French Travel Boutique specialises in French history, therefore some popular tour options include the history of Paris. We can start with Paris in Roman times and then trace the shift in settlement from the Ile de la Cité and the Left Bank to the development of the Right Bank as the commercial hub of the city in medieval times. We discover the Parisian royal residences including the Conciergerie and the medieval Louvre. Other history tour options might include visits to many medieval vestiges that are situated around the city, especially in the historic Marais or the rich collection of the Museum of the Middle Ages. Former aristocratic residences on both the Right Bank and Left Bank make a delightful itinerary for a walking tour. Another popular theme is to follow the life of any one of the many celebrities of French history.
Art tours can focus on specific interests or artists. Impressionism is one of the most popular themes with options including the Musee d’Orsay, Orangerie, or a guided tour through Montmartre in the footsteps of the Impressionists. Claude Monet's garden in Giverny is also a favorite. Other suggested tours outside Paris are Auvers-sur-Oise, with the Impressionism spectacle and Van Gogh’s Tomb. Modern and Contemporary Art tours can also be organized. These could include a private tour of La Ruche with a resident artist. A visit to Paris' many new art galleries or auction houses is also available.
Just as Paris has multiple layers of history the same can be said of its architecture. With a VIP expert you can discover hidden details in the many buildings, bridges, avenues, parks and hotels situated around Paris. These may include being able to recognize the various styles of architecture or understanding Haussmann’s redesign of Paris. Tours can include famous monuments or a series of former aristocratic residences (Corbusier’s Villa Savoye at Poissy and Mansart’s Château at Maisons-Laffitte.
GASTRONOMY AND ELEGANT DINING
How did the Royal family dine? Gain insight into the "savoir faire" of sophisticated entertaining and the Arts de la Table past or present. Visit various Châteaux kitchens and discover what dining was like as an aristocrat. Learn about the history of Sevres porcelain and see some of the finest examples. Enjoy afternoon tea with enthusiastic collectors who will share their knowledge and show you their wonderful collection of 18th century tableware including porcelain, silverware and crystal. Join our resident gastronomy expert on a mouthwatering tour of the best gourmet shopping areas and specialty shops.
OPERA, BALLET AND CLASSICAL MUSIC
Ballet in France dates back to the early 16th and 17thcenturies. Even the King (Louis XIV) was known to perform! Our expert guide will help you discover the history of ballet in Paris with a private tour of Opera Garnier. Our Classical Music expert can take you on a tour of Paris in Chopin's footsteps. Information on events and performances can be arranged as well.
GARDENS OF PARIS
The diversity of gardens in and around Paris allows for numerous possibilities. You may be interested in learning the history behind the gardens of former royal residences, such as Tuileries, Luxembourg and Parc Monceau, while at the same time discovering hidden treasures there. We can also show you the unexpected, often stunning gardens tucked behind the former aristocratic residences or the "secret" small gardens used by locals who want some quiet time out. If you are a keen gardener, we have a professor of garden design who can accompany you. There are a number of options on the outskirts of Paris, including a visit of the King's vegetable garden at Versailles.
Want to feel like a Parisian? As VIP we can organise practical info for your stay so that you can get settled and feel comfortable in your surroundings. Master public transport, grocery shop and plan your itinerary. Our local residents will tailor a tour to suit your interests. Shopping on the Left Bank, mastering the department stores, finding the big name designers or the up and coming new labels, decorator shops, antique shops - the choice is yours. Our food expert can show you options for dining, whether it is finding the local street markets, nearby gourmet shops andtraiteurs, supermarkets or great local restaurants and cafes near your hotel or apartment.
Find the finest furnishing fabrics, antique and specialist interiors boutiques. We'll help you work out your own personalised shopping map of Paris. If you'd like to see the antique auctions or flea markets, our expert can take you. Learn about French decor styles and see the best displays of fully furnished rooms from various periods. Discover little known gems in museums you've never heard of, with wonderful private collections. See more options on our "Paris Interiors" pages, including ideas for short visits outside Paris, such as Napoleon and Josephine's private residence on the outskirts of Paris with its superb collection of Empire furnishing. More info...