Decadence & Excess

Tour

Walking from the Opera to Le Louvre is the best way to uncover the hidden Royal gems of City of Lights : the residences of kings, emperors, and their courts, the covered passageways, theaters, and operas, as well as the very first restaurant in the world and the revolutionary clubs.

Around the Grand Boulevards to the Opera and Le Palais Royal your private guide will tell you all about the pleasures of Paris, ranging from those of the table to the most artistic and prosaic forms of enjoyments.Your Foodographer will invite you to discover the buildings of the past, while learning about what these great people ate, and getting a taste of it.

Price per private group of 1 to 4:

Many are the critics of Haussman, the engineer who embellished and renovated Paris in the late 19th century. Forgetting that they owe the comforts of running water and sewers to him, they complain that he turned Paris into an outdoor Museum. While they may have a point, the world started to flock to the capital that had become overnight the “City of Lights”. The area between the Opéra and Le Louvre, which this tour explores, became and stayed a masterpiece of urban planning, and a world's attraction.

Exploring this 'outdoor museum' with your private guide, you will discover the everlasting monuments of the Opéra Garnier, the impressive Palais Royal, the legendary halls of le Louvre, and follow in the footsteps of the 19th century tourist through covered passageways. You will feel yourself caught between the past and present, each offering a variety of treats and gems to tease your senses and taste buds.

The enchanting hall of the Opéra Garnier and its imperial staircase is the ideal starting point :  Les Galeries Lafayette, this centennial temple of consumption, will conjure up the history of trading and offer you the best vantage point of view on avenues created for entertainment. Covered passageways and their boutiques that seem frozen in time will make you feel like a young tourist form the 19th century, adjusting your top hat or twirling your parasol as you enjoy a stroll through Paris. Imagine the crowds of young women suddenly marching on the city, to either buy or sell the goods that came to Paris from all over Europe to the Grands Magasins – and imagine the change for Parisians who had never seen so many young élégantes walk around without male company. The 'Parisienne' was born. 

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Stop for an aperitif in one the most beautiful passage of the city, and listen as your private guide shares with you the amazing stories of the golden age of the first shopping mall. During a lunch taken in a contemporary bistro, your foodographer will disclose all the secrets of French modern cooking.  After this modern parenthesis, your guide will take you to the first restaurant of Paris, the infamous 'houses of pleasures', and evoke the many marvels that surrounded the Palais Royal garden.

Finally quench your thirst for knowledge, figuratively and literally, over a tea or an ice cream, in the enchanting café inside the inner courtyard of Le Louvre.

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Sins Elegantly Prepared

The Belle époque (the "beautiful era") lasted from 1880 to 1914. It established Paris as the

world's capital of illicit pleasure, and it may qualify as Europe’s most beloved golden age. Romantic movies like Moulin Rouge with their cast of handsome rogues, mad painters, and golden-hearted ladies of the night, ensure that its reputation continues to smolder, as do the parade of Impressionist blockbuster art shows.   At the time, Paris blazed even more brightly as a beacon of permissiveness. It was universally acclaimed the most stylish city in the Western world, with the finest restaurants, most avant-garde writers, most brilliant entertainments—and sin lashings of sin, elegantly prepared.

For travelers arriving from benighted Anglo-Saxon lands, the city was a delightful assault on the senses. Stepping from the railway platform, they fell transported to an endless springtime: the air was more fragrant, the breezes warmer, the streets more alive. Paris pulsated with theaters, dance halls, and brasseries with their distinctive zinc-lopped bars—over thirty thousand drinking spots, three times more than New York and six times more than in London”. 

The Sinner’s Grand Tour, Tony Perrottet.

-Galeries Lafayette

-Grand Boulevards and the lurid reputation of the houses of pleasures.

-Aperitif at a nice terrace of the most beautiful covered passageway of Paris.

-Lunch in a modern bistro.

-Palais Royal: first restaurants of the world, first shopping mall and garden of pleasures

-Comédie Française: National Theater. 

-Place du Carousel: the inner courtyard of Le Louvre.

 

Info

Available: Daily
Start Time: 12pm
Duration: 4 Hrs
Meeting Point: Exit of Metro Quatre Septembre
Includes: Private Guide
Excludes: Cost of Transfers, Meals,Tastings

Additional Info

 

"Absolutely wonderful from start to finish! Larry is great, extremely helpful with prompt, friendly service.

Our family of 5 (2 adults and three kids ages 16,11,9) took a gourmet food tour in Paris with Aurore. She was delightful."
   Susan

Couple

 

During this tour, your foodographer will tell you the story of the origin of tourism. Once upon a time, the world's elites all came to Paris to finish their education and have fun, Paris being the first stop in the Grand Tour. Starting with the fundamental Parisian delight—a good meal—these excursions will bring back to life the secrets of the traditional French Tour : its rowdy and illicit pleasures, its refinements and delicacies, its dangers and brilliancy, all the ambiguities of Gai Paris.

The Grand Tour is a journey into the history of entertainment. We will follow the footsteps, if not the example of Russians dukes in the underworld of the early 19th century.

 

 

 

“You wanted to sit down in front of a new café forming the corner of a new boulevard still littered with rubbish but that already displayed its unfinished splendors. The café was dazzling." Baudelaire (The Eyes of the Poor)