙂

  25. Well I must say, I am extremely envious of your trip!

    I remember visiting France when I was a little girl and honestly, one of THE best things, were the breads. To this day, nothing can truly compare to a French baguette, they’re to LIVE for. So I think learning the secrets of French breadmaking would be fabulous!

    Oh I miss France!

  26. As a bread obsessive, and someone who is growing more and more enamoured with the idea of the French baguette, day 6, hands down. I love biking, too – added bonus.

    And might I add that this trip sounds amazing! If only I had an extra $1300 laying around…

  27. Day 2 for sure! I lived in France last year and fell in love with the macaron. Since I’ve been back home I have wanted so badly to make them. My attempts have failed. So I would love learning the steps and of course, eating lots of Macarons!!!

  28. My fave:DAY 6 Friday 27 July In the morning class at La Cuisine Paris we learn the secrets of the French baguette and breads

    Why? Because tasting bread and especially french bread is one of the true joys of life.


  29. I did not believe in love at first sight until I met Paris. It’s just sooo charming! I’m jealous of the whole trip, but I think wine tasting dinner is the one I’m most jealous of. I love wine and any opportunity to taste more and learn more about it has my vote!

  30. The whole trip sounds amazing!! If i haaad to pick one day it would be day 2, the macaron tour….yum!

    Good lck on your trip!

  31. The visit to the market for ingredients and cooking with the group sounds incredible. It could be like the blueprint for future visits. Who am I kidding – the whole trip sounds amazing, Mardi. I’ll have to start up a piggy bank for the next one. I’m sure this adventure will be a total success!

  32. what a wonderful tour for lovers of good food and France! it all looks fantastic, but the secrets of French baguettes, now there’s something i’d like to know because of all the things, such a seemingly simple thing is often what i miss about living in Paris. they just aren’t the same over here, and i’ve tried many in the GTA. *sigh*


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