*Itinerary subject to change.
The arrival day, we’ll offer a tour of the rue du Bac, a picture-postcard-perfect Left Bank street lined with chic boutiques, houseware and gourmet shops, that include: a confisserie featuring a to-go chocolate-mousse bar; a turn-of-the-century specialist in Armagnacs, who will happily pour you samples; a vendor of table linens, aprons and totes made from stylish striped Sunbrella-type fabrics; and the elegant Le Bon Marché, the oldest department store in Paris, with its celebrated food hall.
Along the way, we’ll pass the residences where, decades apart, midlife-American women Edith Wharton and Julia Child reinvented themselves in the French capital. After a café lunch, we’ll take in Pioneers, an exhibition at the Musée Luxembourg that will focus on the many important women artists who were largely written out of the histories of the major French avant-garde movements in the first half of the 20th century.
Dinner will be at a restaurant famous for its soufflés. Joining us at dinner will be an ex-pat writer who’s also a Paris travel professional. She’ll talk about what it is that makes St Germain, our home for our Paris stay, so very special.
Included: Entrance to Musée Luxembourg, dinner.
We’ll start off with a visit to the Paris fashion museum and then to the Yves Saint Laurent museum. Following these stops, we’ll head into neighboring Passy, one of the poshest quarters in Paris, where we can drop by a number of the best-known dépôts-ventes, designer-resale shops for “preloved” articles by Chanel, Dior, Saint Laurent, and others that can be found at deep discount.
From there, garden lovers can detour over to the nearby Parc de Bagatelle, with its staggering 10,000 rose bushes that should all be in full bloom during our June visit. Art lovers may take some time in the blissfully uncrowded Musée Marmottan, which boasts one of the largest collections of works by Claude Monet, including a room of enveloping large water lily compositions.
Included: Entrance to fashion and Yves Saint Laurent museum, shopping tour, garden and museum entrance, dinner.
We’ll spend the morning at the lesser-known (and more colorful) porte de Vanves flea market for vintage French collectibles, and the afternoon in the Marais, where we’ll visit the Musée Carnavalet, the museum of the history of Paris, recently reopened after being closed for several years of renovation. Among their treasures, we’ll see the installation of a gorgeous Art-Nouveau perfume shop and other beautiful period interiors.
In the neighborhood, we’ll shop for authentic Lagioule knives from the Aveyron region, for stylish Tunisian foutja towels at a fraction of what they cost in the States, and spend time in one of the most successful concept stores for clothing, accessories, home goods, and more.
Included: Breakfast, flea market tour, entrance to Musée Carnavalet, dinner.
We’ll stroll through the Palais-Royal, those historic gardens that Colette looked out on from her apartment; wander through several of the 19th-century passages, the lovely landmarked shopping arcades; and then we’ll lunch at Le Grand Colbert, where Diane Keaton and Jack Nicolson renewed their unlikely romance in the popular Nancy Meyers’ romcom “Something’s Gotta Give.”
We’ll meet another ex-pat, a pastry chef and culinary expert, who will treat us to a wine-cheese-and-charcuterie tasting and lead us on a walking tour of a market street in the old Les Halles quarter with stops at some of the city’s most venerable cookware shops (one where Kamala Harris bought a copper pot on a recent trip).
Included: Breakfast, lunch, wine-and-cheese tasting, and walking tour.
Take a train to Liseaux in Normandy.
Arrive at the historic chateau, Le Val-Richer, which has been in a family for centuries. A NextTriber who is part of the family has agreed to let us stay in this private home, a treat not open to many. We’ll have time to walk the gardens and drink tea at 4:30 (along with fresh fruit and spreads made from fruit on the property).
There are two bells for dinner. The first bell is the “wash you hands” bell; the second is be in your seat for the meal. We’ll eat dinner at 8 p.m. every night of our stay. There will be vegetarian options on the menu. Tisanes, aperitifs and teas are served on the veranda following dinner. If it is too chilly we take our drinks in the Salon. The sun sets very late in Normandy in June–around 10 pm. So we will have time to take a stroll up to the church where many of the family’s relatives are buried (2 plus miles, round trip).
Included: Breakfast, lunch, train transport, train station pick up, dinner at Le Val-Richer.
Le petite dejeuner at the chateau is served around 8 a.m. and consists of simply fruit, toast, jams from the property, yogurt, cereal, coffee and tea. Oranges will be on the table if you want to squeeze juice. You can also order an egg, which are usually served as soft boil so you can spread on your toast.
By private van, we’ll visit the beautiful town of Cambremer, stopping in for a tasting at the Pierre Huet Calvados distillery (Normandy is famous for calvados, a fermented apple cider) and then we’ll go on to Chateau de Crevecoeur, which features a reproduction of a historic French village and exhibitions on local crafts and pursuits.
We’ll return for tea in the the afternoon.
Included: Breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner, transportation, and entrance to Chateau de Crevecoeur.
Today will be devoted to some of the more high profile sights in Normandy. With a knowledgeable English speaking guide, we’ll travel to Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery (we feel you can’t visit Normandy without paying homage to our troops). Bonus is a viewing of the splendid Bayeux Tapestry, which tells the story of a reverse invasion–William the Conquerer and the Normans capturing England in 1066.
We’ll return to the chateau for dinner.
Included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, transportation, guide, entrance to Bayeaux Tapestry.
After breakfast, we’ll travel to Deauville for its famous Friday Market. We’ll go on to Honfluer, a port town on the Seine estuary and one of the most picturesque towns in France (which is saying something!). Colourful half-timbered houses jostle for position on the quays, along with art galleries and restaurants. Then we’ll stop at other fascinating villages including Hougate, Pont l’Eveque and Beaumont-en-Auge.
We’ll return to the chateau in time for dinner.
Included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, transportation.
We’ll spend the morning at the chateau and be treated to a large lunch before departing for the Liseaux train station. From there we’ll travel to the Charles de Gualle airport, where we’ll stay at the Hilton airport hotel.
Included: Breakfast, lunch, transport to train station, train ticket, accommodation at Hilton hotel.
Fly out for home or other destinations.