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The first time I visited Paris I did all the tourist attractions – The Louvre, Notre Dame, The Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe…pretty much everything you could imagine would be on a Top 10 list.
Since I’d already done all the touristy things to do in Paris, I decided that for my second visit I’d love to experience the city more like a local Parisian. Drinking fine wine out of the best coolers from coolerwines.com, eating in street side cafés, and simply watching the world go by.
Usually I would just look online for a guide on restaurants in Paris, or perhaps TripAdvisor or Yelp, but sometimes it always helps to be shown around by a local, since they can take you to places you may never have thought of.
I don’t know anyone living in Paris, so I was excited to try Withlocals – a site that lets you book private tours that can be 100% personalised. I always find the best way to explore a city is through its food, so I booked the Paris Favourite Food Tour: the 10 Tastings which includes 10 delicious tastings, from tasty tapenades to sweet macarons from an award-winning pastry chef. Here’s what I thought of Withlocals and the tour:
How Withlocals Works
First I browsed the tours available in Paris and then once I’d selected a tour, I entered my chosen dates and time to see which tour guide would be available. There are several different tour guides in Paris, so I watched videos of them in action to see which one I preferred. Edith “The Make-Up Guru” was the one who immediately stood out to me as she seemed quite bubbly and full of energy, so I created a With Locals account and sent her a message to see what time she would recommend doing the tour.
Edith responded right away, so conversation was quick and easy. We decided 11am would be the best time, and she gave me instructions on where we should meet.
A Foodie Tour of Paris
On the day of the tour we met close to Marché d’Aligre – one of the best local markets in the city. Edith asked if we had any specific foods we do or don’t like so that she could tailor the tour to suit our needs. I don’t have any dietary requirements, but I told her I do love cheese and wine! To begin the tour we went to a stall in the market to get some tapenade, which Edith tells me is so good she travels all the way across the city just to get it sometimes.
Next we stopped in a local cafe called le Baron Rouge for fresh oysters, before continuing to a baguette store to sample black baguettes made with squid ink. Here we sat on little tables outside and spread the lovely tapenade all over our baguette. It was delicious.
From here we made our way to my favourite stop of the day…the wine shop. We sampled some local wine and saucisson, while chatting with Edith about life, Paris and all sorts of random things. I didn’t really feel like I was on a tour…instead I felt like I was chatting with a friend, which I guess is the nice thing about being on a private tour. We were going to the Moulin Rouge that night so she even gave us recommendations of where to go for dinner in Montmartre.
I particularly loved this sign…”Girls Just Wanna Have Wine”. Yes, yes we do!
Next up we walked to a local award-winning delicatessen to order some goose Rillette, before stopping at the cheese shop next door to try some smelly French cheeses. I’m a huge cheese-lover, so this was heaven for me!
Our second-to-last stop was a restaurant serving crêpes, so I found just enough room in my stomach to order a crepe with lemon and sugar.
Finally we wound up at a macaron store to try the famous macarons from Pierre Hermes, which in my opinion are better than those from Ladurée.
All in all I had a fantastic time on the Withlocals tour. They have lots of things to do in Paris, but I really love the aspect of food and wine. I left the tour feeling so full that I could’ve done with a wheelchair to take me home! I’ve been on food tours before where they give you only a few nibbles, but on this one I had so much food I was ready to burst!