Wednesday 30 July 2014

We Love Photographers!

We think the Touraine Loire Valley is fabulously photogenic and we take about a thousand photos a month to prove it. Consequently, we love it when serious photographers book our tours, and never mind that everywhere we go we have to stop for photos.

John, a semi-professional photographer and his artist wife Nina were great clients back in the spring. Both had an eye for an interesting image and were delighted that we could stop on the roadside so John could shoot something he'd seen.

Nina and Susan patiently help John untangle his several 
cameras and lenses before any photography can start.
 In the photo we've stopped for a photo session in a tiny out of the way village, with something really special at its heart. Our local knowledge really pays off for photographers, as we know many out of the way places, and are aware of seasonal changes which can make all the difference to getting a good photograph. And in case you were wondering, this is what we had stopped to photograph.

If you are a keen photographer, or an artist seeking inspiration, email us and let us plan an artist photographer's tour for you.

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.