Bonjour! It’s a new year and all sorts of new France experiences are in the works here at French Affaires. Our special 2018 journeys to Paris, Normandy, the French countryside and more are set to be personal, unique windows into the rich culture, history, cuisine and people of France. We also have a host of French-related activities slated for this spring in the U.S. – really a sort of ‘France Fest in Texas’ for a couple of weeks in March. Click here for more details. From the always popular “French for Travelers” class at SMU in Dallas to the “Paris Museum Tour” lecture also at SMU to “The French Cookbook Club” culinary evenings to the special event “A Day at the Chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte” featuring French owner Alexandre de Vogue in partnership with The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture and additionally with cultural groups in Houston, all promise to bring a bit of France to the U.S. – no packing a suitcase or jetlag involved!

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The stunning French castle and gardens of Vaux-le-Vicomte outside Paris (Photo credit: Private collection Vaux-le-Vicomte)

Our exciting trips and events calendar will also be accompanied by a series of upcoming articles and newsletters on traveling in France such as my recommended top 25 sights to see, what’s happening in Paris in 2018, French regional gems not to miss, why Provence is always a top destination, how to get around France by train and by car, tips for navigating Paris’s CDG airport, great hotels and restaurants, French artisans and personalities doing interesting things, French food trends, life in the French countryside and more… all with luscious photos to transport you directly to this beautiful country.

Today’s post highlights our France travel opportunities in 2018 – we have many wonderful guests signed up so far, with a few spaces still open for those who would like to join us. So take a peek below at our French trip destinations and themes, and consider joining us for some great French culture whether on site in France or at our French events in the U.S.!

“Paris Insider Shopping Tour” – Pop-up trip – March 4 to 11, 2018

Be French and Parisian for a week this spring! Join us for a marvelous insider girls’ week in Paris all around exploring and shopping the world’s capital of style, trends and design. You’ll get to know a whole other side of Paris through its marvelously creative boutiques, shops and beacons of style – for fashion, accessories, home décor, gourmet and culinary treasures, and much more. We’ll be treated to private guided tours of Paris’s Right Bank and Left Bank shopping and style venues with insider experts as well as take in the history of how shopping has evolved in Paris since the 19th century. We’ll also experience a custom perfume workshop where you’ll create your own unique fragrance to take home. No shopping tour would be complete without a day at the fabulous Chatou Antiques Fair just outside Paris, a special décor and brocante market that happens only twice a year. Our group size is limited for a very special and intimate travel experience. Be part of our unforgettable week of getting to know Paris and French style like a native – and remember it at home with your wonderful French shopping souvenirs from our trip!

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“Culinary Journey to the French Countryside” – May 9 to 14, 2018

We have been hosting our popular “French Cookbook Club in the States for more than 7 years now, and recently we’ve added amazing culinary journeys to France designed especially for our French Cookbook Club guests. Come join Elizabeth, her husband Chris and their French dog Marcel this May in the charming village of Courances near Paris for an unforgettable culinary adventure focused on wonderful French food, wines, culture, history & gathering around the French table. We’ll have incredible foodie experiences including a private culinary day at The Cook’s Atelier in Beaune, Burgundy (we’ll go for the day!), shopping the food market at the centuries old marketplace in the nearby town, tasting local food specialties & chatting with local food producers, cooking a French dinner together, a bit of brocanting for antique cooking tools & accessories, a French cookbook dinner featuring the new “The Cook’s Atelier” cookbook, cultural excursions & more. With warm weather & everything in bloom, it will be a heavenly time to be in France both visually & culinarily! Our base will be Elizabeth’s 17th century stone house in Courances with lovely accommodations in vacation homes on nearby chateau estates. You won’t want to miss this extra-special and personal French Cookbook Club experience in France!

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“The Wonders of Normandy” – September 8 to 16 and September 22 to 30 (two identical trips)

Although it lies at Paris’ doorstep, Normandy is a world unto itself with rich historical, cultural, architectural, religious and gastronomic traditions. Our special journey led by Dr. Elizabeth New Seitz will treat you to an insider experience of the best attractions in this marvelous region of France. This one-of-a-kind trip includes private guided visits of Rouen, Bayeux, Honfleur, Mont St. Michel, special chateaux and gardens, and more by hand-picked historians, experts and hosts. We’ll relive the momentous events of the World War II American D-Day landings on the Normandy coast. And we’ll also explore the signature architecture, landscapes and sights that have inspired multiple Impressionist artists. No Normandy stay would be complete without savoring region’s culinary traditions so we’ll have plenty of gourmet meals and tastings highlighting fresh apples, Calvados, cider, seafood, butter, cream, and cheeses as well as other French specialties. And our exquisite Normandy hotels are all so lovely and comfortable you will never want to leave. Join us for this unique travel experience through French history, culture and cuisine in gorgeous Normandy!

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“France Photography Workshop” – October 2018

France is so beautiful, it almost seems it was made to be photographed! This October, French Affaires is hosting a one-of-a-kind photography workshop featuring one of France’s most celebrated landscape, chateaux and interiors photographers. Our unique, creative week on location in France will include hands-on photography sessions in various settings, locations and lights (October is superb in France for the light!); one-on-one tutorials; group brainstorming; special projects to try techniques and ideas; editing coaching; and more. You’ll also get exposed to cutting edge technologies and approaches as the workshop unfolds. Over the course of the week, you will have strengthened your photography skills and your artistic vision all in the context of France and the superb subject matter she offers. (Please note that to hit the ground running, this workshop is designed for those with previous photography experience. We’re working on offering a beginning option sometime in the future.)

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For all trip details and itineraries and questions related to our travel program, please email us at culture.france (at) frenchaffaires.com. Merci et à bientôt!

SPECIAL EVENT: “A Day at the French Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte” featuring Alexandre de Vogüé whose family owns this historic castle and gardens outside of Paris – Thursday, March 22, 2018, in partnership with The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture

French Affaires is delighted to partner with The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture to co-host this insider’s tour of the magnificent privately-owned 17th century French castle and gardens that inspired the great chateaux of Europe, including the Palace of Versailles. Vaux-le-Vicomte’s rich history began in 1641 when infamous France Finance Minister Nicolas Fouquet bought the estate and enlisted architect Louis le Vau, decorator Charles le Brun, and garden designer Andre Le Notre to transform it into a lavish residence. His extravagance piqued King Louis XIV’s jealousy, and he was thrown into prison for life ostensibly for mishandling government funds. Through the coordination of French Affaires Director Dr. Elizabeth New Seitz, Alexandre de Vogue, son of the owners of Vaux-le-Vicomte, will present a stunning virtual tour of “France’s best kept secret” and speak about A Day at Vaux-le-Vicomte, the beautiful volume co-authored by Alexandre and his brothers.

 

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Photo credits: Private Collection Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte

Date: Thursday, March 22, 2018
Time: Reception – 6-6:30pm; Talk and book-signing - 6:30 to 8pm
Cost: $20 per person ($10 Dallas Institute Members, $5 Students). Please click here to register with The Dallas Institute. Telephone: 1-214-871-2440 * The Vaux book will be available for purchase at the event. *
Location: The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture 2719 Routh Street Dallas,Texas 75201