Here are some other services, most of them run by good friends, that can help to make your travels even more enjoyable.
Time Out online
Thoroughly researched and entertainingly written, the Time Out guides will give you the confidence to tackle any major city. Recently Time Out relaunched its Paris website in French, and I am the consulting editor in charge of restaurants.
My good friend Paule Caillat takes small groups on market tours, followed by a hands-on cooking class in her home in the heart of Paris. Paule is a warm and entertaining person who goes to great lengths to explain how her scrumptious French recipes can be reproduced at home.
No matter how many times you've been to Paris, a trip wouldn't be complete without a visit to a museum. At Paris Muse, art historian Ellen McBreen offers interactive tours for small groups, giving fresh insight into what can be an overwhelming experience.
Wine tastings with O Chateau
If you feel intimidated by French wines (and who doesn't?), take a crash course during your next visit to Paris with the very personable Olivier Magny in a beautiful Parisian location. "Wine? No pressure, just pleasure!" is his motto, and you are sure to come away with more confidence. Classes are held in English.
Haven in Paris
Erica Berman has impeccable taste and it shows in the selection of holiday apartments and villas her company offers in Paris, Provence and Tuscany. She also writes an entertaining and informative blog, hipparis.com.
Discover Paris with the Kids
There is so much more for children to enjoy in Paris than the obvious attractions, from a magical museum to hidden neighborhood playgrounds. Isabelle Southgate, a bilingual graphic designer specializing in books and games for children, knows all the secret spots and doesn't want to keep them to herself. Hire her for a personalized or themed tour to keep the kids entertained.
Three Parisian friends had the brilliant idea of offering chauffeur-driven tours in the classic French car, the Citroën 2CV. There are many different tours to choose from, including a day in Versailles and a wine-tasting tour of Paris.
Everyone who visits Paris wants to feel like a Parisian, and Beth Marlin's thoroughly researched site will help you do just that. You'll find everything from articles on the best parks and gardens to tips on finding the best crêpes or drinking coffee the French way.
Paris by train
Canadian Ben Lam, a Paris resident, has decided to make sense of the often confusing French train system on his comprehensive website. You'll find information on using the Paris Métro and the RER, and travelling between various French cities by train - which is my preferred method of getting from Paris to Nice, where I teach cooking.
I Love Paris Apartments
Why stay in a hotel when you can have your own chic Paris apartment, decorated with antiques and equipped with all the modern comforts? American and long-time Paris resident Porter Scott decorates and manages these beautiful apartments.
Nice Pebbles and Riviera Pebbles
My good friends Matt and Gayle manage many apartments on the French Riviera, all with great locations and comfortable furnishings. You can count on them to make you feel at home during your stay in Nice or along the coast. Several apartments are available in the Old Town, near where Les Petits Farcis cooking classes take place. Their websites also contain a wealth of useful information about the area. For apartments in Nice visit Nice Pebbles; for apartments on the Riviera see Riviera Pebbles.
The City Apartment Book
If you like to travel in style, the City Apartment Book offers luxury accommodation in Paris and on the Côte d'Azur.
Judy Witts Francini is truly a Diva of Tuscan cooking! In the spirit of Les Petits Farcis and Promenades Gourmandes, she offers market tours, hands-on cooking classes and gourmet tours in Florence and Chianti.
Delhi Food Tours
Self-confessed "foodaholic" Prashant and his wife Ayesha have eaten their way through Delhi and beyond so that visitors can sample only the best, from street food stalls to romantic restaurants, following their expert guidance. Their guided tours include transport in an air-conditioned van.
Know What and Where
The brainchild of Silke Wolf, this website is about inspiring discoveries all over the world, with sections on fashion, food and drink, lifestyle and travel. Silke focuses on small businesses that can help us save money even as we expand our horizons.
Marlena Spieler is a London-based food writer and occasional Paris resident with her very own style.
An extensive new website with hundreds of ideas and resources to help plan your next visit to Paris.
Triangle Food Tours
Should you find yourself in North Carolina, book a tour with this innovative company to get a tantalizing taste of Raleigh and Chapel Hill, with a generous dollop of history as well.
"I just wanted to thank you for the tour - we really enjoyed it, and more importantly Chris had a great time. It made us want to live in Paris and be able to shop in those places every day! The sad thing is we didn’t seem to find the time to go back and buy lots of goodies to come home, so we’ll need to visit again armed with the Gourmet Paris guide.
Also, Les Papilles was superb – lovely atmosphere, we had an extremely tasty pumpkin veloute with chorizo, some fantastic beef (skirt we think, but slow cooked to be meltingly delicious), a blue cheese with a divine prune compote and a kind of apple trifle. A brilliant start to the weekend and on the list as one of our best meals ever. L’Epigramme was also great, different atmosphere, much more formal but still relaxed. I had scallops which were so good I can’t remember what Chris had, then an amazing soul warming pot au poulet while Chris had lamb with beans followed by cantal cheese.
We also (heroically) went to Le Timbre for lunch on Saturday – the chestnut soup and cochon noir followed by Stichleton (hurrah!) with a lovely Pic Saint Loup was also up there as one of our greatest meals.
Thank you again – we had a brilliant time."
Gwenan Dee, Manchester