A beacon of culture for centuries, Paris glows brightly as a symbol of all the fine things that civilization can offer. A truly privileged, two-week experience provides two fortunate couples with VIP entrée to the City of Light’s surreal world of fashion, art, fine dining and architecture with a private guide for every amazing destination.
The dynamic energy, good taste and fine wine of Cliff Lede form the heart of this exciting multi-continental vacation, beginning with fourteen nights’ accommodations at Cliff’s newly renovated pied-à-terre on the Left Bank of the Seine. To say the exquisite, two-bedroom apartment is ideally located is a severe understatement, as it’s just one minute from the Musée d’Orsay and the Legion of Honor and five minutes from the Louvre.
Fashion, of course, figures prominently in the experience as you become participant and observer in the milieu of fine apparel. The couples indulge in a three-hour, one-of-a-kind shopping moment with a local personal shopper who knows the finest high-end boutiques and showrooms that Paris has to offer. You’ll also witness fashion taking the stage with two seats to the unparalleled Hermès Runway show and one other major Runway show in Paris, including meet and greets with the designers and several special experiences. There’s an additional opportunity to attend the exclusive Fashion Week parties of Christian Dior or Ralph Lauren.
At the Louvre, one of the gallery’s most prominent supervisors welcomes the couples with a private visit that memorably begins with entry through the Pyramid, an entrance normally closed to the public. Explore each corner of the magnificent gallery, gain unprecedented access to exclusive areas, and learn about the daily workings that occur behind the scenes. Your host escorts you through the exhibition rooms and directs you toward the masterpieces of Da Vinci, Ingres, Delacroix and others. End your tour by leaving through the professional exit, reserved exclusively for directors of the Louvre.
Contrast the stately Louvre experience with the ultra-modern Fondation Louis Vuitton, a dazzling center for contemporary art and culture. The foundation commissions work by Ellsworth Kelly, Olafur Eliasson, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Sarah Morris, as well as temporary exhibits of modern pieces. Before the public opening hours, in addition to the artistic and architectural richness of the Fondation Louis Vuitton, enjoy the wonderful panoramic views from the various terraces of the building’s ship-like exterior of billowing glass sails.
Additional cultural excursions take you to the famed Opéra Bastille and the Philharmonie de Paris in special, behind-the-scenes tours. At the Opéra Bastille, visit the auditorium, the rehearsal stage, and the buzzing workshops, where 120 artists work daily to create exquisite sets, costumes and accessories. Admire the Great Concert Hall at the Philharmonie de Paris before venturing into exclusive areas, such as backstage and the musicians’ and the costumes’ rooms.
For unique culinary experiences, guests will travel by train to a private cooking workshop with a local chef in the heart of Vouvray. First, immerse yourself in the region, known for its crisp, sparkling and dry white wines, with a visit to its Troglodyte caves. During this tour with the winegrower, learn about the wine-making process in this area. Next, join your Master Chef for a delightful cooking class, after which you will discover how to couple your culinary delights with the right wines for the most palatable pairings. In the afternoon, you will explore Château d’Amboise and stop at a bakery to treat yourself to a French delicacy.
Another culinary exploration takes you to the intimate, Michelin Two-starred Restaurant David Toutain. David, who grew up on a Normandy farm, made a name for himself at some renowned establishments (L’Arpège, Agapé Substance) before opening his own restaurant, which became an overnight success. Channeling his varied experiences into his cooking, David prepares dishes that are daring and delightful translations of nature to the plate.
Beyond the amazing guided experiences into the best of Paris, be sure to save some after-dark energy for one of the world’s most romantic cities. Enjoy the diverse nightlife options at your doorstep and come home each evening to the remarkable luxury of Cliff Lede’s private apartment in the center of it all.
Back in the States, the two couples will enjoy two nights in the heart of Napa Valley at Poetry Inn, the only hotel property in the breathtaking Stags Leap District. Architectural Digest calls this intimate hotel “a microclimate of luxury where slippers magically appear beside your bed, the pillow is preordered to your specifications, and killer views from your private terrace lull you into believing that the entire Napa Valley is yours and that you are the only one with the key.”
Enjoy a VIP tour and Platinum Tasting at Cliff Lede Vineyards and a private dinner hosted by Cliff in his Howard Backen-designed home overlooking Napa Valley. This intimate, multi-course meal will be paired with top wines from the Lede Family Wines portfolio, along with gems from Cliff’s private cellar.
Take in Paris and Napa with a Cliff Lede touch and go home with the best reminder of your great time: six Magnums of 2016 Cliff Lede Vineyards wines.
Oh, la la this vacation is magnifique… bid tout de suite!
Airfare to France and California is not included. Ground transportation in Paris and the Loire Valley for the activities listed above is included. Four (4), Roundtrip, First Class train tickets from Paris to the Loire Valley are included. The fourteen nights in Cliff Lede’s Paris apartment must be taken consecutively, and pets and smoking are not allowed. Passports are required for the VIP tour of the Louvre. Dinner at Restaurant David Toutain includes beverages, tax and gratuity. All activities outside of the Fashion Week and runway experiences are for four (4) people. The Hermès Runway show and additional Runway show will be held in September 2020 and are for two (2) people. Exact dates for the shows will be determined by August 2020. Visit to Napa is to be scheduled for mutually agreeable dates.
Cliff Lede of Cliff Lede Vineyards and Poetry Inn, Queen of Clubs and with thanks to Whip Fundraising