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Sculpture, Culture, and Gastronomy in Paris

with Marie la Varande and Patti Ravenscroft
Paris, France

Hard at work

Hard at work

Have you ever found yourself standing in front of a Rodin, wondering what it would be like to make a sculpture? Or wished you could find yourself in a Paris studio creating something all your own, something special?

If so, your dreams have just been answered. Come spend a week in the Paris art studio of Marie La Varande, a highly regarded French sculptor with an amazing studio in the famed Paris Batignolles district. Marie is an incredible teacher, with a superb eye, a deft hand, and a light inspiring touch. Her studio, filled with light, warmth and music, provides models for beginners to experts and creates an inspiring ambiance. In this magical space, Marie guarantees that by the end of the week you will create a sculpture you will be very proud of. If you love it, she will dry it, fire it and we will ship it to you.

Art in the making

Art in the making

In addition to your four 4-hour sculpture classes in the Studio, Marie and Patti will take you to see the finest sculptures in Paris by Rodin, Belmondo, and many others. We will explore the famous neighborhood of Batignolles, still the heart of artistic Paris. In addition to Marie’s background music, we will be treated to a musical concert in the Atelier (studio), another essential part of the Paris art scene.

Since Paris is the gastronomic capital of the world, every meal will be special, arranged under Patti’s tasteful eye, highlighting traditional French cuisine with a few twists and exotic touches. We will have a hands-on cooking class and lunch at L’Atelier Guy Martin to experience the Parisian culinary arts. Life doesn’t get much better.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Another beautiful piece

Another beautiful piece

  • Arrive in Paris in the afternoon and settle into your rooms in Paris at the Hotel Champlain.
  • Afternoon walking tour in the village of Batignolles with a peek at Marie’s studio.
  • Aperitifs and dinner at the Ravenscroft’s.

Day 2

  • A full day discovering Auguste Rodin with an expert guide. In the morning we will visit the Rodin museum in Paris.
  • We will eat lunch at a local cafe.
  • In the afternoon we will take the train to Meudon for a visit of Rodin’s home and studio which has an amazing collection of his plasters.
  • Dinner at restaurant Comme Chez Maman.

Day 3

Enjoying a meal

Enjoying a meal

  • Morning sculpture class in the Atelier.
  • Lunch in the Atelier prepared by Marie herself!
  • Afternoon visit to the Louvre followed by an aperitif at a surprise location with a panoramic view.
  • Dinner at restaurant Ripaille.

Day 4

  • Morning visit to the musee Bourdelle.
  • Cooking class and lunch at L’Atelier Guy Martin.
  • Afternoon sculpture Class in the Atelier.
  • Dinner at La Crie du Radis.

Day 5

  • A full day in Boulogne-Billencourt including visits to the Musee Paul Belmondo, the Musee des Annees Trentes and the Albert Kahn Museum and garden.
  • Lunch at a neighborhood restaurant.
  • For dinner we will enjoy a Moroccan meal back in Batignolles.
Proud we are!

Proud we are!

Day 6

  • Morning sculpture class.
  • Lunch at Aname, a delicious Vietnamese restaurant in the neighborhood.
  • Afternoon visit to the Musee d’Orsay.
  • Dinner at Le Verre Moutarde.

Day 7

  • Morning visit to the Chapon foundry or a second cooking class at L’Atelier Guy Martin.
  • Final sculpture class followed by champagne and music in the atelier.
  • Gala dinner at Comme Chez Maman.

Day 8

  • Leave for the airport after a farewell breakfast with Marie.

Accommodations & Cost

Accommodations: Hotel Champlain is a combined hotel and restaurant. All participants stay in Hotel Champlain’s rooms. Each includes a private bathroom and direct dial phone service.
Included in the cost: 7 nights accommodations; all ground transportation; all meals including aperitifs and carefully selected regional wines; all cooking and sculpture classes; and all sightseeing and private visits as described above. Limited to eight class participants.
Not Included in Cost: Airfare to and from Paris; alcoholic beverages except as specified in the program.
Cost: Price is $4,990 for sculptors, double occupancy. Single supplement $700. Non-sculpting spouses and friends of sculptors are welcome to join the group for $3,990, double occupancy. Important note: substantial changes in the value of the dollar may require changes in the price of the tour.
Deposit: $1000 per person.

 

Register for this trip — check-out the general information section about Les Liaisons Délicieuses trips — see what other travelers have to say — check for when this trip is scheduled or discuss a custom trip based on this itinerary.

A Fabulous Feast on the Food and Wine of Bordeaux

FULLwith Chef Michel Gautier and Sommelier Kinette Gautier
Château Meyre

Patti enjoying champagne with Kinette, Maitre Sommelier

Patti enjoying champagne with Kinette, Maitre Sommelier

More than any other area in France, or perhaps in the world, Bordeaux is known for its wine. Some 3,000 châteaux produce wines, including the rich, luscious reds with names like St. Estèphe, Pauillac, and Margaux from the north, and St. Emilion and Pomerol from the east, with the delectible white sauternes such as Château d’Yquem from the south rounding out the vinicultural treasure-trove. The cuisine of the Bordelais reflects this abundance of delicious wines and features such dishes as daube bordelaise (beef, slowly braised in red wine and shallots), bar au vin rouge (bass in a red wine, cream sauce), and tourin bordelais (a wine-based onion soup, thickened with egg yolks). To the west of Bordeaux lies the great basin of Arcachon, fringed with pine forests and filled with acre upon acre of oyster and mussel beds. These plentiful delicacies are served on the half shell, poached, steamed with a cream and wine sauce, or grilled on bed of pine needles (éclade de moules).

If all this titillates your taste buds, join us at the lovely Château Meyre in the Haut Médoc for a week of the finest wining and dining with Michelin one-star Chef Michel Gautier, maître cuisinier of France, and Kinette Gautier, maître sommelier.

Kinette, Maître Sommelier

Kinette, Maître Sommelier

Their knowledge of the food and wine of Bordeaux is exceptional and their hospitality gracious and chaleureuse.

 

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

  • Arrive in the afternoon at the Bordeaux train station.
  • Settle into rooms at the Château Meyre with time to relax or enjoy a game of tennis.
  • Champagne and festive welcome dinner with the Gautier’s at Château Meyre.
  • Regional specialties and wines from Château Meyre will be featured.

Day 2

Bordeaux

Bordeaux

  • After breakfast, depart for Bordeaux.
  • Sunday Market Visit with the Chef in Bordeaux. Each participant will select one item that will be part of the surprise dinner menu.
  • Lunch at the Bordeaux market.
  • Guided tour of the old city with a focus on the history of wine-making and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine.
  • Late afternoon cooking class with Chef Gautier in his kitchen featuring items from the Bordeaux market.
  • Dinner with the Gautier’s in their lovely dining room, formerly the restaurant Le Rouzic (1 star in the Michelin Guide).
  • Wines selected by Kinette Gautier, Maître Sommelier.


Day 3

  • After breakfast, depart for Bordeaux.

    Château Meyre

    Château Meyre

  • Shopping in the morning with Kinette.
  • Visit to the Cité du Vin and lunch at Le 7 Restaurant.
  • Return to Château Meyre for the “Soirée Rose: La Vie en Rose”.
  • Dinner at Château Meyre.
  • Wines will include Rosés des Grands Crus from Bordeaux and Provence.

Day 4

  • After breakfast, depart for the medieval town of St. Émilion.

    St. Émilion

    St. Émilion

  • Vineyard visit and dégustation of wines from Château Angelus, Grand Cru Classé A, with the proprietor Monsieur Jean Bernard Grenie.
  • Lunch at the brasserie of Château La Dominique.
  • Visit and dégustation at the Château Cheval Blanc.
  • Visit and dégustation of wines from Château Sansonnet, Grand Cru Classé.
  • Cooking class and Dinner with wines from Chàteau Sansonnet.

 

Day 5

  • Visit and dégustation at Château d’Yquem.

    Château d'Yquem

    Château d’Yquem

  • Special Lunch in the area and afternoon visit of another wonderful winery.
  • Visit and dégustation at Château Climens.
  • Dinner at Château Climens with the owners featuring wines from the Château cellar.

 

Day 6

  • Vineyard visit and dégustation with Kinette Gautier at the famous Château Margaux.

    Château Margaux

    Château Margaux

  • Lunch in the village of Lynch Bages.
  • Afternoon visit to a surprise Château, Grand Cru Classé.
  • Farewell gala dinner at the Château Meyre.

Day 7

  • Departure for the Bordeaux train station after breakfast.

 

Accommodations & Cost

Accommodations: All château bedrooms include a private bathroom.
Included in the cost: Six nights accommodations; all ground transportation; all meals including aperitifs and carefully selected regional wines; all cooking classes; and all sightseeing and private visits as described above. Limited to ten class participants.
Not Included in Cost: Transportation to and from Bordeaux; alcoholic beverages except as specified in the program.
Cost: $6,990.00 per person, $600 single supplement. Important note: substantial changes in the value of the dollar may require changes in the price of the tour.
Deposit: $1,000.00 per person.

 

Register for this trip — check-out the general information section about Les Liaisons Délicieuses trips — see what other travelers have to say — check for when this trip is scheduled or discuss a custom trip based on this itinerary.

 

 

A Simply Stunning and Savory Sojourn in Vietnam

cwith Charles-Henry de Valbray and Patti Ravenscroft

Vietnamese Market

Vietnamese Market

Vietnam, with its long gentle curving borders, is a land of exceptional natural beauty and dramatic contrasts. Sparkling beaches framed by mystical mountains, dramatic limestone formations rising straight from the sea, verdant, centuries-old rice paddies glistening in the tropical sunlight, and enchanting fishing villages and floating markets are but a few of Vietnam’s many wonders. With its breathtaking archeological treasures, fascinating colonial cities, and superb cuisine, Vietnam is as rich in history and culture as it is blessed with natural beauty.

To fully discover Vietnam’s spirit and its many treasures, join us on a 12-day cultural and culinary journey from the North to the South of this amazing country. We will begin our trip in Hanoi right before the Vietnamese New Year, Te’t, to give you an opportunity to experience Vietnam’s most important holiday. The excitement of the approaching New Year is contagious as families everywhere prepare by refurbishing their homes and decorating with traditional yellow-flowering apricot trees and colorful dragons. The markets are overflowing with perfectly ripened tropical fruits and lush vegetables that the local people carry home on their shoulders or strap precariously to their bicycles and vespas.
IMG_0221Vietnamese cuisine will come alive through a series of cooking classes taught by the very best local chefs who will teach us to make such specialties as the national dish, pho, a steaming soup of rare beef filet, onions, chilies, lime juice, fresh herbs, and rice noodles, and cha ca, tasty morsels of fish with dill, scallions, peanuts, chilies and cilantro.

In addition to savoring the delicious food and exquisite sites (sights!), you will, of course, also have plenty of time to shop. Local shopping opportunities include lacquerware, jewelry, handbags, shoes, silk, and custom-made clothes. Vietnam truly provides feasts for all the senses!Vietnam

 

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

• Arrive in Hanoi in the morning and settle into the elegant French Colonial gem, the Metropole.
• Poolside lunch with a few Hanoi specialties.
• After lunch enjoy a cyclo (bicycle rickshaw) tour of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, a colorful maze of commercial alleys.
• Free time to shop. Optional water puppet show.
• Dinner at the restaurant by the opera.

Day 2

• Morning tour of Hanoi, including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature, the Presidental Palace, and other important French colonial buildings.
• Enjoy delicious Cha Ca (tasty morsals of tumeric-dusted whitefish – cooked tableside) for lunch at Vietnam’s oldest restaurant, Cha Ca La Vong.
• Afternoon cooking class and dinner with Chef Didier Corlou, Vietnam’s top chef, at his home.

Day 3

• After breakfast, drive to Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where more than 3000 islands rise steeply from the water to create an extraordinary dramatic seascape.
• Board the Bhaya for lunch, dinner and a magical overnight cruise. The Bhaya is a newly built wooden junk, featuring 20 luxurious cabins.

Day 4

• After breakfast, return to Hanoi for a flight to Hue, the former Imperial capital of Vietnam.
• Check into the Hotel La Residence with free time to relax and enjoy the spa before dinner.
• Dinner with a local family, descendents of the royal family at their home, the Om Garden House.

Day 5

• After an early breakfast, depart from the hotel for a full day tour of Hue. A boat trip on the romantically named Perfume River visits Hue’s best-known religious site, Thien Mu Pagoda, and the mausoleum of former Minh Mang, in a tranquil setting of gardens and lakes.
• Lunch at a French colonial restaurant in Hue.
• In the afternoon visit the elaborate mausoleums of emperors Khai Dinh and the Imperial Citadel from where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945.
• Royal dinner at An Dinh Vien Restaurant.

Day 6

• After breakfast leave Hue for Hoi An, a major Asian trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries whose architecture and relaxed lifestyle has changed little over the years. The scenic route passes through the wonderfully photogenic fishing village of Lang Co before climbing over the Pass of Ocean Clouds.
• Check into the beachside Victoria Hoi An Hotel in time for lunch by the pool. (Beachfont rooms!)
• Afternoon free at the hotel to enjoy the beach and spa or shopping for those who would like fabulous custom clothes made.
• Dinner on THE TERRACE at Nam Long Restaurant.

Day 7

• Breakfast at the hotel.
• Market visit and private cooking class and lunch at the Red Bridge.
• Afternoon free for swimming, shopping, spa, etc.
• Dinner at Brother’s Cafe, a charming restaurant situated on the Thu Bon River.

Day 8

• Breakfast at the hotel.
• Morning visit to the village of Tra Que, known for the cultivation of local vegetables used in traditional dishes of Hoi An.
• Lunch with a delightful local farming family.
• Afternoon free for swimming, shopping, or spa.
• Dinner at the Hotel Victoria Hoi An.

Day 9

• After breakfast drive to Danang.
• Visit to the orphanage run by the Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres in Vietnam.
• Fly from Danang to Dalat.
• Check into the Sofitel Dalat Palace Hotel.
• Hot Pot lunch at the Hotel. Optional jeep tour of Langbian Mountain.
• Dinner at the elegant French restaurant, Le Rabelais with a menu created by Didier Corlou.

Day 10

• Morning visit to a local farm producing Vietnam’s finest vegetables and herbs, followed by a market tour.
• Cooking class and lunch with Chef Huong in a French villa.
• Afternoon free.
• Aperitifs on the terrace or in Larry’s Bar.
• French dinner at Cafe de la Poste.

Day 11

• After breakfast fly from Dalat to Saigon.
• Morning tour of the Post Office, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Presidential Palace.
• Check in at the Majestic Hotel, followed by lunch at the Temple Club.
• Choice of a guided tour of the War Museum or a shopping tour in the afternoon.
• A private cocktail at a surprise location.
• Dinner at one of Saigon’s finest restaurants, the Nam Kha.

Day 12

• An all-day excursion to the Mekong Delta with a tour of the river, rice barges, small villages, houseboats, and floating markets in a small longtail boat.
• Lunch with a Vietnamese family in their private home.
• Dinner at the Club Camargue.

Day 13

• Surprise morning excursion in Saigon.
• Farewell lunch on the rooftop terrace at the Majestic Hotel.
• Depart for the airport after lunch for flights home or to another adventure in Asia.

 

Accommodations & Cost

Accommodations: All bedrooms include a private bathroom and direct dial phone sevice.
Included in the cost: Eleven (11) nights’ accommodations; all ground transportation and internal airfares from the beginning of the trip in Hanoi and ending in Saigon; all meals including aperitifs and carefully selected regional wines; all cooking classes; and all sightseeing and private visits as described above. Limited to sixteen participants.
Not Included in Cost: Airfare to Vietnam; alcoholic beverages except as specified in the program.
Cost: $7,990 per person, double occupancy, single supplement an additional $1500. Important note: substantial changes in the value of the dollar may require changes in the price of the tour.
Deposit: $1,000 per person.

 

Register for this trip — check-out the general information section about Les Liaisons Délicieuses trips — see what other travelers have to say — check for when this trip is scheduled or discuss a custom trip based on this itinerary.

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