Category Archives: france

Baking Baguettes in Paris, France

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OUI. You read that correctly. Once upon a time, I went to Paris and learned the process of baking baguettes with a Master Baker. That’s not the ONLY thing I did over my brief visit but it was by far the coolest. Luckily for me, I’ve been to Paris a few times so seeing the typical sights wasn’t the big “wooo oooh” it’s been in the past. I mean, I never tire of the Eiffel Tower but it was so so fun to get inside a real working bakery’s kitchen and bake French baguettes and croissants. Who couldn’t love that?!

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This amazing hands-on tour was put together with WonderTime, a boutique company offering unique behind the scenes experiences with inspiring people in their crafts. My baguette & croissant baking was with Frederic Lalos, the highly awarded Master Baker, who is not only an expert but also an entertaining pleasure to learn from. Frederic is one of the partners of LALOS Paris and together with his partner, Pierre-Marie Gagneux, owns 6 shops in Paris plus provide bread and pastries to the finest Michelin-starred Parisian restaurants.

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While in the kitchen at LALOS boulangerie, you will learn about the history and technical steps of taking various flours and turning that into the world’s favorite loaf and pastry – baguettes and croissants. Frederic’s method is according to centuries-old French tradition and takes over 50 hours to make the bread. Once you learn some of the Master’s secrets,  you will put what you have learned to use and make a few souvenirs of your time as a baker’s apprentice. Fortunately for you, most of the hard work is completed in advance and your time in the kitchen will be only 120 minutes of learning and fun with delicious results! Sampling of some of Frederic’s award-winning pastries are all a part of your visit too. MMMM.

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Not only was this an educational and special one-of-a-kind Paris, France, experience but also spending time with Frederic was extremely inspiring. His passion and love of his job and his enthusiasm to share knowledge is truly quite something. I have a whole new appreciation for bread! As Frederic says himself, “this visit will forever change the way you see – and taste – baguettes and croissants.”

WHY WonderfulTime? Check out this video with testimonials, including le mien!

This WonderfulTime tour, “In the kitchen with The French Master Baker” takes place in Paris at LALOS. It’s for 4-8 people and costs 170€ per person. Other categories of unique tours include gastronomy, wine, arts and fashion. I was a lucky participant of a test tour. MERCI BEAUCOUP!


Filed under france, paris, travel

Travel Style – a #FriFotos Special Edition

Stylin’ & Profilin’

Lola's #Style is #lolafied

Lola’s #STYLE is #lolafied

I’m excited to share that I’ll be co-hosting #FriFotos on Twitter this Friday, April 26. In case you aren’t clear what #FriFotos is exactly, it’s a 24-hour chat that trends internationally. People worldwide share their photos that match the week’s theme and you can play along if you’re on Twitter or Instagram by following the #FriFotos hashtag and including it in your Tweets with your photos.

The usual hosts will be there: @FriFotos who can also be tweeted to as @TravelDesigned, @EpsteinTravels & @CharlesYap. I’m sharing co-hosting with ooo lala @purplepassport AND you can find me @LolaDiMarco. NOW onto this week’s theme. After a little discussion we decided on #STYLE. I think this is a fantastic topic for #FriFotos because it can apply to lots of things with regard to travel. Like is your #STYLE solo travel, backpacker or luxe? Is your accommodation #STYLE swanky, hip or budget? What’s your travel food #STYLE or even libations #STYLE? You get my point, right?! #STYLE is about the LIFESTYLE of travel too. Of course, I think the more creative the better and to help inspire you I’ve put together some ideas to show you LOLA’S TRAVEL #STYLE.



Theres no doubt about it. My travel #STYLE involves lots and lots of PINK wherever I can pull it off!

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Lola’s drink #STYLE of choice is COCKTAILS

Seen here are a Dark & Stormy at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Ultimate Gin & Tonic at SLS Beverly Hills, CA, 3 different versions of Negronis at Four Seasons Florence, Italy & the delicious Eastern Standard at Soho Beach House, Miami.

my travel #Style most certainly includes luxury hotel stays

my travel #STYLE most certainly includes LUXURY hotel stays

Don’t know what your #STYLE is for accommodations but mine’s definitely one where I’m looking for something special! These properties absolutely fit the special #STYLE bill. Seen here are two Four Seasons properties: Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, CA and Four Seasons Milan in Milan, Italy. AND two Relais & Chateaux properties: Bellevue Syrene in Sorrento, Italy and Villa Galicci in Aix en Provence, France. I can assure you that I have never stayed in any Relais & Chateaux or Four Seasons property that didn’t meet every expectation in GREAT #STYLE.

Lola #Style also goes with HIP hotels

Lola’s #STYLE also goes with HIP hotels

My travel #STYLE enjoys finding the new hot spots too. These hotels certainly exude a HIP #STYLE. We’ve got Mondrian SoHo in NYC, W Barcelona in Spain, The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas & The James Royal Palm in Miami. All very HIP. All very COOL.

FACT: Lola hearts the #Style of a beach vacay

FACT: Lola hearts the #STYLE of a beach vacay

It’s gotta be NO surprise that my travel #STYLE is definitely one that leans toward beach vacations. Sun, sand & the sea make me so happy! Here are a few of my favorite beachy spots: Miami Beach in Florida, Gouverneur Beach in St. Barts, Lucy Vincent Beach in Martha’s Vineyard, MA and Cas Abao Beach in Curacao.

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very important in my world…minibar #STYLE

One thing that I’ve found that really sets some properties apart is a beautiful, well-appointed minibar! First up is the BEST up so far – Soho Beach House, Miami. To the right is Mondrian SoHo, NYC. Below is Four Seasons Florence, Italy. To the left is W Barcelona, Spain. If you love a cocktail to start your evening off right or to have a night cap at days end, a minibar with serious #STYLE is essential! Just sayin’

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Lola’s #STYLE is definitely all about a FAB hotel pool

I don’t care if it’s not even warm enough to sun yourself, there’s something amazing about the #STYLE of great swimming pool. Granted, I prefer the sunshine & warmth option in my travel plans. Found here are Delano South Beach in Miami, W Barcelona in Spain, Petit Palace in Santorini, Greece and Soho Beach House in Miami. I ask you what’s not to LOVE about these pool’s #STYLE?

I hope these examples of #STYLE has got your creative juices flowing. It will be so FUN if you come PLAY along on Friday on Twitter with #FriFotos. Don’t forget to tweet to me @LolaDiMarco and add the hashtags #STYLE and #FriFotos to your photos. I look forward to seeing you & your travel #STYLE there!

xo – LOLA


Filed under amalfi coast, barcelona, california, caribbean, cocktails, curacao, europe, florence, florida, france, greece, hipster hotels, italy, martha's vineyard, miami, milan, new york, spain, st. barts, swanky luxe stays, travel, USA, vegas

my favorite purchase of my 30 day Eurotour

OH Louis, how i LOVE thee!

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i’ll be honest, i didn’t leave much room in my bags for purchases. c’mon, i was going for 30 days to Europe and i wanted/needed to look good. that meant lots of options and i wasn’t going to leave that up to shopping days. in reality, there were 2 days in all of the 30 days that were lent to some shopping time. anything else was a stumbled upon type of thing. it was the least shopped travel experience i can remember and the truth is i don’t even shop that much when traveling. PS – i didn’t miss it either.

the things i bought i can practically count on one hand. a FAB poncho in Milan. a handbag in Positano. costumes in Barcelona. (yes, that) a fur scarf in Burgundy. a sweater & boots in Paris.

and then there was one, iconic, impressive, important and expensive purchase. one i hadn’t planned on making. it may be that i bought next to nothing in 30 days and had intended on buying many things (like gold charms for my charm bracelet) that influenced this purchase. i like to think it was an “in the moment” situation. something i couldn’t pass up. something presented to me in such a way i could not say no. that would be a sign of true salesmanship and guess what, it was!

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bonjour Mr. DiCaprio i mean Kevin

Kevin, aka personal shopper to the rich and famous at Louis Vuitton Paris, could not have been a better match for me. he looks like a more handsome version of Leonardo DiCaprio and knows the history of the fine leathers of Louis Vuitton like the back of his hand(bag). 😉 HELLO…what’s not to love with all of that?! you may be wondering how i ended up with Kevin’s assistance that day. sheer luck and the fact that every sales associate was busy and Kevin didn’t have an appointment at that time. LUCKY ME!

i was traveling with my travel partner in crime, Leah, as you probably recall. we were dared to go into Louis Vuitton, check out some bags, take photos smelling the leather and then leave. first of all, you cannot take photos in the store. secondly, we have no willpower. this magical purchase started with Leah asking to see that bag, oh, and that one too. what about that one over there? and soon enough Kevin was pulling out a secret stash of bags that weren’t up on the wall. that’s when it happened. when i FELL IN LOVE. there was one bag screaming out at me to try on. so i did and that was it. it was decided.

Kevin explained that the graphic logo which is synonymous with the Louis Vuitton brand didn’t exist in Louis’ lifetime. in fact, it was a tribute to Louis from his son George on the fourth anniversary of his father’s death. the flowers that make up the monogrammed canvas are symbolic of George’s father’s deep religious roots and love of Asian art. another tidbit Kevin shared is that every bag is made with one single piece of leather.

French champers sil vous plait

French champers sil vous plait

after we each decided on our bags, Kevin decided to give us a little VIP tour of the flagship store located on Champs-Elysees in Paris. as we walked the different floors he explained that you were meant not to notice that you were changing floors. the store just flows. everything has a point and a purpose. the thoughtfulness, care and craftsmanship is evident in everything. such amazing pride makes Louis Vuitton so exquisite. Kevin’s love for the brand and the information he shared only solidified my favorite purchase of a Louis Vuitton bag. it didn’t hurt that when excused himself to go wrap our purchases he brought us a glass of Veuve Clicquot to enjoy in the women’s shoe department. when he returned with our packages he had with him Ludovic, head of the concierge team, to also greet us in case we ever needed anything more. talk about service – TRES FAB!

Louis Vuitton was founded in 1854 and, consecutively every year since 1996, Louis Vuitton has been named the world’s most valuable luxury brand. YES the price tag stung but it’s a purchase i will never forget OR regret. i carry my LV bag practically every day and it is timeless. plus, purchasing it in France costs less than if i had bought the same bag in the USA. *BONUS* don’t forget your VAT tax ladies!

MERCI dear Kevin for giving me a day and a handbag that i truly amour!

XO – lola


Filed under france, paris, travel

treated like Royalty at Four Seasons Hotel George V – Paris

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the legendary Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris

step aside Kate & William – you’re not the only one getting the royal treatment

lil Lola is quite comfortable in her French palace

lil Lola is quite comfortable in her French palace

as soon as you step inside Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris you will feel as though you are a part of a royal family. after all, since 1928 when the glamorous property opened its doors, it has been known for its “spirit of modern and elegant luxury”.

Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris located just off Champs-Elysees, reopened its doors in December 1999 after an extensive renovation project that restored the building’s key architectural features and re-created the original style to the tune of $125 million dollars. careful planning was put into place to recapture the original period charm in the decor, however, the property now has all the modern technologies and sophisticated facilities making it one of the world’s most luxurious hotels.

OUI OUI i say! so the stage is set to say that this gorgeous and elegant hotel seems very much like a LUSH FRENCH PALACE. just have a look at one of the common areas where you can enjoy a cocktail or light fare, La Galerie. definitely a prime spot for people watching!

the perfectly posh La Galerie

the perfectly posh La Galerie

if you are in the mood for a more upscale experience fit for a prince or princess, Le Cinq is your place. for starters, the 2 Michelin-starred restaurant has its very own signature china & silver created only for this legendary hotel. can you say FANCY?! it was an absolute pleasure to receive a THREE HOUR royal banquet of a meal at this spectacular restaurant. there were more staff than clientele and they were as delicious as the meal. what a feat to have one of the best restaurants in Paris AND one of the best staff! MERCI BEAUCOUP.

can you see why it would take four hours to eat this?

let them eat…EVERYTHING!

Le Cinq’s menu of course has classic French culinary items but the restaurant also embraces newer, lighter cooking styles and incorporates the freshest regional ingredients. the lamb shoulder that was prepared with spices and slowly cooked for 17 hours was divine. BUT my favorite was the cheese course. something you cannot miss when in France. Le Cinq has the most amazing cheese cart i’ve ever laid my eyes upon!

a beautiful Premier room - definitely perfect for any princess!

a beautiful Premier room – definitely perfect for any princess!

now about Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris’ sleeping quarters. there are many options for all kinds of guest needs inside this landmark building. With 244 rooms in total at Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris – i had the princess treatment in my Premier room. the room was incredibly decorated and spacious BUT the closet and bathroom were almost just as big! i particularly enjoyed my view of the stunning Marble courtyard.

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Le Bar’s Twister cocktail

as one must know, i am the QUEEN of cocktails and so i just had to go see what they might be mixing up down in Le Bar. i opted for the Twister off the ‘Creation Cocktail’ list which is a Hendricks gin infusion with fresh cucumber, lime, fresh basil leaf & sugar. although its price tag is steep (26 €) if this is the only way you can experience some of the majestic luxury of Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris, i say it’s worth every penny.

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Princess Lola for the day at Four Seasons Paris

even though i’m really not royalty, i appreciated being the invited guest of Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris, so that i could have an idea what that lifestyle must be like. not that i can live my life in this regal manner every day BUT it’s an experience that is 100% Lola Approvedlola_blackpink

The Premier Room features Louis XVI style furnishings, which mirrors the traditional grace of French living.  The marble bathroom offers a full range of comfort and conveniences, such as a separate shower and bathtub. The room is attributed with a comfortable sitting area, a convenient desk for business purposes and a large king-size bed, or two twin-size beds.

The daily rate for the Premier Room is 1,275 Euros, taxes and service included. 


Filed under france, paris, swanky luxe stays, travel

thank you, děkuji, grazie, gracias, merci beaucoup!

dear Europe: thank you for one of the best months of my life!

please accept my long overdue thank you for hosting me last month for 30 lovely days. it will go down as one of the best trips of my life! i have so many i wish to show my gratitude to, so please bare with me while i do my best to remember those who went above and beyond to make my month so incredible.

go with oh cities

1) Go with Oh for the perfect apartments in Prague, Florence, Rome, Barcelona & Paris


2) Truhlar Marionety for the wonderful 4 hour lesson in making your own marionette with the master himself Pavel


3) Pub Crawl Prague for the fun tour of bars & clubs

dinner at Four Seasons Prague

4) Four Seasons Prague for the delightful dinner at CottoCrudo

shopping in milan

5) Melanie Payge for the amazing behind the scenes shopping tour of Milan & bubbly company at the Four Seasons Milan Barolo dinner

barolo wine dinner

6) Four Seasons Milan for the gorgeous room & divine VIP white truffle & Barolo wine dinner

chef vito four seasons florence

7) Four Season Florence for the princess treatment by both Luca, Italian Barman of the Year & Vito, genius Executive Chef

il fontanaro cooking class

8) Walks of Italy & Il Fontanaro for the memorable cooking class & stay at a Tuscan Farm House in Paciano

rome food tour

9) Walks of Italy for the behind the ropes tour of the Vatican, the mouthwatering food tour of Rome & the day trip to Orvieto in Umbria


10) Chef Lorenzo for the custom made lunch & educational tours of a cheese & olive oil factory

pompeii, vesuvius, naples

11) Walks of Italy for the fascinating discovery tour of Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius & the Naples National Archeological Museum

positano - amalfi coast

12) Walks of Italy for the entertaining tour of the gorgeous Amalfi coast

flamenco lessons

13) Go with Oh for the oh-so-fun flamenco lessons at Flamenco Barcelona to indulge me

cocktails at Eclipse

14) W Barcelona for the tasty lunch at Wave & cocktails at hip lounge Eclipse

photo shoot with Eduardo Frances

15) Go with Oh for the fabulous photo shoot with photographer extraordinaire, Eduardo Frances

thanksgiving in Barcelona

16) Sara & Arno and the Go with Oh staff for the fun multi-culti Thanksgiving celebration

dinner at W Paris Arola

17) W Paris for the awesome tour of your property & the “spark” design explanation as well as the outstanding dinner at Arola

how to become a Parisian in an hour

18) Go with Oh for the hilarious “How to Become a Parisian in one Hour” show

parisian tattoo

19) Abraxas for the parfait tattoo to always remember Paris by as if i could forget

burgundy wine tasting

20) Caveau de Chassagne-Montrachet for the delicious wine tasting in Burgundy

lunch at Four Seasons Paris

21) Four Seasons George V Paris for the restful retreat & most indulgent lunch of my lifetime at Le Cinq

Lionel Richie

22) Lionel Richie & Co for the unforgettable Friday evening dinner in St. Germain Paris


23) Mr. & Mrs. O Around the World for the warmest welcome to Henley-on-Thames with a holiday party & lovely friends

Four Seasons London Park Lane

24) Four Seasons London at Park Lane for the stunning suite & Rolls Royce ride, Amaranto for the delicious dinner & cocktails tasting, the spa for the best massage yet AND the entire property for the best staff ever encountered

Jeff Leatham

25) The incredibly talented Artistic Director for the Four Seasons George V Paris,  Jeff Leatham, who wows the world with his floral designs but made time for a chat with me

kevin at Louis Vuitton

26) Kevin, Louis Vuitton personal shopper to the rich & famous, for the fantastic history lesson behind the LV brand

52 martinis

27) Miss 52 Martinis for a quick cocktail tour of Harry’s Bar, an old haunt of Hemingway’s, on a busy Tuesday night in Paris


lola & leah

28) Leah Travels thank you for being the best travel partner in crime i could ever EVER imagine. our month of adventures will bring us a lifetime of laughter!

XO – lola



Filed under barcelona, europe, france, italy, london, paris, prague, spain, travel