Tour France: Cartier’s Grand Palais Exhibit in Paris

cartier_expo_0Ooh la la! Cartier, the “Jeweler of Kings,” has an opulent exhibit at the Grand Palais in Paris from December 4th to February 16th. This is a must-visit experience and a great addition to a tour through France. And what a perfect add-on to a Valentine’s trip (you could get some ideas for the kind of ring or tiara she likes 🙂 ) Bliss Travels is currently offering a deal for the Valentine’s weekend trip (the special price is only offered through January 2nd). Check it out here! A romantic opportunity awaits!

The exhibit is the most expensive of its kind. It's simply a must-see!

The exhibit is the most expensive of its kind. It’s simply a must-see!

WWD gushes that Kate Middleton’s wedding tiara and Grace Kelly’s engagement ring are among the star pieces of an exhibition on Cartier opening in Paris today.

Billed as the most extensive show to date dedicated to the French jeweler, famed for its panther-themed jewelry and Tank watches, “Cartier — Style and History” is set to run at the Grand Palais until Feb. 16. It showcases more than 600 items ranging from fine jewelry and watches to decorative objects, many reflecting the influence of exotic locations like China and India. Most are drawn from Cartier’s extensive archives, but about 100 items are on loan from private collections.”

Cartier's signature jaguar stands proud in many of the exhibit's displays.

Cartier’s signature jaguar stands proud in many of the exhibit’s displays.

In an interview with the Guardian, the curator of this opulent exhibit, Laure Dalon, explained its significance. “Cartier is one of France’s iconic companies and is a part of France’s tradition and heritage. It’s not just the actual monetary value of the pieces but their social history, their owners and their place in the history of decorative arts. That makes them priceless, really.”

Hasn't every girl wished to wear something as exquisite as this?

Hasn’t every girl wished to wear something as exquisite as this?

Well said, Mme Dalon! We are delighted to recommend our clients see  this magnificent exhibit during their Valentine’s trip. We can even provide a private guide to accompany and tour this exhibit, and others! Add it to your checklist: we’ll see you there!

A bientot-

Bliss Travels

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Tour France: Bliss Travels Featured on “Places to Visit in France!”

Bliss Travels was featured in an article on Places to Visit in France as a great way to tour Paris for the Valentine’s weekend!

Places to Visit in France said:

Go with an “insider”!

This is our favorite option. You get alone time with your sweetheart while seeing the hidden, more intimate parts of the city that you wouldn’t get in a big group. One of our top choices is Bliss Travels, a luxury travel company that specializes in food and wine (so prepare for a gourmet trip). They are also offering a special Valentine’s weekend trip where everything is taken care of for you, but where you will not be with a group! Check out their site here: http://blisstravels.com/tour-france-valentines-day-in-paris

Read the rest of their article (and pick up some travel tips) at Visit Paris for Valentine’s Day. Sound tempting? Then check out Bliss Travels‘ special holiday deal on our Valentine’s Day in Paris package!

The "I Love You wall" in Paris is a beautiful reminder of your loved one!

The “I Love You wall” in Paris is a beautiful reminder of your loved one!

A bientot,

Bliss Travels

Tour France: Travel Experts Bliss Travels Blogged by French Wedding Style

Meet the Experts: Bliss Travels

 As posted on the TOP French wedding blog! French Wedding Style….Wow, Thank you Monique for such a great write up! It’s not too soon to plan for our Valentine’s Weekend Special or for summer. Contact wendy@blisstravels.com now to experience Bliss.

Bliss Travels - enjoying cheese selection on tour

There is nothing more apt when it comes to vacationing in France than the name Bliss Travels. With incredible history, unparalleled beauty, the best food & wines in the world, and a language that can make anything sound romantic, how could it not be the ultimate blissful holiday?

That’s why Bliss Travels, a luxury travel company that designs bespoke trips, weddings and other events in France, has been taking couples through France for over a decade!

French Wedding Style – Photography © most photos by Anthony Bianciella
Bliss Travels teaching photography

Introducing Wendy from Bliss Travels: “Our clients have extraordinary experiences, the kind you can’t buy. We like to say that traveling with us is like traveling with a very well connected friend (who has great taste!) We offer exclusive, insider access to things that no other company can provide. We aim to not only please, but provide “Bliss!”

Many of our trips begin in Paris. How could we deny our clients a chance at specially designed (one-of-a-kind) menus in Michelin-starred restaurants, dining with chefs in their apartments, or in their quaint little bistros; shopping in the fashion capital of the world; and privately guided walks of the major sites and museums?

Bliss Travels - gourmet food and desserts

We love telling people about the surprising histories of famous monuments, sneaking into private little courtyards, and offering up tastes from the shops you couldn’t find on your own. In short, we like introducing people to the little-known treasures of France, and the City of Lights in particular. (Do you know where to find the best hot chocolate you’ll ever drink?  Or how about that great bistro in the Red Light district?)

Surprise Engagements

Sometimes our clients take extra advantage of being in the most romantic city in the world… At the beginning of our wine-tasting trip to Burgundy this September, one of our clients popped the question to his girlfriend after a beautiful meal and an evening stroll along the Seine. So we feted their engagement the next day when we arrived in Burgundy, with a barrel tasting in a 14th wine cellar, followed by a dinner that included red wine poached lobster and finished with luxurious cheeses, all prepared by our private chef. Just a bit more “bliss”!

Wedding planning in Paris

When we design our wine trips, our goal is not just great wines and foods, but also relaxed fun. Bien sur, we have Michelin chefs design private meals in Grand Cru chateaux and taste fine wines from the private collection of wine makers. But we also treat people to authentic experiences, not just formal ones. “Bliss” sometimes means that we are invited into a farmhouse for a rustic meal or a tiny bistro that opened just for us. Sometimes we are invited into a chef’s or winemaker’s home to taste their cooking, as they regale us with their stories. Our goal is to make sure that our clients have extraordinary experiences that are relaxed and enjoyable, not stuffy.

Exclusivity

We’re especially proud of the exclusive access we provide. Whether that means being invited to a vineyard where renowned wine expert Robert Parker was turned away (score 1-0 for Bliss!) or having a special case of (sold out) wine that he rated 100 saved just for us, we want our clients to have experiences they can’t get on their own.  And, we want their biggest problem to be (as one client recently wrote) “How we will be able to go back to drinking the wines we liked before, after tasting so many fabulous ones on this trip!”

Private wine cellar tour with Bliss Travels

After our wine tasting in Bordeaux this year, we decided to take an impromptu trip to Basque country on our way to Spain, just because there were some delicacies we thought people might enjoy! Next stop:  Barcelona to live large! Late nights with gourmet tapas in a private rooftop party, tours with a Gaudi expert to the Sagrada Familia Basilica, and time to explore a city with great nightlife, art, and culture. Perfecto! Adventure seekers call this trip their “Bliss!”

Provence

For more laid back trips, our clients adore the unhurried, cheerful culture of the Provencal region. Miles upon miles of lavender, sunflowers, poppies, perched villages, and ancient ruins make even the drive to a new place gasp-worthy.

Food in Provence is like nowhere else; intimate and relaxed. Where else would a Michelin starred chef create new dishes with us in his kitchen and then joins us for dessert? Or where else could you find a tiny “end of the road” auberge, where the owner brings food out on wood planks and then serenades you by playing an ancient mouth harp, while his goats jump over nearby tables.

Gourmet food tour around France

We always say “you’ve got to see it to believe it.” So get your camera ready! (That’s why we bring a professional photographer with us in the spring to show clients the tricks of the trade.) There is nothing better than realizing you took the Best Photo Ever, of the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen or the most unforgettable experience you’ve ever had.

French Mediterranean

We love to end our trips with a stunning change of scenery: heading to the French Mediterranean to stay in an ancient Chateau atop a cliff, or to visit a festival and watch the bulls run the streets! Many of our clients have called these experiences reminiscent of  “a fairytale”—and we couldn’t agree more.

A day on a private yacht, drifting through the crystal blue waters and going for the occasional dip and sip of wine, leaves each and every person tan, relaxed, and in utter “Bliss!” A summer picnic in a lush garden followed by a night watching the bulls and dancing in the streets is exhilarating and the best honeymoon or anniversary gift, ever. Period.

We have even helped a groom organize a surprise elopement to Paris for his fiancée, which you might recognise from appearing on French Wedding Style.

We’ll see you soon!
A bientot!!

How many experiences in this post are you just itching to be a part of?  What is your favourite activity mentioned?  I love the idea of a bistro owner exclusively opening his doors and kitchen for a private gathering and of course the wine!

If you want to know more about Bliss Travels trips, browse the Bliss Travels website and find more testimonials.

Tour France: A Surprise Engagement

Tour France: A Surprise Engagement on the way to Burgundy

A guest on one of Bliss Travelstours through France got the best surprise during her time with us in  Paris!

A toast to the happiest couple!

A toast to the happiest couple!

Janice contacted Bliss Travels a several months ago to come on our wine trip to Burgundy. She was interested in extending the trip –learning more about places to visit in France and about our various food and wine adventures. This was going to be her boyfriend,  Jeff’s first time in France.

Several months later when she arrived in Paris on a crisp autumn day, Janice, blonde, bubbly, and full of smiles despite the jetlag, was still bursting with excitement as she introduced her boyfriend, Jeff, to the City of Lights for the first time.

The happy couple spent the next day exploring one of the most beautiful cities in the world—climbing the Eiffel Tower, strolling along the Seine, and even putting their own “love lock” on the Pont des Arts. But Jeff had more in mind than a sightseeing trip!

The couple eats a gourmet picnic on our TGV ride to Burgundy. Check out that ring!

The couple eats a gourmet picnic on our TGV ride to Burgundy. Check out that ring!

He was a bit nervous –trying to find the “perfect” setting. Should he propose during dinner? Afterwards? At the hotel? Jeff had no idea how things were going to proceed (and neither did Janice). After a romantic candlelit dinner at Le Reminet and Jeff’s favorite, hot chocolate, they wandered back to the hotel. There he resolved that the privacy of their little boutique Parisian hotel was the best place to state his “question”. Once back in their room, Janice was astonished—and delighted—to find Jeff getting down on one knee. “I was so excited, I’m not sure I remembering hearing anything besides ‘Will you marry me?’ ” laughed Janice, recalling the happy evening. But she immediately said yes—bien sûr!

As our little group of 7 enjoyed a picnic on the TGV trip to Burgundy the next morning, Janice and Jeff couldn’t wait to share their wonderful surprise and her stunning ring. As she told us the story, everyone asked if Janice was surprised. Jeff’s response was “nobody was more surprised than I!” I guess when love strikes, there’s nothing much you can do but follow through!

A trip to a wine maker's private cellar welcomed us to Burgundy. Not too shabby!

A private tasting at “closed to the public” Domaine de l’Arlot. The technical director himself conducted the tasting!

Jeff and Janice, we couldn’t be happier to celebrate your good news with you!  Wishing you years of “bliss”!

Janice wondered "how we will be able to go back to drinking the wines we liked before after tasting so many fabulous ones of this trip."

Janice wondered “how we will be able to go back to drinking the wines we liked before after tasting so many fabulous ones of this trip.”

Felicitations, nos amis!

A bientot-

Bliss Travels

Wine lovers–stay tuned for more tales from our trips to Bordeaux!

Our group loved exploring vineyards!

Tour France: French Wedding Style Mythbusters Blog about Bliss Travels

French Wedding Style, the premier wedding blog, just posted an interview with Bliss Travels! Fact vs. fiction. How easy (or hard) is it to have your event in France? Well, read French Wedding Style’s article and find out! Whether proposing, marrying or honeymooning in romantic Paris or dreamy Provence, your trip will be full of Bliss!

 

Destination Wedding Mythbusters

It is part The Discovery Channel on the blog today, as Wendy Jaeger from Bliss Travels hosts a Destination Wedding Mythbusters and explores the commonly held myths surround planning a wedding abroad. Roll titles and over to Wendy:

Many couples want to have a wedding in a place imbued with timeless romance and France is the ideal solution with picturesque Provence and what could be more romantic than a wedding in Paris?  However many couples are often put off by widely held myths surrounding planning a wedding abroad and this is what we are going to explore today!

Myth 1: Destination Weddings are more expensive than domestic weddings

The average cost for a wedding in the United States is $26,542.00, which doesn’t include the honeymoon. The average honeymoon price is between $5,200-$10,000 for international travellers (depending upon whether you choose a luxury or standard honeymoon).

Destination weddings offer you the opportunity to combine wedding and honeymoon in ways that are very cost effective….And allow you to make your special day a truly unique and memorable experience. Elopements to Paris range from $10,000 to $20,000 and include the ceremony, reception, hotel, meals and “a honeymoon”.

wedding in paris

And, where else can you get a background filled with jaw dropping beauty and world class sites? Champagne on top of the Eiffel Tower? Check! Romantic photos by the Seine river? Check! French pastries and great wines? Check!

But, it’s not just about money! It’s about the most important day of your life.

 

Myth 2: Destination Weddings are more complicated than domestic weddings

Destination weddings present wonderful opportunities to make your wedding day about you and your love for each other, without the confines of the wedding traditions at home.

People often think that these events are impossible and difficult to plan because of the distance. Like any wedding they take planning, but they can be made simpler by using a wedding planning service.  Following the initial brief with you, Bliss Travelscan do everything for you, designing your unique wedding weekend or week AND make it happen.

destination wedding

Destination weddings can enable a couple to escape the clutter of daily life, leaving the minutia behind, so you can focus on the most important thing: Your partner and your ceremony!

Myth 3: You must either celebrate at home (with family and friends) or abroad, and miss out on family and friends

Not so! You can eat your croquembouche and have it too!

Certainly, you may have a few people who wish to travel with you.  But, even if that’s not possible, it’s still possible to share your special day with your loved ones.Bliss work with several photography partners who create DVD slideshows of your ceremony and entire weekend/week as well as video of your ceremony. These are edited, set to music, and presented to you soon after your ceremony. Thus, when you get home Bliss can arrange a champagne reception for your family and friends where your guests get to view your special event!

wedding food france

Myth 4: Destination weddings follow a cookie cutter format

By nature some destination wedding packages do follow a cookie cutter, specific style format, but Bliss aims to create a wedding that is personal to you.

Whether you are looking for a chic intimate Paris wedding or a casual and relaxed rustic countryside wedding in Provence, your wedding day should be about you and your fiancé, your style, your taste and your wedding adventure.  Also your budget as weddings can cost (for a day long event, lodging overnight, music, and the meal with wines) less than 150 Euros per person  –not including travel expenses.

wedding provence

So there we go Destination Wedding Myths – Busted!

Roll credits

Find out more about Bliss Travels at www.blisstravels.com. Bliss has some availability in March between 23-28, and April 12-14, as well as June and beginning of July. These can be combined with honeymoons or attendance on one of our trips. When booking both, there is a discount.

Any other wedding myths that you want to suggest to be examined??

Monique xx

Tour France: Romantic Parisian Proposals & Weddings

Romance in Paris…

Tour France

The best place to say “I love you” in the world!

Tour France I love you wall

This wall is a permanent art exhibit in Paris. “I love you” is written here in over 200 languages. (We even did an elopement ceremony in front of this wall –can you beat that?) Which just goes to say –What is more romantic than Paris? Parisian romance equals pure Bliss! Here are some of our favorite romantic memories of Paris. Perfect to look at as we approach Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t matter whether  you are truly planning something with that special someone or you simply want to get swept up in the fantasy.

Tour France Paris Romance

Last year in Paris for Valentine’s weekend, we saw beautiful romantic window displays all around. Even the crepe stands were decorated 🙂

Tour France Paris weddings

Wedding Story Contest: Bliss & France!

 Romantic France!

Contest

Tell Us About your Fantasy French Wedding/Vow Renewal, Romance or Honeymoon

WIN Your Choice of a free 2 hour photography session in Paris or a 2 hour privately guided custom tour in Paris!

To Enter

1. DESCRIBE: your idea of the most “Bliss”ful French wedding, elopement or honeymoon. Include how both France (whether Paris, Provence, or other locale) and the concept of “bliss” fit into you and your fiancés personal romantic story.
2. Friend Bliss Travels on Facebook
The contest is open to any engaged or soon to be engaged person 21 years of age or older. It is also open to people renewing their vows in the next 12 months. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. Must sign rules/entry form.

Winners

Entries will be judged on creativity, how close they adhere to the theme of their upcoming wedding, “bliss”, and how well connected the event is to some area in France.

The winning story will be featured on our blog, and the couple will be our “couple of the month” and featured on our website. The winners will receive their choice of a free 2 hour photography session in Paris (and a dvd of images) OR a custom designed 2 hour private walking tour of the Paris sites. 

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Bliss Travels www.blisstravels.com 609-462-6213 wendy@blisstravels.com 

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HOW TO ENTER. GO TO BLISS TRAVELS WEBSITE. WWW.BLISSTRAVELS.COM AND CLICK ON THE LINK!
Sign the below entry form and the rules pages, submitting the signed documents electronically with your essay and photos. Submissions without this will not be reviewed. (contact us for your copy of the form or see below)
OFFICIAL CONTEST RULES (“Rules”)
 
Qualified Participants: The contest is open to anyone 21 years of age or older, who is a resident of a state in which contests are legal, and who is planning a wedding, elopement or vow renewal before 1/1 2014. This contest is void where prohibited by law.
 
Background: Bliss Travels is looking for people who embody the spirit of our Blissful Weddings in France to become our couple of the month!
 
Sponsors: The Contest is sponsored by Bliss Travels Destination Weddings of Princeton, New Jersey
 
Contest Eligibility Requirements: Qualified Participants are allowed to submit an original 500 word (or less) essay on the contest theme and photo(s). All submissions become the property of Bliss Travels. All photos become the property of Bliss Travels. The contestants agree to allow the publication of all essays and photos (without contestant names, unless they wish to be identified) at the discretion of bliss travels. Any and all participants must assent to the republication, reproduction, or any other use of the submissions and the likenesses, personas, and voices contained therein by Bliss Travels and hereby agree to submit all applicable releases (see “Clearances” below). Qualified Participants are not limited to one entry, but will only be eligible to win one prize.
 
Steps to Enter: Qualified Participants must:
1. Read and agree to the contest Rules. To do so, you may find the contest Entry Form and a copy of the contest Rules Contest Entry Form signed by all participants .
 
2. Create an original essay of up to 500 words on the your idea of a Blissful wedding/elopement/vow renewal in France and how holding that event in France is connected in some way to your personal romantic story.
 
3. Submit your essay and photo, along with entry form and signed release. 
 
Contest Description: 1. Selection of finalists will be based on originality, creativity, adherence to the theme, and overall quality.
.Contest Prizes: The monthly winning story will be featured on our blog, and the couple will be our “couple of the month” and featured on our website. The winners will receive one of the items above.
Privacy: Any and all names, contact information, and related should be submitted only on the entry form and other required forms. Names, contact information, or any other personally identifiable information should not be included within the essay S
ubmitted Essays: All  submissions must be the original work of the participants. Participants must not have granted any other person or entity prior right to use the work.Submitted entries will not be accepted or eligible if they include – in the sole judgment of Bliss Travels— any content that contains or appears to contain:
  1. Profane, obscene, or inappropriate material;
  2. Endorses, encourages, glorifies, or condones drug use, underage drinking, alcohol abuse or any

other illegal activity;

  1. Nudity, profanity or gratuitous violence.
  2. Inappropriate language;
  3. Any express or implied commercial endorsement;
  4. Any derogatory characterization of any person or group based on age, race, color, gender,

gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, marital status, mental or physical disability, citizenship, creed, national origin, physical appearance, political affiliation, union membership, or other unethical or unlawful factors;

  1. Depictions of any conduct, language or other context deemed inappropriate.
  2. Any actual or apparent copying or other infringement of another’s intellectual property rights.

Clearances: Each participant is solely responsible for obtaining from all applicable individuals or entities any and all required rights, releases, consents, clearances, licenses, and other authorizations necessary to exploit and otherwise use their submitted video in any and all media. Clearances required include, for example:

  1. Location releases;
  2. Releases from any person whose name, voice, likeness or persona is referenced, shown, or

otherwise used in the submitted video;
3. If any individual depicted is under the age of majority, participants must obtain the signature of the individual’s parent or guardian on the applicable clearance(s).
4. By submitting entries, participants warrant that the contents of the submission do not infringe on any copyright owned by another, and/or that the content of the video is within the bounds ofthe fair use doctrine. Participants also confirm that to the best of their knowledge, any statements made in the submitted video are true and do not violate or infringe on the rights of third parties. All necessary clearances must be obtained and provided to Bliss Travels prior to selecting the video as a finalist or winning video. The sponsor may disqualify any submitted video at any time if the participant has not obtained all necessary clearances. Conditions of Participation: 1. By entering, participants agree to defend and indemnify sponsor(s) and sponsor’s principles, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, and agents from any and all liability for any injuries, loss, or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with the contest as a result of receiving participants’ submissions and/or misuse of any prize.2. Each participant agrees that the sponsor(s) may retain a copy of the submitted video and releases the sponsor from liability for any loss or damage thereto. Each participant, by submitting the video, also consents, approves and authorizes the sponsor the right to use, broadcast, webcast, podcast, link to or from, syndicate, or otherwise exhibit or display the submitted video in its original or an altered form or format.
3. Each participant grants the sponsor(s) the unqualified, unrestricted, worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual and royalty-free right to use his or her name, logo, marks, submission entries, and other distinctive identification in connection with promoting or marketing the contest or its theme, and future contests, materials or as the sponsor(s) determine.

  1. The rights described in these official rules begin immediately upon submission of the video.
  2. The sponsor has no obligation to post or display any submitted video and may at its discretion

remove any submitted videos at any time.

  1. The participant releases the sponsor from any and all claims by third parties or the participant
  2. in connection with the submitted materials.

.General Conditions: 1. This contest is governed by the laws of the state of New Jersey and participants consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the state and federal district courts located within and of the state of New Jersey for any causes or controversies arising therefrom.
2. The sponsor reserves the right to void entries it deems associated with electronic or non- electronic tampering.
3. Should technical or other difficulties arise that compromise the integrity of the contest the sponsor may cancel, modify or suspend the contest without notice. In that case, the sponsor reserves the right to award the prizes from eligible entries received before the cancellation.
4. The sponsor is not responsible for any technical malfunction or service outage related to the contest.Questions? Please contact wendy@blisstravels.com or Anthony@anthonybphotos.com Sign and include with your submission.