Meet your guide and small group at the Etienne Marcel metro station in Paris, where you'll begin your tour of the best of French regional gastronomy. Start in a local bakery, in typical French style, with a coffee and a buttery croissant. Learn about how these specialties are made, along with traditional, organic breads. Your guide will pick up some baguettes here to enjoy later in the tour.
The Les Halles quarter of Paris is traditionally known as ‘the belly of Paris.’ Once home to the huge, teeming food market that fed the city each day, it remains today a mecca for food lovers, the streets lined with specialty food stores, restaurants, cafés and kitchen supplies. Join the local Parisians as they shop for their daily groceries, and take a stroll along its most animated street, the rue Montorgeuil, stopping along the way at favorite boutiques. Savor tasty artisan cheeses from across France in a traditional, local fromagerie, and delicate flavored fine chocolates from an artisan chocolatier. Then it’s time for a visit to the oldest (and possibly most beautiful) patisserie in Paris, founded by the baker to Queen Marie in 1730 - also the inventor of the ‘Baba au rhum’. Winners of several awards, including Best Chocolate Eclair, ’choose your favorite pastries to be savored later over lunch. We'll also stop at a typical charcuterie and taste some delicious cured meats and hams.
Your expert guide will also point out a centuries-old oyster house (the oysters were originally rushed to Paris by horse), as well as will highlight traditional butchers, fishmongers, and grocers as you wander along this fascinating street. For the cooks among you, particularly pastry lovers, don’t miss the wonderful suppliers of kitchenware and ingredients, including one of the oldest supply stores in Paris.
You can opt to finish your tour in style at an award winning wine bar, where the days' discoveries collected will be paired with a flight of top-class French wines, served by a sommelier. Sample wines from three different regions, and discover and how to pair each wine with your food. Your gourmet tour concludes with a typical picnic-style lunch with wine.