Bon appétit for Parisian indulgence!
The French capital is often considered the spiritual home of gourmet cooking – renowned as it is for Le Cordon Bleu, a true bon vivant attitude to food and the headquarters for the Michelin Guide. It’s fair to say that the city attracts a lot of visitors on the strength of both its culinary heritage and the quality of restaurants it has to offer.
On the restaurant front, Paris offers ready access to several cuisines that are not prevalent here – such as Senegalese, Algerian and Réunionese.
Those who like to indulge their passion for food while soaking up French culture have a wealth of options, from day trips into Brittany or Normandy to truffle hunting and browsing the specialist kitchenware shops like E. Dehillerin, La Bovida and MORA.
For those looking at quick Eurostar weekenders, the
Flexicover team has picked out some food-related activities that can easily be done while on the shortest of breaks in Paris.
For those who can indulge, it would probably be remiss to visit and not partake of the champagne. It's only here you realise the variety on offer - it's not all Moët or Lanson. Tasting classes allow you to sample a range and learn about how the Champagne region – a few hours northeast of Paris – produces the unique taste and natural bubbles. As long as you remember to spit out the excess to retain the information, you’ll be a sparkling wine aficionado in no time.
Try: Dilettantes champagne tasting begins at €29.
Gourmet walking tour
For fans of all types of high-end cuisine, a luxury gourmet shops walking tour would be foodie heaven. Ambling around the exclusive Madeleine area over an afternoon, you’ll visit artisan shops selling locally-produced food that’s best in class. From the finest Prunier House’s caviar to black truffle and the original Maille mustard shop to chocolatiers that display their products as modern art, it’s an insight into Paris’s most famous foods.
Try: La Routes des Gourmets – walking tour including tastings costs €95.
For the extravagant, block out an evening for a Michelin-starred meal. With 84 Michelin chefs in the capital and higher numbers of their restaurants, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Book in advance for Alain Ducasse and his cutting edge three-star French restaurant at Plaza Athénée that’s low on meat and high in fish and vegetables. For something more traditional, Lasserre is located in a well-maintained townhouse that will give you quite the experience before the food even arrives.
Try: Lasserre - Paris – the top-of-the-range menu with paired wine is €350.
Just outside the city and occupying an area the size of Monaco, Rungis is the world’s largest food market. It’s trade-only, though, so to experience the buzz of the suppliers as they work nocturnally, you’ll have to go with a guided group. Nine massive warehouses are dedicated to fruit and veg alone, with the range of food, organisation and behind-the-scenes insight also a big pull. Tours start early and the meat warehouses can be a bit unpleasant, so take it easy on the Bordeaux the night before.
Try: Visite du Marche International de Rungis - transport, a guided tour and breakfast at the end costs €80.
After all the tasting, buying, learning and savouring, the only way to become a master of French cooking is to try making it yourself. In small classes and under the eye of a high-level chef, it’s a surefire way to learn about good quality ingredients and how best to use them, whilst picking up techniques and tricks to make your dinner party dishes up to the exacting standards of Parisian haute cuisine or more traditional styles of the Basque country, Brittany or the Languedoc.
Try: Cours de cusine paris – Alain Ducasse’s school offers classes in English for €210.
Whatever gastronomic delights that you fancy indulging in are, whether it’s in the French capital or elsewhere in the world, Flexicover are committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.