Category Archives: France

France trip report December 2011

We are attending yearky ILTM in Cannes (International Luxury Travel Mart). We departed Tampa via Cincinnati for Paris, flight was fine. Arrived  CDG.  There is always something at this airport, allow at least 3 hours for connection. It took a while to get luggage on carousel..

We had long layover, from 8am until 6pm. I reserved a driver to take us to Paris for lunch, walking favorite places and photo stops. The weather was rainy but we lucked out most of the time. The transportation company made a mistake and thought we are arriving next day! After few calls and fixing this problem, the driver arrived. He took us to Paris. We first went to Monmartre, then to Tulleries Gardens, Place de Concorde. Beautiful Christmas decorations. Then we went to Marais, wanted to go to synagogue but it was closed. Went to Shoa Memorial, very moving site dedicated to French and European Jews perished in Holocaust. We spent more time there then planned. There is a wall of names and I found our family names but probably namesakes…. We went for lunch at kosher deli  with excellent food, great service and fun athmosphere. Sitting at smal tables enclosed with other patrons, we talked to Americans and Parisiens. ” You eat latkes with applesauce??? – . ” The waiter only can offer sour cream. Waiter said his English is not good, but order was easy” Falafel, latkes, coca cola, bagels 🙂 . Everybody laughed.

After Marais, we went to Eifell tower, took some pictures and went back to airport.  The time was well spent.

Our next flight to Nice, on Easy Jet wasnot that comfortable as on Delta/Air France. They do not even serve water for free. Seats are small. Seats are not assigned. You are allowed only one item (not 2 like others).  But it was only one hour flight. In Nice we were met by ILTM  rep and a driver (trade show in Cannes ) . Our luggage arrived and we were on the way to our hotel.

Last year we stayed in Cannes walk from Festival Palais where trade show took place. This year they booked as in Juan Les Pins, Cap Antibes,  it is delightful seaside small village. Our hotel  Belles Rives is a castle, a member of small luxury hotels . Our room has terriic seaviews, waterfront on Mediterranean Sea and has two balconies. I am looking forward seeing it in daylight tomorrow. It is a former villa of Scott Fitzgerald…. Delightful place.

Tomorrow starting functions, opening of trade show.

Now it is evening, going to sleep (did not sleep for 30 hours). More Later.

Sorry for typos.. Jet lag.



Wednesday we attended Relais and Chateaux gastronomic party themed “Flavors and Perfumes”. It took place in Grand Bastide Relais and Chateaux, near Grasse.  Relais and Chateaux is a luxury hotel chain which includes members with small characteristic hotels , excellent service and gastronomic restaurants. It took us 45 minutes to get there. On arrival, we joined long line of guests to walk through driveway and being entertained by an orchestra. The building is a small villa in scenic setting in the hills over Grasse – perfume capital.  According to invitation, one should not die without trying chef’s creation! I thought it will be showcase of restaurant’s chef, but to my delight it turned out to be a showcase of best local chefs, many of them Relais and Chateaux members. In addition, there were representatives of other local gourmet restaurants and fromageries… It was cocktail style, celebration of tastes, with different stations of gourmet food – small appetizers with unique tastes and explanation of each dish by chef and translations where needed. The food also was paired with wine. There were oysters in cauliflower sauce, truffle ravioli, scallops marinated in specials sauce , different types of pate (one was with coffee crust), very unusual combinations of food, with a lot’s of attentions to fragrance as well. Violets, rose and lavender was used in the food. It was declicious! In the line, I also found some interesting business contacts, so between wine, food and drinks time passed well. The bartender picked two guests and put them to work J to make cosmopolitan cocktails so we witnesses a libation class as well. Then there were deserts and cheese. Deserts were creative as well. For example,  a little creation looked like hamburger, consisted of bread-like a bit on sweet side round, and strawberry looked like tomato and instead of hamburger was chocolate in the middle with watercress greens! So creative! Cheeses were excellent. I’ve met a manager of Chateaux Berne where my lucky clients will be staying in May and she said she remembers this booking and will take good care of them. They are booked with wine tasting and cooking class.

There also was perfume session and I made my own orange perfume.

Overall very delightful and educational evening.  Late to hotel and prepared for last day show.

Last day of the show. I will write separate report for my travel agents colleagues but I can tell my whole world is covered.


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