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Chocolate & Cheese - A European Dream


No where else in the world is the meaning of ‘luxury” more personified than in Europe! Opulent hotels, gourmet food and wine, superior levels of service and all of it wrapped in a setting of refined culture and classical history. Our 14 day sample itinerary offers a new way to see France, Belgium and Holland – by indulging in the gourmet specialities of the region: chocolate, cheese, wine and more!

Day 1

Fly Hometown to Amsterdam

Day 2

Arrive Amsterdam

We will be met at the airport and transferred to our accommodation. After checking into the hotel we’ll enjoy a short city walking tour, making a stop in a well-known bakery for Dutch apple pie and coffee. Tonight we enjoy our “welcome” dinner at one of Amsterdams’ fine restaurants.

Suggested Hotel: Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam (3 nights)
Experience timeless elegance and warm hospitality on the grand 17th century canal palaces of the Herengracht at the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam. Enjoy a wealth of world-class amenities and personalized service in the heart of Amsterdam. The setting of this storied destination is matched by its unparalleled facilities including stylish fine dining options in partnership with 3-Michelin star restaurant De Librije, sophisticated conference and event venues, and the luxurious Guerlain spa.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration3 nights
Day 3

Amsterdam

After breakfast we will visit the iconic Dutch tulips, heading for Keukenhof Gardens which is breathtaking. (if not during tulip season can be replaced with River cruise) After returning to Amsterdam, we visit the spectacular shop of  the chocolatier Puccini Bomboni, low lights, seductive music and even more seductive chocolates are a sweet, fascinating experience.  In the evening we head to Amsterdam's oldest "Brown Cafe" for beer and food.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 4

Alkmaar

This morning we take the train to Alkmaar for a behind the scenes look in a fabulous cheese shop, one of the best in Holland. After wards we pause in a small inn for a typical Dutch country lunch. Time to stroll the old town and walk off the lunch in the afternoon before returning to Amsterdam where the evening is on your own.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 5

Rail Amsterdam to Antwerp

After breakfast we take the train to Antwerp in Belgium where we will be met at the train station and transferred to our hotel  on the town square in the old center of Antwerp.  After arrival and checking into your hotel, we will enjoy a walking tour of the town. In the evening, dinner is in a Belgian Waffle House which serves a variety of this local specialty.

Suggested Hotel: Hilton Antwerp Old Town (3 nights)
Located in the heart of historic Belgium, the Hilton Antwerp Old Town hotel offers the most central location in Antwerp and is an ideal base to discover the beautiful and historic city. Combining old-world charm and stylish sophistication, this hotel in Antwerp, Belgium overlooks the city’s historic town square and Belgium’s finest architecture. Discover Antwerp’s finest retailers and the largest diamond trading center in the world with ease from the Hilton Antwerp Old Town hotel.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration3 Nights
Day 6

Antwerp

After a leisurely breakfast, we visit The Chocolate Line, a famous chocolate shop located in a Rococo Palace.  One of the more unique chocolate creations is a Chocolate lipstick!  In the afternoon we take a stroll through Antwerp's Diamond District where we have an appointment with a diamond wholesaler who specializes in chocolate diamonds, the real thing! Afterwards the evening is on your own.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 7

Brugge

After breakfast travel to Brugge where we will love an original and extremely delicious walking tour that looks at the authentic Brussels like no other does. We will also walk through the historic old town to Grand Place, the former market square. A short stroll away stands Manneken Pis, the iconic Brussel's statue sculpted by Jerome Duquesnoy in 1619. We’ll also see Jeanneken Pis, the square of the Sablon filled with antique shops, the Royal Galleries - seat for the oldest chocolate shop.

Neuhaus and many more highlights. We end the day learning how to make the real Belgian pralines at a fun an informative workshop. Orangettes, pralines, Easter eggs... The chocolates are made with real cream or alcoholic filling. The evening is free here to explore till our return to Antwerp for overnight.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 8

Rail Antwerp to Paris

This morning we take the train to Paris where, after arrival, we are met and transferred to our hotel.  After getting settled we head to Patrick Roger, a famous chocolatier whose fabulous shop is but a short stroll away. This evening dinner is in the pub next door to the hotel for the best Flammekuchen in Paris.  The owners of the pub come from the Alsace region of France and have brought this specialty with them when they opened their pub in Paris.

Suggested Hotel: Shangri-La Hotel Paris (4 nights)
Built in 1896 as the home of Prince Roland Bonaparte - Napoleon Bonaparte's grandnephew - Shangri-La Hotel, Paris is situated in the elegant 16th arrondissement of Paris, adjacent to the Trocadéro. Located amidst one of the highest concentrations of museums in Europe, this historic residence features breathtaking views of the Eiffel Tower and Seine River, Les Invalides, the Louvre and Montmartre.

Restored by the prominent architect Richard Martinet, the plush interiors of this luxury hotel in Paris are the realization of renowned interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon. Surrounded by a secluded garden re-invented by landscape designer Louis Benech, the 81 rooms and suites - the largest among Paris luxury hotels - offer guests the chance to enjoy an exclusive home in a unique setting.

The hotel features sumptuous guest rooms and suites in a classically French style. These opulent furnishings are complemented with superb views across the city and the River Seine, making every room a special place to rest and relax. To complete this experience of pure luxury, every room includes a spacious marble bathroom with seperate deep soaking bathtub, large walk-in shower, flat screen TV in the bathroom, mist-free mirror and decadent heated floors. Breathtaking views of the Eiffel Tower and the River Seine confirm the hotel ‘s status as one of Paris’s finest hotels.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration4 Nights
Day 9

Paris

After breakfast this morning we will visit the famous Palais de Versailles including a visit to the Kings kitchen. In the evening it is dinner at Jules Verne, the Michelin-star restaurant in the Eiffel Tower. Exceptional food and wine and a grand view of Paris 375 feet above the ground.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 10

Paris

After breakfast, we meet our local guide for a walking tour of Paris's most famous chocolate shops after which the day is on our own to explore.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 11

Paris

In the morning we visit one of Paris's historic food markets after which the day is on our own. In the evening, we  get together for a final farewell to our Chocolate & Cheese adventure in one of the best little wine bars in Paris for bread and cheese and wine.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 12

Chateau D'Esclimont

What a great way to end our tour with 2 nights at the stunning Chateau d’Esclimont. At the heart of a landmark 60-hectare park, the towers, balconies, turrets and belfries of the Château d'Esclimont may be found. This former dwelling of the La Rochefoucauld family is a jewel of the Renaissance and a stunning, luxurious place to stay, less than one hour from Paris. En route today we will tour Chartres Cathedral and then have the rest of the day to relax and explore the grounds.

Suggested Hotel: Chateau d’Esclimont (2 nights)

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Day 13

Enjoying the Chateau & Surrounds

This morning we will have an early morning rise to experience the sunrise in a hot air balloon over the stunning hills and valleys of the area. Celebrate the morning with a champagne breakfast upon landing. After relaxing for a few hours, we then travel to a local market with the chef before returning and enjoying a private cooking lesson, before enjoying the fruits of our labor.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 14

Fly Paris to Hometown

We transfer to the airport this morning to connect with our flights home.

Meal Plan Breakfast

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