Our 2019 Tours in France

by Sharon Santoni

Each year I have the honour of welcoming guests to my tours in France.  We cover different regions including Normandy, which of course is where I live. Each tour is all about exploring the true character of France and in particular the lesser known bits that I know about because I live here, and am constantly on the look out for new things to share.

This year I am pleased to share with you four tours in France in three different areas, starting with Provence in May, and followed by a new tour in Burgundy and our long-standing always wonderful tour of Normandy and Paris!

We will visit wine cellars for tastings, and hidden boutiques owned by friends of mine, and enjoy authentic and refined French living. The tours are fun and relaxed, perfect for travel with a friend, sister, or for a solo adventure! We often have couples join as well. Each tour’s activities are unique to the region but of course there’s always some antique shopping thrown into the mix.

Landscape of Normandy

The tours for the year to come are filling up quickly, so we wanted to share them here in case you’re tempted.   This year I am thrilled to see so many return clients, who over the years have become friends.

Just some general information about the tours:

  • all activities, accommodation, and meals are included, unless noted in each tour’s brochure.
  • travel to the location is not included, but once you are with us, you’ll be taken around by chauffeured vans with our funny, sweet bilingual drivers.
  • our tours are a wonderful mix of women and men traveling on a solo adventure, or with their friends, family or partner. Everyone is welcome and we like to say that each guest leaves with new friends and memories for a lifetime.
  • you certainly do not need to know French to go on our tours, that’s what we are here for.
  • group sizes are a max of 12-14 people. We’ve found this to be a good amount based on past tours, with comfortable space in the vans as we drive about and for all of our guests to be front and center for the activities.
  • to book in we ask for a 25% nonrefundable deposit, with the remainder due one month before the tour
  • if you are interested in booking a private tour in France for you and your friends for a special birthday, anniversary, or just because, send us an email at [email protected]

Provence Tour May 22-27

My French Country Home - Tours in France - Provence Tour- Chateau Moissac

This is our second year running this tour and we are so thrilled to be doing it again! Last year’s guests and I had such a great time exploring hilltop stone villages in Provence, brocante fairs, gardens and wineries, and most certainly, using the Chateau de Moissac as our base. This tour includes a beautiful provencal cooking lesson in the Chateau, a floral demonstration, and a full visit of the chateau by the owner Louis, who explains how they renovated the property.

My French Country Home Tours in France - Arranging a bouquet class in Provence

Flower Class from Provence Tour with Les Fleurs Andover

We will stay in the four-star hotel Bastide de Calalou nearby, which is only a three-minute walk from the chateau. A new addition to the tour this year is an overnight stay at a nearby village to visit an antique faire the following morning, so don’t forget to pack a small bag for the trip.

To book into the Provence tour or for more information, send us an email at [email protected] .  At time of publication, we have 5 places remaining. The tour is 5500€ for single occupancy, and 5200€ for shared occupancy.

 

Burgundy Tour June 16-23

My French Country Home - Tours in France - Burgundy Tour - Cooks Atelier

Our newest tour and one we are certainly really excited to kick off! The aim of the tour is to provide a taste for true French living at its best while being introduced to the region and the best of French wine and cuisine. Burgundy is certainly the perfect region for this where the food culture is strong and central to everyday life. We are thrilled to be taking a class at the Cook’s Atelier in Beaune which will be our base for the tour. We’ll be driving out into the countryside as well to visit chateaux, French-style gardens, and wineries specialising in the region’s predominant grape: pinot noir. Accommodation for the tour is a refurbished 18th-century manor home. The entire place will be privatised for our group, and the rooms are spacious and perfect to share with a friend or partner.

My French Country Home - Tours in France - Burgundy Tour

We haven’t announced this tour until now and but already have just nine places available. The Burgundy tour is 5500€ for a single occupancy room, and 5200€ if you are sharing. To learn more about the tour or save your place, email us at [email protected].

Brocante Tour in Paris & Normandy September 24-29

My French Country Home Brocante and Antique Tour in Paris and Normandy- visiting antique shops and staying at Domaine des Evis

This is one of our all-time favorite tours that in between visiting antique shops and fairs, explores my region of France. It’s ever-evolving with new activities and things to see added each year as interesting ideas pop up in conversation with people I meet. Last year we visited the adorable Beatrice, a watercolour artist who has been painting and gardening in her and her husband’s small chateau since the 1970s. This tour is certainly not just for professional buyers, but rather for those that enjoy shopping and have a love of French antiquing.

beatrice at her watercolor studio in Normandy which we visit on our Brocante Tour

Our time is split between the countryside in Normandy, and the bustling city of Paris, and starts with a coffee at my home. Accommodation in Normandy is at the Domaine des Evis, owned by the lovely Juliette who has become a good friend of mine. In the second half of our trip, we’ll be in Paris where the hotel selection is up to you! This is not included in the price of the trip and our guests have loved the freedom to choose their own hotel. We do ask that guests choose accommodation in the 6th and 7th arrondissements and provide lots of great recommendations. We also leave the evenings free for you to explore the city, visit a favorite restaurant, or catch up with friends.

The trip is strategically planned to fall during the fabulous antique fair, Chatou. For one of the days, we’ll head just outside of Paris to where it’s held to peruse the stands. Also included is a visit to the antique markets in Saint Ouen, in northern Paris. They are some of the largest in France! I’ll lead you to my favorite stands and we’ll visit one of my favorite spots for lunch.

As we publish this article, we have 7 places remaining. The Brocante tour in Paris and Normandy  is 5000€ for single occupancy or 4700€ for shared. Send us an email at [email protected] for more information and to reserve your spot.

 

Lifestyle and Luxury Tour in Paris & Normandy October 2-7

My French Country Home - Tours in France - Luxury and French Lifestyle Tour Normandy and Paris - Champagne

We are so pleased to be partnering with Sarah Anderson of Chateau Sonoma on this tour! The itinerary will follow a similar format as our Brocante tour, half in Normandy and half in Paris, but with lots of different activities thrown in. For example, we will be taking a day trip to Champagne to visit a top Champagne house for a private tour and tasting, and half day lesson at the prestigious Van Cleef & Arpels School of Jewelry. Also included is a cooking class at an 18th-century farmhouse with an accomplished cookbook author.

The tour is open to the public, so do let us know if you are interested in more information or if you would like to book in by emailing us at [email protected]

11 comments

Lynda Carrier-Metz January 11, 2019 - 4:24 pm

Sharon,
My husband and I are visiting Bordeaux in a couple weeks. Do you know of antique stores and artists that we should visit while there? Sorry we will miss the tours you have described on your email. They sound wonderful.

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Taste of France January 11, 2019 - 4:49 pm

Your tours sound lovely. Your guests are lucky to be coddled by you! I look forward to seeing the photos. Bonne année.

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Carole January 11, 2019 - 5:00 pm

Hello Sharon,
Which of your tours would have the most time and places allotted for antique shopping?
Thank you,
Carole

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Sharon Santoni January 11, 2019 - 5:38 pm

Hi Carole,
That would certainly be the Brocante tour in Paris and Normandy in September. We’ll be visiting all my favorite antique shops in the countryside and then traveling into Paris to go to the fair at Chatou which happens just twice a year. I’ll also be showing you my favorite stands in the expansive antique market in Northern Paris. Send us an email at [email protected] if you would like more information.

Kind wishes,
Sharon

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david terry January 11, 2019 - 9:18 pm

Okay, Sharon…….we’ve corresponded for years and even talked several times over the telephone, and I’ve been a constant follower of your blog since (nearly) the very beginning. To be blunt?……I thought I knew you.

Perhaps I do “know” you……..but, reading this posting, I’m beginning to wonder “Just how many ‘Sharons’ ARE there? One woman simply can’t be doing all this……….”

Many congratulations to you…….it’s gratifying to see hard, diligent work so amply rewarded. I’m awfully happy for you….I bet you can keep doing what you love until you’re at least 85……..which is a very fine prospect to consider.

Admiringly as ever,
David Terry
Quail roost Farm
Rougemont, NC
USA

(and isn’t it clever of Francophile Me to have found a 500 acre farm which is technically “in” a town called “Rougemont”? Of course, the town consists of two, opposing gas-station/mini-marts at a crossroads two miles up the main road which fronts this entire farm. One has to drive twenty miles North or South to reach an actual town. “Rougemont”, like many small French “towns” you’ll know, definitely falls into the “blink and you’ll miss it” category.

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Sharon Santoni January 12, 2019 - 5:33 pm

Hi David , thank you for popping by 🙂 .
Thank you also for your words of encouragement. If there is one rule that I like to live by it is living each age to its full. I was a full time, very hands on mum for 20 years and then I started this blog.
I suppose the blog became my fifth child when I saw the whole empty nest situation looming a little too large.
Everything that happens around the blog has grown organically and I am very grateful for that. The books came to be because Gibbs Smith invited me to write; the subscription boxes were born because readers asked me where they could source French products and my tours came to exist because people wrote to ask if they could buy antiques with me.
I am very fortunate, and yes I work hard, but I love it.
I should also add that for the past two years I have had some amazing help! Right now Emily and Molly are vital members of the team, and I couldn’t do much without their precious input; and of course for the magazine we are using contributors and designers.
We each have to find a modus operandi that suits us best. Right now, I am doing exactly what I love, being creative every day, and sharing some nice pictures along the way.
Have a lovely weekend my friend, take care
Sharon
xx

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Nancy Brantley January 12, 2019 - 5:40 am

These tours would be nice to travel on but unfortunately I’m taking care of family member with dementia. I did get a signed copy of your book from my BFF {Trisha Roupe} at Christmas and have enjoyed reading!

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Jenny Rosehenge January 12, 2019 - 9:48 am

Hi Sharon. I’ve wanted to be part of your tours for so long, and finally this year I can make it happen!!
I am 58 and I’d like to come with my 30 year old daughter. Do you think that would work?
Thank you
Jenny

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Sharon Santoni January 12, 2019 - 12:26 pm

Dear Jenny,

We have had moms and daughters come on the trips before and they have both had the best time!! Our groups have absolutely loved having them along as well. It would be wonderful to have you two join us for any of the tours this year. Send us an email at [email protected] and we’d be happy to send you additional information.

Kind wishes,
Sharon

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Marianna Bond January 12, 2019 - 9:52 am

Dear Sharon
I love your books and your blog! My husband and I would like to join your Burgundy tour. Will he be the only man in the group?! Not that he’d mind, but I’d prefer to warn him:)
Thank you for all that you do. I signed up for the magazine and I can’t wait to see the issue on Tuesday!!
Hugs
Marianna

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Sharon Santoni January 12, 2019 - 12:29 pm

Dear Marianna,

We would love to have you and your husband join us! As the tour has just launched we aren’t sure just yet if he would be the only man in the group. We can keep you updated and in any case, I think he’d have a wonderful time! The accomodation for this tour is perfect for couples as well as the rooms are very large and great for two. We’ll send you an email early next week with additional details on the tour and how to book in.

Have a wonderful weekend,
Sharon

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