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

Advertisements

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: 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

3 Myths & Some Advice on Weddings and Elopements in Paris!

So, you want to have your wedding in a place imbued with timeless romance….What could be more romantic than Paris (or Provence)? If you can think of something, let me know!

Myth 1: Destination Weddings are more expensive than weddings at home:

The average cost for a wedding in the United States is $26,542.00. This doesn’t include the honeymoon. The average honeymoon price is between $5,200-$10,000 for international travelers (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”.

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 weddings at home:

And Destination weddings  present wonderful opportunities to make your wedding day about you and your love for each other. 

People often think that these events are impossible and difficult to plan because of the distance. Not so. At Bliss Travels, it’s simple. We do everything for you (other than say “I do”)! You talk with us (in English, in the US). We design your unique wedding weekend or week. And then we make it happen.  Think of this as your chance 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.

Destination weddings are for couples who want to focus on each other and their commitment. These couples not only have a sense of adventure, they want to look back on their wedding day and remember each other, not the hoards of people, seating arrangements, and catering problems that typically dominate a wedding. Because you do not have these things to worry about when you go to Paris or Provence for your wedding, the day/weekend/week is much simpler! So, kick your feet up and enjoy your wedding!

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 cake 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. We 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 we can arrange a champagne reception for your family and friends where your guests get to view your special event!

So, if you’re ready to be the envy of your friends, create a weekend that is truly unique, and thoroughly enjoy yourself, give Bliss Travels a call!

Thanks to our great photography partners: Anthony Bianciella, Sarah Miller, and Bill Mathesius for allowing us to share their work!

5 Reasons to Spend Valentine’s Day in Paris (as if you needed even one!)

5 Reasons to spend VALENTINE’S DAY in Paris….As If You Needed One!

1. It’s the most romantic day of the year. And the most romantic city in the world. Where else would you be?

2. Propose? Marry? Just escape from it all? Meet the person of your dreams? We’re doing our version of Romantic Bliss over Valentine’s weekend in Paris….You do not want to miss out!

3. What could be better than a romantic hotel, breakfast in bed, private chocolate and wine pairing from a world class chocolatiere, a star studded (Michelin, that is) dining experience customized to the occasion, a saunter through the best that Paris has to offer, and that includes: foie gras, truffles, red wine and more chocolate 🙂

4. To say “I do” with the Eiffel Tower sparkling behind you….or even better, on top of the Eiffel Tower!

5. To find love in the City of Lights!

(If you missed our Blog about the wedding photographer who found love on our photo shoot, check it out now. True story!)

Think of these images while you decide whether you want to experience true Bliss! Ask about our exclusive WEDDING IN PARIS and our Valentine’s Getaways. Not on the website. Limited sale.

Call us when you’re ready…..wendy@blisstravels.com. 609 462 6213.