When we host our Experience events, our itinerary is designed with great intention and attention to the destination. We plan for downtime for guests to experience the city or region on their own. Then, we also curate a collection of oftentimes, once-in-a-lifetime activities for our attendees to select from. Our Paris group experiences at Engage!23 were rich in culture, cuisine, and an opportunity to explore the city through all the senses and were masterfully curated and orchestrated by the team from Guides Tourisme Services France. Our agenda included twelve unique offerings and opportunities for guests to take in the sights and delight in the best of the city of love.
12 Paris Group Experiences at Engage!23
Guests chose from a walking tour to the settings of “Emily in Paris” or learned to draw at the famed Musée D’Orsay. Fashion fans headed off to Galerie Dior for the afternoon while others learned to bake baguettes, make bridal bouquets, and croissants. Some attendees chose to tour famous landmarks in the city and others got an inside scoop on French cuisine from a local food critic. Take a look at all the Paris group experiences at Engage!23.
Musée D’Orsay: Listen, Look, Draw
Guests immersed themselves in the Impressionist galleries of the Musée d’Orsay. First, the tour gave an insight into the diversity of the artist’s techniques. Then guests visited the ground floor galleries to discover the early pictures of Monet, Cézanne, and other major works by Manet, Courbet, Delacroix and Ingres. In these less crowded rooms – drawing exercises with a guide. And everyone left with a unique souvenir of the experience!
Scandals in Musée D’Orsay
A unique look at the Musee d’Orsay to discover the paintings and sculptures that were once scandalous! In the 19th century. French society was certainly not ready for such an artistic revolution. Realism steadily broke all the contemporary rules and thus caused many scandals. Time had come to paint everyday life and the human body as they had never been in the past.
“Emily in Paris” Walking Tour
Attendees walked through the stunning Parisian scenery to discover some of our favorite spots to get the full ‘Emily in Paris’ experience. From her apartment to the little bakery where you can say: “Pour moi un pain au chocolat s’il vous plaît!” Attendees learned why Parisians are Parisians, their habits, likings, sense of style…
L’Opéra Garnier Guided Tour
Initiated by Napoleon III after an attempted attack and inaugurated in January 1875, it was after 15 years of work carried out by Charles Garnier, an architect unknown at the time, that the Palais Garnier was born. Today, this building, also called Opéra Garnier, is one of the most emblematic monuments of the 9th arrondissement. Spread over an area of 11,000 square meters, this eclectic style building will charm you with its many influences: Louvre Museum, Palace of Versailles, and many others. Our small group got to enjoy France’s largest opera house and its famous grand staircase, the Bassin de la Pythie, or its sumptuous grand foyer and lounges.
Galerie Dior Tour
A lucky few in our group got to dive into the world of the greatest French designer in the place where he set up his first workshop, 30 Avenue Montaigne! The Galerie Dior is like a veritable living museum devoted to the couture house and the history of Parisian fashion. Scenic designer Nathalie Crinière has created a pure marvel, starting with the entrance to the gallery. Featuring a unique scenographic narrative, La Galerie Dior is a testament to the visionary boldness of Christian Dior and his six successors: Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons, and Maria Grazia Chiuri. The self-guided tour allowed guests to fully immerse themselves in the incredible artistry and life of Christian Dior and view the amazing collection created throughout his lifetime and by those who carried on his legacy.
Food tour with a French Food Critic
The area of Les Halles or Montorgueil was called the Ventre de Paris, the “Belly of Paris” after the novel by Emile Zola. It’s a place dedicated to good food for nine centuries. Picturesque, authentic, and typically Parisian, this Gourmet tour was a perfect occasion to discover the real taste of Paris. We saw a famous brasserie and the oldest pastry shop on the way to discover delicious fresh bread, pastries, farmhouse cheeses, foie gras, Paris ham, rillettes, snails, seasonal fruits, and more!
Atelier Bouquet / Art Floral Experience
In France, we find snippets of floral art among the Gauls who adorned their helmets with flowers. The tradition was perpetuated in the Middle Ages, with the birth of the profession of bouquetière-chapelière, the ancestor of the current florist. Floral art is integral to French heritage. France shines in international competitions, prepares the best at regional competitions, and even trains Meilleurs Ouvriers de France. During this workshop, we invited guests to create with a floral designer. (One who works for fashion week, among other things.) They design in the purest French style, one of the only two Parisian florists to work with fragrant flowers. The first traces of floral art date from ancient Egypt. In particular, to emphasize the ceremony’s sacred aspect, pay homage to the gods, and enhance weddings.
The French Bakery Experience
We discovered the secrets of one of the most famous delicacies in France: the croissant! Attendees stepped on the other side of the dough kneader in an authentic Parisian bakery. The competition winner for making the best croissants in Ile-de-France in 2013 and 2014 taught techniques for baking baguettes and croissants. Guests got their hands dirty (literally)! What better experience than this to be initiated to the French ancestral know-how?
Bake the Perfect French Baguette at Plaza Athenee
Guests learned the secrets of Paris by making the traditional French Baguette in the amazing hotel of the Plaza Athénée. Crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. The French baguette is the ultimate luxury in everyday life in Paris.
Art Floral Atelier at Le Shangri-La
Attendees had the opportunity to be part of a floral workshop by Mademoiselle Emma and her experts that brought out our creativity and allowed us to create a work of floral artistry. No better place than in one of the historical rooms of the Shangri-La.
Oenology Lesson at La Table du Chef at Le Meurice
Guests discovered the science of wine and winemaking in this incredible course of enology. This is the best way to learn about the most famous French wines and the art of tasting. In this experience, attendees were immersed with a fabulous sommelier from the Meurice.
Guerlain Perfume Atelier Experience
Inspired by the Guerlain Square bottle (1870), the L’Art & La Matière bottle is an exceptional object whose design exudes modernity. Made by Pochet du Courval—historic glassmaker of the House—it is infinitely refillable at selected Guerlain Boutiques. Attendees learned about the history of the House and ways in which to wear perfume best. At the end, bottles of beauty were given as a take-home gift.
Our experience afternoons are a great opportunity to explore the city and get first-hand knowledge for future clients. And it’s also a great time to engage and network with other attendees! We love taking our large group and breaking out into smaller groups for more intimate conversations and connections. And where better to do that than over a glass of French wine with a food critic?!
To see more photos (and video) from this Engage!, check out the full gallery here.