Sunday, 20 July 2014

French Restaurant Research

Cheryl and Brad run Allure on Currumbin, a highly regarded French restaurant on the Gold Coast, Australia. Earlier this year they visited France to see for themselves what was current and fashionable in French restaurants on their home territory. They were looking for new ideas, new takes on classics and just soaking up the atmosphere.

Brad and Cheryl after a good lunch at Le Clos aux Roses in Chedigny.
They asked us to organise a day for them in the Touraine Loire Valley and we were delighted to design a food focused day. We started by visiting the twice weekly produce market in Loches. We thought we were never going to get them out of there. They were interested in everything, from fish to fruit, cheese to chickens, rillettes to rabbits. Then we took them to lunch in a little out of the way village in a typical local restaurant, serving fresh local produce, immaculately presented and full of intriguing flavours. Cheryl took photos of everything and Brad had fun identifying ingredients in the menu de jour and checking with the owner if he was right (which he always was!) After a slight diversion to visit a chateau, we finished at a Vouvray winery, where they were very interested in how boutique the operation was and bought two completely different wines.

If your time in France is as much about business as pleasure, why not email us and ask us to design a tour with your requirements in mind. Especially if you are in the hospitality industry there is a lot going on in the Touraine Loire Valley.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Doing Business With Brazil

This year for the first time we have started getting Brazilian clients. Earlier this year we enjoyed the company of Rafael and Marcelle as they celebrated their 5th wedding anniversary by taking a tour with us. They run a small import business in Brazil, specialising in gourmet food products and wine. They only stock products that you will not find in the supermarket, and come from small scale producers who are interested in quality not quantity.

Marcelle and Rafael talking to winemaker Alexandre Monmousseau of Chateau Gaudrelle.
We were very pleased to be able to introduce them to one of our favourite winemakers and wine. They exchanged details and talked about the aims of their respective businesses. It seemed like a great fit, and hopefully the couple will be importing a pallet of high quality Vouvray wine to sell to discerning Brazilians any day now. From Alexandre's point of view, he would rather deal with people who sell a small quantity of a product they know and love, rather than a large quantity of a product that they neither know nor care about. From our point of view it is nice to be able to put some business his way, as his team is always so generous with their time and knowledge for our clients.

If you are interested in more than just visiting historic chateaux, but want to mix in some business networking too, let us know and we can arrange introductions to producers who would be interested in forging links. Email us with your ideas and we will design a tour for you that includes meeting people in your field.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Visiting the Chateau de Candé

Very few of our clients have ever heard of the Chateau de Candé, but we encourage them to visit it anyway. Originally built in the 15th century, surprisingly it is its 20th century history that is the most glamorous and intriguing.

If you want to learn about the extraordinary Frenchman who became the 5th richest person in America in the 1920s and 30s, his beautiful wife and their notorious friends (including royalty), email us and we will design a tour that includes a visit to this almost unknown chateau. (And even if you are not interested in the history, the glorious setting will enchant you.)