We returned to Australia last week from our trip on Claire de Lune on the Canal du Midi from 10-16 April. I would like it noted that we had an absolutely wonderful time and thank you very much for all your assistance in achieving this perfect holiday for us. The staff, led by Julian was magnificent in its support and its enthusiasm for what it was trying to achieve. Laetitia the chef was wonderful with her superb sense of smell and taste; Nicole was an excellent guide for us and had a great knowledge of cheeses; Vanessa was wonderfully helpful, efficient and friendly as hostess; and Julian as Captain and wine connoisseur, fantastic. The week on the barge, where fortunately the weather was lovely, was the highlight of our 13 week holiday.
Are you also able to forward on our thanks, it would be appreciated. We can highly recommend the trip and again, thank you for organising it for us.
Michael and Brenda B
I have been a client of the France at Leisure since 2002 and have been very pleased with their service. Christian Blondeau and his team helped me to organise 4 Student trips for my Senior French classes (2003, 2007, 2009, 2011) and have also taken 3 adult tours which not only explored France but other European countries. At the moment, we are about to depart on the fourth adult tour in September and we will travel to western France and Spain. Christian and his team have been most helpful in the organisation of these tours and I have booked all the flights, hotels and buses through the agency. All of my travellers, both students and colleagues and their partners, have been extremely happy with their travels in France.
Joelle Guillon - Tour leader and Ex-French Teacher
Somerville House organises a regular European Music Tour through France At Leisure.
Christian Blondeau and the team from France At Leisure have always given 110% of their time in working with us to ensure the best event outcome.
Their overseas contacts are excellent and their experience and advise of travel arrangements is second to none.
Stephen Williams - Somerville Director of Co-Curricular Music
My wife Kristin Devitt and I have had the pleasure to partner with Christian and the team at France@Leisure now since 2009 , in which time we have conducted six trips to the battlefields of Northern France and Normandy with groups as large as 40 and as small as 11 .Each time we have benefited greatly from Christian’s impeccable contacts , and the attention to detail that is a hallmark of the way the team at France@Leisure do their business .
Their knowledge, flexibility and courtesy have made for an enduring partnership , which we will enjoy again for our 2018 tour to mark the 100th anniversary of Villers-Bretonneux and the Australian role in the Allied victory in 1918.Yours faithfully,
Kieran McCarthy - Family Lawyer
I have been associated with Christian and The France at Leisure Team for over ten years. They have helped me take over two hundred Aussies to France on six separate occasions highlighted by attendance at two Rugby World Cups.
The professionalism and intimate knowledge of France and the logistics of taking groups there is by far the best I have ever experienced. Top rate and highly recommended.
Steve Nance - Fitness professional and coach
Dear Debra and Christian
Our holiday in France was awesome. Thank you so much for organising great accommodation. the recommended itinerary was perfect and we thoroughly enjoyed every moment of our time in France.
Debra, your suggestion to include this hotel in Montricoux was a absolute stroke of genius - this was an experience in itself.
We will recommend France at Leisure with great confidence.
Doug and Ros M.
My fantastic Tour de France is almost at an end. I have been to many beautiful places and enjoyed every one of them. Tomorrow I return to CDG and return the little Peugeot to TTCar Transit. Everyone of your suggestions was brilliant and it would be difficult to pick the best. Of all the places I have been to however, my favourites would be St Jean de Luz and the Pays Basque and Annecy and the Alps. Both areas are quite spectacular.
We have recently returned from our overseas sojourn with the highlight of our holiday undoubtedly being the Somme Battlefield Tour that you organised for us. Wow!!! what more can I say!!! The Tour under the stewardship of Colin was overwhelming. Certainly Colin was most affable and we enjoyed his company. However, how does one describe the knowledge that he has of his chosen subject? It was simply overawing and even to this day we are still reminiscing on his accounts of the sad events within France during WW1.
We beseech you to pass on our gratitude to you guide and we look forward to being in a position not only to recommend your battlefield tour but also France At Leisure.
David and I have returned from our trip away in October. We had a wonderful time in all the places we visited, and everything went 'like clockwork'!
The accommodation, trains, planes and car all worked perfectly, with no delays or problems. We were very fortunate with the weather also.
A special mention of 'Chateau Claire de Lune' in Biarritz. We loved the whole experience. Our room, which was very spacious and comfortable, overlooked the beautifully manicured gardens. The staff were very friendly, thoughtful and helpful. We needed a few days rest at that point of our travels, and it was the perfect place to do so.
David said to mention that the Sim card that he had purchased from France before we left, worked well and without any problems.
Hope all is well with you, and many thanks again for your assistance, in helping make a memorable holiday for us.
Melinda and David M.
Just a quick email to thank you for arranging my fantastic Holiday. I really enjoyed my stay in Vichy and would recommend CAVILAM to anyone interested in learning the French Language. I am very tempted to return in the future. The quality of teaching and the resources available are exceptional.
Sadly all good things must come to an end, and we are back from our wonderful trip to France! Thank you so much for organising some lovely accommodation for us, and allowing us to have such a magical experience . Azay-le-Rideau is the most enchanting little village, and our hotel was so quaint, with excellent service. The guesthouse that we stayed in at Carmasac was absolutely lovely and our hosts Thierry and Christine took us under their wing, treating us like part of the family. Thierry even organised a private wine tour for the two of us, and we ate with them each evening out in the garden. The accommodation at Rocamadour was also lovely, out in the country overlooking the hills and valleys. We were shown a short route to Rocamadour along the cliff, by Laurent, the owner - stunning scenery. The restaurant here was also excellent. My favourite room, however, was definitely at 'Mas de la Chapelle' outside Arles-it was exactly as I had pictured Provence! Greg loved La Ciotat; much cheaper and less 'touristy'.
Once aging thank you for making our vacations a memorable one."
Greg and Sharon V
"Dear Christian and Leila,
We just wanted to email and thank you so much with your assistance with our trip to France. The suggested itinerary and the accommodation allowed us to tour France and take in a variety of the regions and countryside. The chateau stay in the Loire Valley was a great way to commence the trip and the host Violene went out of her way to ensure we had a comfortable stay. The highlight of the trip was the stay in the gite in a hamlet not far from Montignac in the Dordogne region. This allowed us to plan day trips to see the sites in the area and return each day to unwind in the comfort of a provincial farmhouse. The weather in May was not entirely kind for us, but this did not stop our enthusiasm to get out and about. The return trip to Paris by the TGV was a relaxing way to see the countryside from a different perspective. All in all, a great trip. Once again thank you for all your assistance.
Brian, Jenny, Robin & Steve
"Dear Christian and Leila,
We’ve just returned from our trip to Europe and France. We thought we’d let you know how much we enjoyed our river cruise in the Loire Valley and Brittany with Ian and Jane Slade on the “Libje”.
The barge is very comfortable, the food as prepared by Jane was delicious and the daily excursions organised by Ian were very interesting. We would strongly recommend to others a trip such on the canal of France such as ours.
Thank you Leila for organising such a wonderful holiday."
Bob and Lyn M.
"Dear Christian and Nicola,
We arrived home last Saturday from our wonderful holiday in Dubai/France which you planned so successfully for us. Thank you for making our holiday such an amazing few weeks. Everything was perfect especially your recommendations Christian. Sarlat was so beautiful and we would love to return there one day. The barge trip was fantastic and meeting all our fellow passengers and marvelleous crew all added to our week spent in such a beautiful part of the world. Maggie as our tour guide was amazing with her knowledge of local history. Thank you once again for all your assistance in making our holiday one we will always remember.
John and Jenifer G
"I just wanted to email you to firstly say thank you so much for all your help with the Fleming trip to France. It all went very well, but undoubtedly the highlight was the cycling in the Loire. The trip was really well organised, the itinerary each day was easy to follow, and the hotels we stayed were gorgeous, and we very much travelled on our own, which suited us. June was a great time to go, too, as it was not too hot. I think it would have been difficult to find the hotels ourselves, they were full of french people, and they were very special. I really couldn’t recommend it highly enough. I loved the way you presented all the information, and gave Simon and I both a copy of everything… one is always so busy in that week before you go, that having everything beautifully presented the way you did, made it much easier.
Many thanks for suggesting that Loire cycling trip. It was exactly what we were looking for:
New bicycles – comfortable, not high performance
Good trip notes and maps using quiet scenic routes
Around three hours easy riding each day, which allowed for late start and leisurely days - plenty of time to visit the sites
Small hotels, comfortable, friendly staff
Bookings, luggage transfers worked like clockwork
Good meals (better than Paris), the best at le Bellevue at Montrichard (ééééé)
Good weather – warm, not hot
Green countryside, lots of flowers
Interesting and impressive chateaux – all different
It probably rates as the highlight of our 5 weeks in Europe – and it was good practice for driving on the wrong side of the road!
How remiss of me not to have written to you sooner!!!! Just wanted to let you know we had a wonderful time and thank you for all your help with the arrangements. We hired a car in Sarlat and the Loire Valley and toured around happily. Sarlat was a gem, not discovered by many tourists as yet, but does not have any tourists buses or tours for people without their own transport. David at Consuls was more than happy to advise us on the all the best places to visit, so can happily recommend him and the accommodation. Bernard and Christine at Chateau Tetrus were also very friendly and the chateau very well run. We felt it was very homely and would happily recommend this to everyone as well. But you definitely need a car to get into Blois (15 mins dirve) and the surrounding areas. The Hotels in Carcasonne and Avignon were also well situation and very comfortable and the staff most ameniable. We also met Don and Julie Cutmore, from the Gap, in the Piazza in Avignon and then also again in Carcasonne. They did boat bookings through you they said. We intent to catch up with them again shortly. So thank you again, and we will certainly be recommending everyone to come and see you, and hopefully come back again ourselves for another fabulous tour of France."
Paul and I would like to thank you and your staff for the wonderful arrangements for our tip to France for the RWC 07. The travel arrangements, the accommodation, and the tourist hints went without a hitch. The help provided by your contacts in France made our holidays most enjoyable. Every day seemed to bring a new “highlight”. We look forward to further travels in France and will contact you again when the time arrives.
Just a short note to let you know that everything went very well on our 2007 Rugby World Cup holiday in France (apart from the quarter final result against England). Thank you for your recommended itinerary and choice of accommodation for the holiday. We experienced excellent hospitality at every stopover.
Everything went very well. Strasbourg, Colmar and Beane were all great places to go. The hotels you recommended were all great and conveniently located.
I did the boat cruise in Strasbourg which was very good - so much to see in this lovely city that I didn't go on any day trips into the regions. But went on day trips in the surrounding regions around Colmar (with a group called Fun 4 Travel - will mail you his card - very good service) and in the Burgundy region with Safari Wine Tours based in Beaune (also very good service). As mentioned before, the Somme day trip was excellent. Can highly recommend this one, and it's an easy day trip from Paris. So thanks for all your assistance on my trip. Had an excellent time, thanks to your good service & planning, and excellent recommendations.
We had a wonderful holiday – almost perfect weather, nice people, great scenery and wine, cheese and Pate weren’t too bad either.
Thank you for all your help, and for your recommendation for the Montparnasse apartment – what a great position! Love the metro – Felt Paris had more to offer than London and price wise better too.
MJ and LJ G
Could you please convey my thanks to Lisa for organising our apartment in Montparnasse in June. We adored Paris, and loved this area and the Cafe de la Place, Montpanasse and so much within walking distance of the apartment. Hope to get back to France and would definitely recommend you to all Francophiles. There was a new amazing patisserie opening when we were there just a few metres away from our front door!
"Dear Julia, Christian,
What a fantastic time!!! We have just returned to reality after a year travelling the world and had a wonderful time. There is no doubt that you contributed to the great time we had and we would like to acknowledge your help. We spent so much time with you planning the trip and your advice was spot-on.
Every little town you advised us to visit or stay in was great. Every little hotel, every little road we drove on, every little restaurant you recommended helped make for a top time. We felt so confident as we travelled knowing that we could send a quick email to you and get a response back quickly. Whether it was booking an extra car for a drive in England, a query as to travel insurance after we had a passport stolen or simply a good place to eat out in Biarritz, your advice made life so easy. We will actually miss the trips into town to see you and plan - maybe we need another trip soon! Thanks for your friendship and professional help"
Greg and Jenny H
We are back from our trip to France and over the jet-lag. We would like to thank you for all of your advice and assistance in putting together a fabulous itinerary. We enjoyed it immensely and recognise the value of having someone assist us with such an intimate knowledge of the country. We took all of your advice and consequently our holiday was richer for having done so. We met some of your other clients while we were away, and they were very happy with your service as well! The world really is small after all!! By the way, we really love France and will be going back to see all of the bits that we missed (if that is possible). We feel that we could spend a lot more time there as we really only scratched the surface.
Thanks and Regards"
A brief note to thank you for the effort that has undoubtedly gone into our travel arrangements. At no stage since meeting Christian at the Travel Expo in late 2003, have we felt any doubt about our choice of France @ Leisure. Each contact has been a pleasure and it all came together as you planned it. We have used the Paris book for our time in this beautiful city and thoroughly enjoy it.
Elizabeth and Eric
Many thanks for helping us organise our trip to Paris. We had a very special time and everything went smoothly. We loved our stay at the Chateau de Prey - very magical. We certainly will recommend you and I again thank you."
Nadia and Peter
We are back from our holiday in Paris, Barcelona and Provence. We had a fabulous time, all over too soon. Paris remains Sarah's favourite destination. Feed back as promised, Corrine from the Auberge de Tavel was a wonderful hostess and she looked after us very well. We had a huge room which we very much appreciated. We ate in the restaurant on three nights, and the food was delicious and beautifully presented. At our request the delightful young chef Sebastian cooked us a lovely seafood meal on the last night. As we didn't know a lot about the French wine, we asked Corrine to select the wine for us and she made excellent choices. Loire valley tour was interesting in particular Chambord & Cheverny, by the time we got to Blois we were as little "blitzed out" by chateaux."
As you know we had a wonderful 6 weeks in France - so many people were amazed at the variety of our travels and we can honestly say we experienced no disappointments. In fact everything was "above expectations". You did mention you would like our opinion on the accommodation so will list as follows:
Beaune - We just loved this Hotel de la Cloche, a large comfortable room, lovely dining room for breakfast and once again in a great location.
Vontiental waterways Cruise on the Chanterelle - A wonderful experience barging on the Upper Loire canal, very comfortable surroundings and top quality food and wine. We were really well looked after by the crew, particularly Neil the bus driver who not only purchased our train tickets but drove us to the station and walked us in to catch our next connection.
Walking Tour - Our base for this tour was a farmhouse at Maubec "Le Gros Pierre, Allee de la Graviere 84660 Maubec" . Once again comfortable accommodation with great food & wine. We really enjoyed the walking tour the big bonus being the 6 nights stay at this wonderful farm.
Sarlat - Le Troubadour Gite apartment was spacious,airy and clean, with good facilities. This apartment is in a great location, surrounded by restaurants,and in the middle of the twice weekly market area.
Chitenay - [Blois] This hotel, Auberge Du Centre, was delightful, another favourite. We were given a very large room overlooking the garden, had a lovely indoor/outdoor restaurant.
Many thanks again for your efforts in making our holiday so memorable."
John & Christine S