Paris, A City of Class (and great masterclasses)
Pick up a new skill on your next city break. Here are some of our favourite masterclasses in Paris.
A few weeks ago, you may recall that we shared a few of our favourite London masterclasses with you. A list for those looking to learn a new skill and, in doing so, polish themselves to a new level of perfection. In case you’re wanting to city hop as well as class hop, here are some of our favourite classes and courses in Paris too. (You’ll notice there’s a focus on food here… but what did you expect in the French capital?)
The name ‘Alain Ducasse’ is synonymous with very, very good French food (his restaurants boast 19 Michelin stars in total). So, where better to take a cooking class than at his École de Cuisine? The school offers a range of masterclasses, but the one that took our eye in particular was on the essence of hearty French bistro cuisine. So, although you can’t bring your favourite restaurant back from Paris, you can bring some of its tips and tricks instead. Better than nothing…
Enjoying a macaron in Paris is like drinking an espresso in the morning – it simply needs to be done. Go one further than buying a box of macarons and try your hand at making some yourself. This masterclass is held at none other than the Ritz Escoffier. So while you’re there, a glass of champagne at the Hemingway Bar to calm the pre-masterclass nerves wouldn’t go amiss. Anyway, back to the point – the workshop runs for 2 hours, taking you through the technicalities of preparing these meringue-based treats. Now, please bear in mind that yours might not turn out quite the same as Pierre Hermé’s. For that reason, we’d advise following the workshop with a trip to try one of his rose macarons… you know, just in case.
Paris is home to many a charming florist, which might spark your inspiration to take a class in flower arranging yourself. Despite the seemingly specialist workshop themes such as ‘Saint-Tropez Bouquet’ and a Marie Antoinette inspired ‘Piece of Pie’, these classes are for professionals and amateurs alike. It might be worth practicing beforehand though…
Get your learning caps on, folks, and get ready to be a perfumer’s apprentice for the day. This workshop on how to create the perfect fragrance, hosted at Fragonard's Museum of Perfume, is an ideal activity for anyone interested in the luxury of scent (or anyone soon to be running out of their bottle of Byredo). Not only will you get to take your fragrance home with you, but you’ll even get a signed diploma too. Make room on the mantelpiece – even if that means taking down your children’s university certificates – we all know what'll be taking pride of place instead.
Although this isn’t technically a ‘class’, you’ll definitely walk away from it having consumed a lot of knowledge, as well as an awful lot of cheese and wine. Paris by Mouth is one of the most trusted resources when it comes to the low-down on Paris’ best restaurants, which explains why their food and wine tours are often fully booked. These neighbourhood-focused tours are run by leading experts in the field – chefs, sommeliers, food writers and more. Groups are small (thank goodness), meaning you’ll actually get to learn from the experts… rather than learn about where fellow tour group member, Susan from South Carolina likes to spend her summers.
If that has sparked your inspiration, whether for one of these courses or simply a trip to Paris, here are some of our best homes in the city.
Want to keep reading? Discover some of London's best masterclasses here.