Clos de Montmartre a Vineyard in Paris

Nutmeg had read about a small vineyard in Paris, located in the shadows of the Sacré-Coeur spires. The last time either Ginger or Nutmeg had been to Montmartre was in the 1980s. After a crazy taxi ride complete with construction bottlenecks, pre-Christmas traffic, impossibly narrow streets and hills only fit for funiculars they arrived in the middle of a mob scene. A clear Saturday afternoon right before sunset, it was immediately obvious why there had been a 30-year gap since their last visit.

Sacre Coeur

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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.”

kasia-dietz-andalucia-collection @kasiadietzbags

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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.


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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.

Antonia (Toni) Dosik

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.

Dorset England via Perfectly Planned Travel

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.”

Hour B&B Les Acanthes Toni Dosik

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.


“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!

Street in Alentejo #Portugal Perfectly Planned Travel

What would you say clients must discover in England, Portugal, and Provence?

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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:




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


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.

Market Fare

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Fun at the Museum with THATLou in Paris

Are museums boring?

Treasure Hunts At The Louvre will change your mind.

THATLou @ the Louvre

Meet Daisy de Plume a native New Yorker who has lived in Paris for 8 years. She is the Founder + Creative Director of THATLou. With a background in Art History and a past in print magazine editing and writing  THATLou somehow makes sense for Daisy de Plume. You can find her on Twitter, pinterest  and her facebook page. Please read more about her fun company concept below.

THATLou @ the Louvre

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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.


Paris Classic

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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.

Screen Shot Screen Shot Beware Madame la GuillotineSarah 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. 

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Paris Eating Buyer Beware

How can it be Paris eating – buyer beware? Extra charges for bread, expensive bottled water, 15% built-in service charge, “tourist” menus, snooty wait staff…

Macarons #Paris #France @GingerandNutmeg

So armed with that knowledge and a list of Zagat rated restaurants recommended by Saffron, Nutmeg and Ginger venture out.  Her suggestions are all fabulous from the outside! The lesson?  Make a reservation!! Nutmeg and Ginger are zero for three so far (this might be good news for the Visa balance):

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