Chocolate & Coffee War Tour

Tour

The history of Paris is full of Revolutions and popular upheavals, but one thing has kept the French together through all times : Gastronomy & its Coffee Houses.

Follow the epic adventures of chocolate & coffee. Experience the battle between wine and beer drinkers, visit the oldest market and the first modern shopping mall in Paris, where wars were waged over old and new foods. 

Between the oldest stones of the city and the world famous Café de Flore, enjoy the colorful and riotous stories of French cafés while peacefully tasting delicious pastries, chocolate, and coffee

Price per private group of 1 to 4:

Starting in Rue Moufettard, a street so famous for perpetual eating that it became legendary, and ending in the first modern shopping-mall, this tour is a journey in the world-renowned Quartier Latin. Sitting on the benches of the antique arena, you will discover how the French art of drinking and table manners were influenced by Italy and learn about the continued interactions with Italy from the Gallic times to the present. As you stand in the shade of the monumental Panthéon, a tribute to France’s national heroes, your guide will recall the predominant role of Religious orders in eating and drinking. Present in Paris through hundreds of churches and convents, the Church literally dictated how and what people should eat. Aliments, like people, were classified from base to noble, moral rules decided which diet was adapted to your status.

As you savor a cup of the best hot chocolate, a beverage that “doth nourish and restore nature where it is debilitated and depraved”, according to XVIIth century doctors, you will discover the ups and downs of its reputation, the gushing praises if favor of coffee, tea, and sugar or the severe warnings against new addictions. The Church and doctors fought a fierce war to control bodies and what they ate. But of course, the King and Queen could always launch new trends and change the diet of the whole nation. 

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After this important chapter on the politics of food, your guide will also evoke the impact of these products on French philosophy, literature, and theater, which all took sides in these debates. For isn't the right to eat chocolate worth fighting for?

Back to modern times, at the terrace of the celebrated Café de Flore, we will remember scenes from “Midnight in Paris,” or another of the many movies that were shot here, evoke the conversations and gossip of famous patrons of the bar : Sartre and Camus, Fitzgerald, Joyce and Hemingway. Many were the writers who came to write and debate in this very place, leaving behind them a trail of funny or revealing anecdotes.

Finally, we will follow Dan Brown, a modern author who knew Paris as well as a Parisian, and try to uncover the secrets of the Da Vinci Code until we reach our final destination : the oldest department store of France.

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The Destiny of Nations

For Brillat-Savarin, a great theorist of dining, and a writer of aphorisms, not only did "The discovery of a new dish confer more happiness on humanity than the discovery of a new star", it was a matter of state: "The destiny of nations turns on how they feed themselves."

And of course, the nation that understood the importance of food best was France: "When Paris sits down to dine, the whole earth trembles with excitement. From all parts of the known universe things arrive: created things, products of every realm, things that grow on the surface of the earth or that lie enfolded in its bosom or that are hidden in and nourished by the sea or that fill the air—all these things hasten to Paris and jostle and vie for the favor of a glance, a caress, or a bite. For France, dinner in Paris is the great national affair."

Brillat-Savarin, French foodologist, b. 1755. 

-Luxembourg garden.

-Top pastry and chocolate shops.

-Kings’ theaters.

-Hot chocolate prepared for a King.

-The oldest market of Paris.

-The oldest café of Paris.

-The legendary Café de Flore.

 

Info

Available: Daily
Start Time: 2pm
Duration: 4hrs
Meeting Point: Exit of Metro Cardinale Lemoine
Includes: Private Guide
Excludes: Cost of Transfers, Meals,Tastings

Additional Info



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Parisien Cafe

 

No trip to Paris would be complete without sitting at the terrace of a café to watch the scenes. To spend an afternoon with a friend over ‘un petit café,’ while you watch Parisians bustle by, is a uniquely French form of relaxation. But there is more to sitting in a café than just relaxing over a drink. Cafés are the beating heart and soul of art, culture, and food in France.

During your exploration of the café culture of Paris, you will have time not only for tasting wine and café, but also for cheese, pastries, and chocolate. Learn about French history and French psychology by experiencing directly a fundamental French passion: a passionate discussion in a café, where history, wit, literature and sociability make good food even better.

 

 

"The destiny of nations turns on how they feed themselves." And of course, the nation that understood the importance of food best was France... Brillat-Savarin, French foodologist, b. 1755.