**Please Note**

Registration for #ParisLikeALocal July 19-26th, 2015

is now closed.Email us at info@aya-life.com if you would like

to be updated on our culinary adventures to France and many

other destinations in the future.

Want to experience the City of Light differently?

Experience Paris like a local with Aya Life and Mardi Michels

Join AYA LIFE and

Mardi Michels (eat. live. travel. write.)

eat. live. travel. write.

July 19th – 26th, 2015

 to experience a different Paris…

Experience Paris like a Local with Mardi Michels and Aya Life

In this seven-day trip, you’ll get to experience Paris like you’ve never seen it before – with the locals!

This tour includes hands-on cooking and baking classes with professional chefs, culinary walking tours with local experts, wine appreciation and even a little something to appeal to those of you with an artistic side!   Locals will share some of the city’s best-kept secrets and you’ll have lots of free time to explore museums and galleries and, of course, we’ll leave you a little time for shopping!

**Group size is limited to 10 people**

***Itinerary subject to change***

DAY 1 Sunday July 19th 2015

Morning: Arrival in Paris

If you are on the group flight or arriving around the same time, you’ll be greeted at the airport and taken to your hotel. Alternatively, transportation to your hotel will be included via shuttle.

Afternoon: Tour briefing and neighbourhood walking tour.

Evening: Group meal. Location TBA.


DAY 2 Monday July 20th 2015

Morning: Free time OR optional shopping tour of the Paris’ famous kitchenwares stores (some frequented by the likes of Julia Child!).

Afternoon: La Cuisine Paris croissant and pain au chocolat class. The croissant is the king of all breakfast treats so how about learning to make your own? During this three-hour class, you will learn to make the classic French croissant as well as variations like pain au chocolat and pain aux raisins. After all your hard work, enjoy the fruits of your labor – tea and coffee will be served for you to enjoy along side your homemade croissants!  What you cannot eat here on site, you will be able to take back to your hotel with you.

Evening: You will be provided with a list of recommended restaurants for your non-group dinner options and should you require bookings, we will be on hand to help with that.


DAY 3 Tuesday July 21st 2015

MorningMarket tour and cooking class with lunch at La Cuisine Paris. Spend the morning with a chef touring one of the most colorful markets in Paris: the Marché Bastille. Just minutes from La Cuisine Paris, discover a traditional French market, learn how to pick the best products and compose your luncheon menu as you shop!

After the market experience, you will return to La Cuisine Paris to begin a hands-on cooking class and work with the chef to create a gourmet lunch using your fresh market products!

Afternoon: Secret Paris: with Bryan Pirolli. Visit his favorite bakery for a pastry by the Canal, discover great coffee in Paris (yes, it does exist!), visit a covered market and check out all things cheese, meat, fruits and vegetables, check out some amazing spices and end at an exquisite chocolate shop (with a treat to go!)

Evening: Restaurant recommendations provided.


DAY 4 Wednesday July 22nd 2015

Morning: Macaron class at La Cuisine Paris. Are you obsessed with French macarons?  This two-hour hands-on class will teach you how to make your very own elegant and colorful treats. You will be divided into groups and work through the steps from dry ingredients, to creating the batter, to piping, and then filling with tasty ganaches and end up with a box of beautiful macarons for you to take home with you!

Afternoon: Paris like a local: Design and Fashion with Kasia Dietz! Create wearable art in the heart of Paris! Handbag Designer Kasia Dietz will teach you her techniques of designing and painting your own custom canvas tote – a unique souvenir of your trip! You will learn how to transfer an idea from your mind onto a canvas bag. Workshop includes champagne and a sweet treat!

Evening: Restaurant recommendations provided.


DAY 5 Thursday July 23rd 2015

Morning: Paris like a local: Sweets! Take a walk on the sweet side with Jill Colonna, author of Mad about Macarons (the book and the blog). If you’re passionate about Paris and have a sweet tooth, this fun walk is designed for you. During this 3-hour tour, we will visit some of Paris’s most prestigious and artistic pastry and chocolate boutiques in the historical quarter of St Germain des Prés.  From the birthplace of the Parisian macaron, a chocolatier who creates handmade chocolates from bean to bar, the Parisians’ favourite local bakery, to a Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MoF, the highest craftsman accolade in France) to name but a few, your taste buds are in for a treat.  As you soak in some history and sample many specialties (macarons, tarts, eclairs, mille-feuilles, fine chocolate) we will discuss various techniques for preparing Parisian pastries at home.

Afternoon: (optional) Choux pastry class at La Cuisine Paris.  Learn all about Choux and the secrets of the to making the famous Choux Pastry used to make the iconic Éclair ! In this hands-on baking workshop you will make from start to finish a variety of treats using choux pastry and to accompany them, tasty  fillings and ‘glaçages’ (glazing).

Evening: group dinner. A wine-tasting dinner at Ô Chateau. Enjoy a gourmet three-course meal, paired with four French wines, one champagne and a digestif. Your sommelier will help you expand and refine your wine knowledge, teaching you how to taste wine properly, navigate a wine list, and how to choose wine at a restaurant. He will expertly guide you through the main wine regions of France, explain how to read a French label, and how to pair wine with food. An informative, fun and delicious evening you won’t want to miss.


DAY 6 Friday July 24th 2015

Morning: Free morning (recommendations provided)

Afternoon: Bellies on Foot walking tour with La Cuisine Paris. Take a cultural and culinary tour of Paris’s historic Les Halles area –  long known as the ‘Belly of Paris’ from the famous 1873 novel ‘Le Ventre de Paris’ by Émile Zola. Retrace hidden culinary secrets of the oldest food market in Europe, visit the foundations of the French culinary scene, from a famous cooking equipment store, to some of the oldest French delicacies you can imagine: from fromage, to fois gras, from sweets to meats! Along the tour we will collect delicacies from each store that we will sample and enjoy with a glass of wine back at the school!

Evening: restaurant recommendations provided.


DAY 7  Saturday July 25th 2015

Morning: Free time – last chance for souvenir shopping!

 Afternoon: Optional – a cheese and wine workshop with La Cuisine Paris

Spend two hours in a wine and cheese workshop where you will learn all about France’s beloved fromages, from the history and production, to cheese regions and seasonality, flavor profiles and textures, and of course, wine and cheese pairing! You’ll start out in a cheese store, tasting and learning from the fromager, then head to a wine shop where you will learn how to choose a French wine. Afterwards you will head back to the school to practice all you have learned about cheese and wine selection as you taste for yourself how everything comes together with five regional cheeses and specially selected wines.

OR Free time

Evening: Champagne cruise on the Seine. During the cruise you’ll taste three different Champagnes: usually one Brut, one Demi-sec and one Rosé – served by a sommelier who is there to answer all your questions about Champagne… or Paris!

After the cruise, enjoy our final group dinner.


 Day 8: Sunday July 26th 2015

Departure (transportation to airport provided)

Please note: an optional extension of your trip can be arranged with AYA LIFE for a longer stay or to visit another location – the choices are unlimited!


Mandatory non-refundable deposit required CDN $500.00

**Early Booking Bonus until March 15th 2015 (Creative & Culinary Products CDN$300.00 Retail Value)**

Tour Package Pricing Per Person CDN $2599.00 

What’s included?

  • Round trip transportation to and from Charles de Gaulle airport to hotel
  • Welcome package including maps, documents, transportation and museum information for you to plan your trip
  • One Paris Visite transportation pass (access to the Métro and Paris buses for the week)
  • Three group dinners including a wine pairing dinner
  • One champagne cruise on the Seine, tasting three different types of champagne with a sommelier
  • Two baking classes at La Cuisine Paris (macarons and croissants)
  • One market tour and cooking class (including lunch) at La Cuisine Paris
  • One walking tour with La Cuisine Paris (Bellies on Foot in Les Halles)
  • One designer bag making workshop (where you’ll decorate a souvenir bag)
  • Two walking tours with locals (a sweet tour of Saint Germain des Prés and a tour of the upper Marais and the area around the Canal St Martin)

OPTIONAL (extra cost)

  • Accommodations (*see note below)
  • Cheese and wine pairing workshop
  • Choux pastry class
  • Tour of Paris’ kitchenware stores
  • Upgrade to a Paris Museum Pass instead of Paris Visite (will give you entry to Paris museums)
  • Flights options
  • Travel Insurance options including Deluxe, Emergency Medical, Trip Cancellation
  • Extended stays both pre/post trip itinerary

*Room Package rates are available for the following rooming options:

7 nights’ accommodation in either a Standard or Superior Single room or a Standard Double room at the Hôtel du Jeu de Paume or other suggested properties – please inquire as to our preferred selection of hotels near our home base of La Cuisine Paris.

Call 647-932-7764 or email info@aya-life.com for more information or to register for this amazing culinary adventure, experiencing “Paris like a local”.


Proud to be working with the following sponsors:


Penquin Random House Canada is generously offering a copy of

Clotilde Dusoulier’s The French Market Cookbook to all participants!



Paris like a local tour with Aya Life and Mardi Michels March 2015

(all photographs copyright Mardi Michels www.eatlivetravelwrite.com)

Mardi MIchels of eatlivetravelwrite.comAbout Mardi

Mardi Michels lives in Toronto, is a full-time French teacher to elementary school-aged boys and the author of eat. live. travel. write – a blog about culinary adventures near and far. She has lived and worked as a teacher in Australia, Hong Kong, England, France and now calls Toronto home. She spends nearly every summer in France, honing her cooking and baking skills and touring different wine producing regions. As part of her job, she runs cooking classes twice a week for 7-13 year-old boys, Les Petits Chefs and Cooking Basics. She is a contributor to JamieOliver.Com, was a founding member of Food Bloggers of Canada, and is a Food Revolution Day Ambassador for Toronto. Mardi also teaches French pastry classes around Toronto.

Follow Mardi on Twitter, Instagram and Google+.