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Escorted tours

Dear Barbara and Robert,

Thank you for the recipes. It was good to just read them and been reminded about the fun we had trying to emulate the chef followed by the delicious lunch with perfectly matched wine. I loved the whole experience. There were so many highlights, not least the perfect weather. I think back and wish we were still cruising down the river. Lucky people going on the barge trip with you next year. Good luck with everything. All the best, Cindi

Hi there Robert and Barbara,

We suppose you are both back home and, like us, defending yourself from the vagaries of the Kiwi weather. We do hope your Dordogne Experience tour went as well for everyone as we felt the Burgundy one went. We would like to thank you both for the great time we experienced, and we wanted to say how much we enjoyed everyone’s company and consideration. You should both be very proud of the professional way you research, arrange, and expedite these tours. We felt we received good value for money, and a lovely balance of activities, cultural contact, backed up by your diverse and practical knowledge of France, and travel in general. All the very best to you both for a well earned break, a pleasant Christmas, and a properous and healthy new year. Keep in touch please. Thanks again, JB and Mary

Hi Barbara and Robert,

Lyn and I are back in the swing again but before more time goes by I would like to thank you for the wonderful trip we experienced under your expert guidance. You are two people that seem to have the knack of making everyone feel like old friends and the laid back approach with travel plans and day to day activities makes everyday with you a distinct highlight. We both would have no hesitation [depending on the wallet] in booking again for another excursion with you in beautiful France at some stage in the future.   Best Regards, Lyn and Frank.

Hi Barbara and Robert

Thank you for a wonderful two weeks. We enjoyed every minute. There were many highlights and no real lowlights – not even the charollais! We thought the mix of food, wine, scenery, history and activity was just right, greatly assisted by the equanimity and good humour with which you dealt with inevitable hitches and our foibles. Now in recovery mode. Many thanks again,   Regards, Margaret and John

Barge Cruises

Hello Barbara and Robert,

My apologies for not telling you prior to this how very much Trevor and I enjoyed our trip on the Luciole in September of this year. It was everything you said it would be and more!  The people, the crew,  the trips were all marvellous. You may know that four of the group had been on that trip eight times and used it to get together with family. That says a lot for the whole experience. We certainly would also do it again and may just do that in two years!  It is relaxing but always interesting and fun and the food was superb. I have run out of superlatives! But they are all genuine.        Regards Jill and Trevor

Hi Robert,

I thought I would let you know we are safely home from our holiday in Europe and the two barge cruises we did. We thoroughly enjoyed them – would do it again – and have been recommending them to anyone who asks. The cruise on the Rosa was exceptional. The staff were very busy but still had time to talk or see to any little request that might be made.  The Hostess cooked scrambled eggs for the first time ever for the English couple, who requested them for breakfast.  The Chef ( Mike) could have competed in Masterchef, as the four courses with a different wine for each were superb. Thank you for a wonderful time –  Bob and Pat

Hi Robert,

Pat and I have just returned from Europe and our fabulous trip on the Anjodi. What an experience including a room that was as small as one I had in my 2nd year at University!  We were very spoilt by the crew – the food, including cheeses and wine were sublime.  Nothing was too much trouble for the crew. The food and wine were very much better than that which we had on the APT Duoro River Cruise, and that food we thought was very good. Your hint on the tip was very much appreciated, they certainly earned it. Thanks again for you advice and assistance on another wonderful French experience, they keep getting better.     Regards Warwick

Dear Barbara and Robert,

We have recently returned from our 7 weeks in La belle France and we were specially thrilled with our 6 days on the barge, Luciole. What a tremendous experience that was . We realised a dream and were overwhelmed with everything!  The food, the crew, the wines and all the rich history so wonderfully explained to us by Michael. We cannot imagine ever experiencing anything like that again and are so very thrilled we took the opportunity to be part of that experience. Our friends, Joan  and Errol  loved it all as much as we did. How we would love to go touring with you two!  Maybe one day …… meantime, we will spread the word, and thank you for your part.      Sincerely, Barbara and Harold

Hello Robert –

Brian and I would like to thank you for recommending the Luciole. We had a marvellous time, met some lovely people and as for the food – the meals were amazing. We thoroughly enjoyed sightseeing in the morning (normally) back in time for lunch and then cycling or walking along the tow paths for a few kms. We also loved Chateau De Germigney – the accommodation was lovely and the food exceptional. The very small village with the river was very picturesque and well situated to visit the wineries and other villages close by. Once again many thanks for helping to make our 5 weeks away in Europe wonderful.   Kind regards Jane

The Walking Party

Hi Robert,

Well, if you ever want ringing endorsements and loads of superlative-laden reviews of our Quercy walking tour, then come to us! It has been one of the best holidays we’ve ever had. Everything James and Diana have done has been impeccable – the accommodation, the food, the wine and the surprises, but everyone agrees that the Tamlyns are the most utterly charming couple any of us has ever met.  James makes every moment special and has a knack of including everyone and involving everyone in his enthusiasm. Thank you very much for finding this wonderful week for us!  The Meeks feel the same. Kind regards, Sue and Ed

Hi Robert,

I can’t say enough about how I enjoyed the walking tour with James & Diana.  I had a really personal, friendly tour. It was like travelling with friends. It really was a wonderful trip for a single traveller because I never felt alone, or like I was a third wheel.  James has it so everyone eats together at one table, and he mixes the seating plan up every night. When we were walking, people drifted at different paces and found themselves walking at different times with different people. It was so inclusive. When I asked you about the tour before I left, you said it was 3-star accommodation with 5-star service from James. I mentioned that to the group when James wasn’t around and they thought it was a fair description. I was pleasantly surprised by the accommodation – it was better than I expected. The meals James provided were brilliant each and every day. He never scrimped on cost and if the table looked like wanting more wine – he ordered it. If he mentioned something new and we wanted to try it -it was arranged.  I’ll definitely be taking another trip to Europe in the next two years and there is no doubt I’ll be doing another of James’ walking tours.     Gina

Rental Boats

Hi Robert,

I meant to be in touch before now, but you know how it is………… Anyway, this is just to say thankyou for organising what proved to be a really fabulous little break away for Dennis and me. Everything worked out perfectly – getting ourselves to our Paris hotel, walking our feet off in Paris, getting to Messac and our boat was exactly right for the two of us – getting to Rennes, and back to Paris to Luxembourg. We enjoyed every bit of our time, and really loved our canal boat experience. Great adventure …….. You couldn’t have got us a better placed hotel in Rennes – not only for placement in the old town, but the market that we walked out into the Saturday morning was one of the best I’ve ever seen, and huge fun too, with lots of entertainers.  I had been looking forward to doing some shopping in Rennes, but it was Labour Day on the day we arrived, so lots of restaurants open, but no shops – Dennis told me to make sure I express his gratitude to you for that one!  So – thank you again. Best regards, Kaye & Dennis

Hello Robert and Barbara,

Receipt of the newsletter reminded me that I had not been in touch with you to say how splendid our trip to Burgundy was and how all arrangements made by you were 10/10!  The Paris hotel – Sanguine – was very good indeed and definitely worth another visit, as was the Ramparts in Beaune. We loved them both and so well situated. France Afloat gave us excellent service, being collected by Zoe and deposited in Dijon later by Robert. Monsieur Potter, our boat, was spacious and comfortable and we were sad to leave him (funny the male gender for a boat but named after Zoe’s late father) at Buffon. We loved the contrasts between the Nivernais, the Yonne and the Bourgogne. Loved Auxerre, in fact loved everything so can’t really separate out particular pleasures. I think my most vivid memory is the canal stretching ahead, the gentle countryside, the trees, the crops, the Charollais, the dog-roses, irises, paeonies……. I wanted it to go on for ever!  We did plenty of cycling, into the villages for the baguettes and just peacefully alongside the canal. So – thank you again for your knowledge and skills. We tell people about you frequently. Warmest regards Lynn

Hi Robert,

Just a note to say thank you for your advice and bookings. All the arrangements went like clock work and the Royal Mystique fitted the needs of two couples admirably. The Castlenaudary – Homps distance was perfect for the 7 days, allowing plenty of time to enjoy the facilities and ambience en-route. The spring weather was mixed but comfortable, allowing us a more relaxing cruise without the pressure of too many boats. Many thanks, and we’ll be back!     Tony

Cycling & Walking

Dear Robert,

Sorry to be so late in giving you any feedback, but I just wanted to say how much we enjoyed cycling through your ‘Best of Burgundy’ in June this year. It was the highlight of our time away from New Zealand – we just loved it. We were lucky with weather – just one rainy day on our way to Beaune, and we were dry by the time we got there. This was my favourite town, just beautiful. We also loved Dijon, we were lucky to be there for the mid-summer music festival and to join in. Everything was organised wonderfully, Simon had trouble with his chain but not until he was 200 metres from the last hotel!  So many many thanks, we have already talked about the trip with many friends and may well be in touch again when we return to Europe in a few years.    Kindest regards, Belinda

Hi Robert,

We recently arrived home from our travels in Europe and one of the first things we needed to do was email you to thank you so much for organising our four day bike tour from Tours to Angers. It was absolutely fantastic. We couldn’t fault it at all. The Hotels were fabulous including the breakfasts…staff very friendly and couldn’t have been more helpful, especially in Azay le Rideau. The restaurants you chose for us were excellent…thank you. Loved the bike ride through great countryside. We would have no hesitation in recommending your company. In fact have already done so and one day we hope to do another trip with you. Kind regards, Mary & Ted

Dear Robert,

I just that I should let you know that the Loire walking trip that you organised for us was a great success. Somewhat to my surprise the whole enterprise went like clockwork. Taxis turned up on time, bags went to the right places, and hotels were expecting us to arrive. Walking for 4 or 5 hours does take some getting used to and we did rather gratefully rest on the third day. The trails were empty; I was rather expecting to be in the midst of interminable groups of tourists,  but in 6 days we essentially saw no other walkers. The accommodation was all fine, and the one hotel that hadn’t been used before, with a name like Plantagenets in Chinon proved to be a pleasant family-run business.  Fortunately there are several restaurants open in Saumur on a Monday and the hotel reception pointed us to a place called Escargot which was excellent. The restaurants were good about preparing a vegetarian meal for Ione. Again a bit of a surprise given the French attitude to vegetarian dishes. We will definitely be looking for more walks in France so this is really just to encourage you to maintain that side of your business. It was a wonderful experience. Pleasant walks and terrific food. Best wishes,     Bob & Ione

Driving

Thanks Robert & Barbara,

just developed our photos and realized what a fantastic holiday we had with our very BEST FRIENDS, the Boococks & Nevilles.  A trip together that we have talked about for a very long time, eventually came to pass. We are very grateful to you for putting together a great road trip off the beaten track, with wonderful accommodation to match the occasion. We had such fun in our mini bus. Thanks once again and we have raved on about that south west corner of France – I am sure others will want to explore it in the future. Perhaps not to Collioure at that time as it was the boozy ‘Fetes De St Vincent’ festival, which also included a ‘Bull Fight ‘, so very busy. But we handled it ok.          Cheers,  Linden & Julie

Dear Robert,

Thank you for arranging our trip to Bordeaux and the Dordogne, we had the most wonderful time. All of your arrangements were of the highest order, it is great to rely on your knowledge and experience.  Some brief notes:  1) Bordeaux, a wonderful city and the Majestic Hotel provided great centrally located accommodation.   2) Les Eyzies. The accommodation was great and the restaurant excellent. Lascaux was an inspiration.             3) Sarlat.  The accommodation and the hosts were out of this world, they would love to see more NZers staying with them. They have purchased another property to do up and operate. Sarlat is a great base and a very interesting town, we spent one whole day exploring it.   4) Turenne, one of those little jewels you seem to find.  The dinner was sublime – we had had some great meals, but this one outshone them all by some margin. Again the hosts would like to see more NZers.  The return drive to Liborne was no problem and we were in good time to catch the TGV to Paris. As always the road directions were comprehensive, any wrong turns, and there were very few, were our fault. Thank you again for the arrangements.    Regards Warwick and Pat

Hi Robert,

The trip was brilliant. We all had a great time – this is a great area of France. Thank you for your ideas and recommendations, the only issue we have had is none of us wanted to come back home! Thank you, Russell

Hi Robert,

A brief email to let you know we are home safely and that the trip was great. All the arrangements worked perfectly and we were not lost once. We loved Strasbourg and the Hotel de l’Europe. Chateau de Germigney was fabulous. They gave us their huge suite and were so warm and welcoming. Dinner was a delicious experience and a real treat. Several of the hotels gave us their smaller rooms – however all were clean and ok.  Beaune was another highlight. I think we managed all the side trips suggested despite (or maybe because of) less than perfect (cool and damp) weather. It poured in Colmar – this became a bonus as we spent a couple of hours in the wonderful Musee d’ Interlinden. Thank you so much for your meticulous plans which enabled us to discover things we would not otherwise have done, and made this sector of our trip so enjoyable.    Regards and Merry Christmas, Heather & Roger

Dear Robert,

We have now returned from our almost 6 week first trip to UK and Europe and revelling in the wonderful experience we have had. We have much to thank you for in all the reservations and plans you made for us,  from arriving in St Malo until we left Paris. Once underway we fully appreciated just how much knowledge, research and detail you had contributed to our ease of travelling about and enjoyment of our time in France. The quieter roads were just what we had hoped for – making it easy to stop for photos, ask about crops, do wine tasting or just view the scenery – and every turn you had anticipated and given us directions. Your knowledge of the country and advice on places to visit and to eat was invaluable and the little family run hotels were absolute gems – we had excellent in-house meals at Le Moulin Fleuri and Le Relais Fleuri Hotel.  We found Place Madeleine to be an amazingly handy location from which to find most of Paris’s tourist icons and in Hotel La Sanguine a safe, helpful and friendly environment. We thank you for the competent, efficient, approachable and friendly way in which you structured our Bespoke tour to suit us and give us an incredible experience.   Kind Regards, Nola & Bruce