November 7, 2016

Exploring Paris Fashion with a Chic Shopping Tour

Exploring Paris Fashion with a Chic Shopping Tour

Kasia Dietz is a transplanted New Yorker who has called Paris her home for the last seven years. The “City of Light” lured Dietz into its fabulous web of art, culture and fashion while she was studying International Marketing in London. Ok, there might have been a swarthy Italian too, but she says, “It’s always been a city I dreamt of calling home.” (more…)

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February 29, 2016

Foodie Tour of Paris

Foodie Tour of Paris

There are many reasons to complain about the SNCF (French national railways) including their frequent schedule delays. However, when the system works you board the TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) in Avignon and arrive 2.5 hours later on the platform at Paris Gare de Lyon – génial (brilliant)! Ginger and Nutmeg were in Paris for a quick visit, a weekend of “hanging-out”. As often happens, Ginger was simply happy to be there, and Nutmeg had a plan. They were going to stroll (flâner) the city and do a foodie tour along the way. (more…)

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October 19, 2015

How to Move to Paris

How to Move to Paris

It is not easy to change careers or geography at any age. Why is Patricia Sands a possibilitarian? Why did Lisa and Johann Pepin move from Chicago to hunt for truffles in rural Provence? Moving can fall into that “not easy” bucket, where it is seems easier to stick to the familiar than to pack your bags. (more…)

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October 5, 2015

Perfectly Planned Travel for Bespoke Holidays

Perfectly Planned Travel for Bespoke Holidays

Antonia (Toni) Dosik’s memories of her first foreign trip include sandy beaches and seashells. In reality, Mexico was hardly a protracted voyage for a six-year-old kid from Los Angeles, but it was the kickoff for Toni’s travel-centric life. At 13, Toni began plotting her return to Europe while on a vacation that included visits to England, France, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland. During college, she took advantage of a study abroad program to improve her French language skills, and to visit Switzerland and southern France. Toni spent a university year in England before racking up extensive travel miles to Provence, Paris, Italy, Serbia, Slovenia and Portugal. Best in Britain was born in 1987, a small business that sprouted from friends and family asking Toni for help with their travel planning. Toni’s travel bug married her planning talent. She tells me that Best in Britain planned more than 40 trips to England and Wales for people who wanted unique and personalized vacations. Starting with a client’s response to her detailed questionnaire on their interests and individual needs, Toni has planned holidays with a focus on gardens, maritime history and even mazes. Toni says that for clients “I planned travel for them just like I plan travel for myself.” Now, with Perfectly Planned Travel, Toni is concentrating her efforts on the undiscovered or under-discovered in regions that she knows best: England, Portugal, Paris and Provence. Why? “I am drawn to Portugal and Provence by the gorgeous scenery, the warm, friendly people, and the charming small towns and villages.  England is also about gorgeous scenery and charming villages and small market towns.  Despite its reputation, England has some of the warmest and friendliest people on earth!  Paris, of course, is quintessentially French, somewhat challenging, as cities can be, but beautiful and fascinating.” Toni limits her number of clients, so every Perfectly Planned Travel trip is individualized and customized – there is no typical itinerary.  Toni has planned many trips for first-time travelers who are reassured by her attention to detail. In equal measure, Toni proposes excursions for people who want to experience something different in a place they have already visited. What was your most challenging trip to date? Planning a family vacation for 17 adults and two small children in Provence.  They wanted a house that was big enough for everyone to have their own bedroom and bathroom and yet affordable.  Lots of different needs and travel styles. They all had a great time! What would you say clients must discover in England, Portugal, and Provence? The lovely countryside of the Alentejo region of Portugal, with its sophisticated wineries, olive oil producers, and cork trees. Also, charming towns, villages and friendly people. The market towns of England. Most people know London and maybe the Cotswolds or the Lake Country. However, some of the most interesting places to visit in England are towns that have had markets since the medieval period, like Woodford in Suffolk or Calderdale in West Yorkshire. The area of Provence known as the Vaucluse with its perched villages, long and complicated history, and its truly breathtaking vistas of vineyards, lavender fields, and olive trees. What would you tell your clients to taste in England, Portugal, and Provence? In Portugal and Provence, drink wine.  Portugal produces some of the best wine in the world, but it is often not available outside of Portugal.  Not just the vinho verde (young white wine), but the delicious reds like those from Herdade Do Esporao in the Alentejo. Same for Provence.  Explore the wine. Côtes du Rhone, Châteauneuf du Pape, and the dry rosés.  One of the best ways to do this – and eat the delicious food as well – is to have your main meal of the day at lunch, so you can drink the wine, walk around the local village or town, and still drive home safely. England has a very undeserved reputation as a place without decent food. Ever since it joined the EU, the food in England has become more and more varied and sophisticated.  Including “pub food” that is way more than fish and chips or toad in a hole.  I had some of the best meals of my life at the Museum Inn in Farnham, Dorset, population 111! What would you suggest for relaxation? This is truly idiosyncratic.  I love to shop and find it both relaxing and stimulating.  Other people like to fish, or walk on the beach, or sit in a café or see a concert.  That’s where my Questionnaire comes in – it helps me to get a sense of what people like to do, what they want from their trip, their “style” of travel and how I can help them plan a perfect trip. Are you ready for a Perfectly Planned Travel holiday? Get in touch with Antonia (Toni) Dosik: http://perfectlyplannedtravel.biz/contact/ Website: http://perfectlyplannedtravel.biz/ Questionnaire: http://perfectlyplannedtravel.biz/questionnaire/ _____________________________________________________________________________ Disclosure: Perfectly Planned Travel is a Ginger and Nutmeg sponsor Image Credits: All photos were provided by and published with the permission of Perfectly Planned Travel  

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March 10, 2014

Paris Marche des Enfants Rouge

Paris Marche des Enfants Rouge

Old meets new, and France meets the world in this Parisian market. The trendy Marais district, the third arrondissement, spills northward with new housing and retail stores invading previously unattractive utilitarian spaces. In the midst of this budding urbanization is one of Paris’s oldest covered markets. The entrance off rue de Bretagne is unassuming; inside this compact culinary corner of the capital city is an artist’s palate of international cuisines. Market stalls flaunt glorious blooms in soft pastels and vibrant Crayola shades, seasonal fruit and vegetables from farms of Europe are piled high and fresh catch from the seas rest on icy cradles. (more…)

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September 10, 2012

Enfin Paris Finally

Enfin Paris Finally

It took 11.5 months for Ginger and Nutmeg to make it to Paris, only a 2.5 hour train ride from their Provencal home base. The capital city is one that both Ginger and Nutmeg love and have visited several times. It is entirely possible; that the relaxing rhythm of life in the sunny south had kept them from Paris for that length of time. However, they finally had a compelling reason to venture to l’ile de France, to meet some friends in the city. After, Nutmeg managed to master, the not so intuitive, SNCF website and purchase their train tickets, the rest was easy. The trains run frequently and sometimes even on time. Departing from Avignon TGV, their goal was to feel like real Parisians for three days. Audacious! (more…)

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August 16, 2012

A Revolutionary Tour of Paris Beware Madame la Guillotine

A Revolutionary Tour of Paris Beware Madame la Guillotine

Are you a history buff? Nutmeg would like to introduce you to a real find: Beware Madame la Guillotine, A Revolutionary Tour of Paris by Time Traveler Tours, an educational tourism start-up that is capturing worldwide attention. Sarah Towle is Founder and Creative Director of Time Traveler Tours, mobile iTineraries that reveal history through the stories of characters who helped shape their time, enhanced with dash of interactive games. Her first StoryApp, Beware Madame la Guillotine, A Revolutionary Tour of Paris, received accolades as a School Library Journal Top 10 2011 App and Teachers With Apps Top 10 Tried & True Classroom App. It was also recently named a Top 10 2012 Travel App by the World Youth and Student Travel Conference. Sarah’s second title, also on a death theme, Day of the Dead, a journey to the Napoleonic era, is due for release later this year. Like, Connect with, and Follow Sarah’s progress starting here. (more…)

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February 23, 2010

Paris To Do List

Paris To Do List

No matter how many times you have been to Paris there is always something to do.  If you have never been before the must-do list includes; Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, The Opera, Bateaux Mouches, L’Arc de Triomphe, Montmartre, Champs Elysees, Notre Dame and St Michel.  After you have hit the must do list there are endless museums, galleries, great shopping and fantastic neighbourhoods to explore. Nutmeg’s favourites include: (more…)

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February 21, 2010

Paris France Not to be confused with any other

Paris France Not to be confused with any other

Nutmeg and Ginger are in Paris for Gingers’ school trip. The great thing about Paris in February is the hordes of summer tourists are absent.  This does not mean there are no crowds but rather that the crowds are made up of more locals, French tourists and Asian school trips.  The weather is pleasant at about 5 degrees Celsius, however, it is not spring so requires a good heavy jacket, hat and gloves.  There is no snow on the ground so the ladies are all strutting their boots.  Nutmeg, as some might agree has a boot fetish so this is a bit like being in a candy store.  The boots cover all styles although there is a higher percentage of the black flat sole, zippered, laced or both. Nutmeg packed light so must be content with the one pair she did bring along. (more…)

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