France Food Tour: This Summer’s Dining Experiences in Paris, Provence & Med

France Food Tour: This Summer’s Dining Experiences in Paris, Provence & Med   This summer provided for some interesting gourmet discoveries and some wonderful repeat experiences. Below are some of the highlights of our fine dining and country fare.  Everything from Michelin stars to picnics on the grass to lunch overlooking the Mediterranean.   First: Dining in Paris….Reach for the stars! Foie Gras with cherries and chutney. Clams…with a parmesan foam. OMG.Tomatoes with almonds over a base of mackerel seviche –before the chilled almond soup was poured on top! Pigeon with a rhubarb fruit puree…  From Paris to Provence and the Mediterranean. Fish and the freshest produce dominated those wonderful menus…

Fresh Trout pulled from the local stream and cooked at out local auberge.

Aioli –a favorite dish…cod, carrot, haricots verts, cauliflower, tomato, zucchini –and in this case, a special touch of mussels!Rouget. Another great Mediterranean specialty –seen mostly in the South of France. In this case, filets served with a variation on ratatouille.Last, but not least –fresh wood grilled sardines served with olive oil to drizzle over them, a wedge of lemon and a fresh green salad.What more could you want? Oh, that’s right….Picnics of all sorts…From the rustic but gourmet…To the impromptu apres Marche picnic on the castle grounds…To the custom dining based upon local produce… It’s absolute BLISS. Contact us now if you’d like to experience Bliss
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Tour Provence: Vacation in Provence in a Day!

Tour Provence: Vacation in Provence in a Day!

From the ancient ruins you can freely climb through –to photography, to hiking, to pondering n’importe quoi… or just to put out a blanket and enjoy the view…

To the village panoramas…To the life within…
Why not open the door on a new adventure. It’s Bliss!

Come with us…

But first, read what others have to say…Don’t take  our word for it.

After you are through, book our last room. Watch the lavender flower, and experience the fragrance when a field is cut…It permeates the air for a quarter mile around it!

July 17-22 Provence (possible early arrival for Paris too!)

or

July 28-August 4 (Mediterranean and Paris) This trip is not advertised. It’s a small private trip. contact us for details wendy@blisstravels.com

Tour France: Mediterranean Vacations in a Day!

OTour France: Mediterranean Vacations in a Day!

On commence avec le déjeuner, biensur.

Start with lunch. Views, sunshine, and a collection of colors.
Lavender, newly planted by a friend to “garnish” the best table in the house! Thank you Florian and Eric for another unforgettable experience–one a group of us will experience in late July and early August.

(Join us in our last room of a small group –10 people –July 28-August 4 along the Mediterranean and in Paris. This trip was not advertised, and there is one room. Contact us for details asap. 609 462 6213 or wendy@blisstravels.c0m)


Of course, after lunch the Mediterranean beckons. It is pure Bliss!

Interested in our last room in July? Details below.

(July 17/18-23 Provence/Paris
A small group all inclusive trip to one of Provence’s most beautiful areas, with exclusive access to private activities and events. Provencal markets, lavender, Roman ruins, Cote du Rhone wines, special dining, Medieval villages, art, castle, hikes… and plenty of independent time. 
 ONE ROOM.

Tour France: A Mediterranean Adventure

Tour France: A Mediterranean Adventure. It’s Bliss

Summer vacations involve the beach, for sure. But, what many people don’t know is that there are stunning beaches, with world class views, and great dining –on the Mediterranean, that don’t break the bank –and still make you feel like you’re in a fairy tale land (which you are).

Hope you enjoy these photos –as we continue to Tour France.

The view from here:looks like this:And this…as you watch the boats go by. This is a little sailing school. Too Cute!look carefully –there’s a castle at the mid point of the cliffs (top of the lower cliff). Staying there is quite an experience.One room left in mid July and one in August. Contact us toute de suite to book.

wendy@blisstravels.com 609 462 6213.

Tour France: Summer Colors Provence & Mediterranean

Tour France: Summer Colors

Provence and the Mediterranean. It’s the most colorful, tasty time of year. Vibrant is the word that best expresses the summer. Long, languid, yet energizing. Enjoy the photos below. Taking them was Bliss!

Dancing in the streets…for every holiday, summer festival and so fun to do and watch!
Clear blue, peaceful…A favorite place to promenade and watch the street performers.dining on the mussels, beachfront on the island

a bientôt! Hope to see you this summer. Contact us for more information

6 French Wine & Food Pairings

Friday night Bliss Travels had the pleasure to lead a food and wine pairing. So, off we went to Montclair, New Jersey to meet a great group of about a dozen people to share French wines, stories and photos (courtesy of our photography partner, Anthony Bianciella). We are leading a private one again today! Many of the same wines, but with cheeses this time.

Below are some of our pairings and suggestions from these two events.

We compared the Cotes du Rhone (Provencal wines from the area around Chateauneuf du Pape)

and Burgundy. 

Our two favorites both to visit and to drink.

1. Muscat. This is served all over the South of France as an apero. Usually, the accompanying food is salty –such as olives, tapenade, anchoiade. (For cheeses, we pair this with a Bleu, and serve this last, rather than first in in our tastings.)

Mas Amiel, Muscat de Rivsaltes, 2008

2. Cotes du Rhone, white! A Fleur de Pampre, Cotes du Rhone Village, Visan, Domaine La Florane. Great bouquet. Floral. Light and slightly sweet. We paired with this with an aged goat cheese from the region, served on toasts, and topped with a fig confit brought back from Provence on one of Bliss Travels recent trips. For our cheese pairing we are taking orange and fennel pastry spoons, made by a world famous Parisian bakery (we brought them back from Paris on this last trip) and filling them with a fresh, mild goat cheese, a drizzle of lavender honey will complete this amuse bouche! (Want more recipes and food ideas? Contact us!)

3. Burgundy, white. A 2008, Saint Veran, Tirage Precoce, Domaine Corsin. This was served with a smoked salmon. The full flavor of the Chardonnay pairs well with the full fatty flavor of the salmon. This Chardonnay also pairs well with Comte cheese.

4. Roses from Provence. These are under appreciated in the US. Rose is drunk all over France, all summer long. With fish, meats, vegetables…

We recommend the Roses from Provence very highly.. The Bandol’s are wonderful (Mediterranean). The Tavels (Northern Provence) are a favorite. Every community will have it’s own, and it will pair beautifully with the foods.

We paired ours with an Aioli,made using Bliss Travels recipe. It’s a dish we made last May in Provence –and will make again this May when we go with Anthony Bianciella to Provence for our custom spring trip through the region (his photos are here. If you’d like to see more, look at his website).

It pairs equally well with our Soupe au Pistou. Click on the link for the recipe and to “see” the lesson.

5. Burgundy, red. 2009 Savigny-Les-Beaune, Les Picotins, Domaine Jean-Luc Dubois. This pinot noir paired with sauteed mushrooms and a light ratatouille. It would have been wonderful with our lamb dish as well. We are pairing this with a hard cheese of Sheep’s milk , and also with St Marcellin.

Of course, the best pairings are food and wine, where they exist locally. Some of last September’s group to Burgundy.

6. Cotes du Rhone, Red. 2010 Mas de Libiun, Khayyaim. A full bodied Grenache. We served with with a herb encrusted rack of lamb. In Provence, we recommend lamb or even a strong local goat cheese to stand up to this full flavored wine. Coming full circle, this red can be paired with a strong, aged goat cheese, on a fig bread, with a fig confit….All of these items live, grow and are made in the same small towns.

Thank you to our wonderful host (and very frequent traveler) Karen! Thank you to Chef Nikko for making dishes to pair with our wines!

Want to know more about our trips or learn what our travelers have to say? Read our testimonials.  Or contact us at 609 462 6213 or wendy@blisstravels.com. Spring and Summer in France are spectacular!

Fall…Along the Mediterranean

Yes, jousting is still possible to watch. Bet you wanted to know how popular this Medeival sport really was. We were pretty surprised to see this. But, it does fit with the mood along the coast, where there are games and performances, no matter what the season.

Wine tasting in our favorite “cave”. Trying the local whites.

Dinner in a private room, overlooking the Mediterranean cliffs at sunset.

Some of the dining choices…Mussels along the Med are often paired with wonderful sauces. This had a tomato, onion, and a touch of cream.Rascasse — a fish found only in the Mediterreanean.A nice walk after a satisfying dinner.

calm and quiet after the summer high season.

cafe lounging before our walk around the cliffs.
It was a beautiful, fall day…wind was blowing, but that made the sky very blue and the temperatures cool enough to walk all afternoon.