Wine and cheese chat and tour of Père Lachaise cemetery! ...................NEW!

A "Joie de Vivre" Paris event with Harriet and Philippe Rochefort!

Join Harriet and Philippe Rochefort for a unique event that combines a visit to the renowned Père Lachaise cemetery, the permanent resting place of eminent figures such as Oscar Wilde, Chopin and Jim Morrison with a wine and cheese chat, a tasting and discovery of French wines and cheeses in their nearby apartment.

The cemetery has thousands of graves in the form of a chapel (this is a middle-sized one).


The Père Lachaise cemetery

  • The vast and leafy green Père Lachaise cemetery was founded in 1804 on a hilly site in eastern Paris originally inhabited by a community of retired Jesuit priests, notably Louis XIV’s confessor Father François d’Aix de La Chaise, for whom the cemetery is named.

  • Although justified by the urgent need for hygiene and space, the new cemetery had a hard time taking off - until the government transferred the remains of a few famous people, among them Heloise and Abelard, Molière and La Fontaine and it became the chic place to spend eternity.

The Wine and Cheese Chat and a Tour of Père Lachaise Cemetery includes :

  • 1 1/2 hour tasting of eight carefully selected artisanal cheeses, fresh baguettes and other French breads and four paired wines
  • 1 1/2 hour tour of the most important monuments in the famous Père Lachaise cemetery
  • A complete explanation and written list of each cheese and wine
  • Answers to your questions about the Père Lachaise, our selected wines and cheeses, France and the French.

Total time : 3 hours
Minimum 5, maximum 8

For more details, please contact us.

My husband and I had the pleasure of touring Pere Lachaise cemetery with Philippe and Harriet Welty Rochefort. Philippe is a native Parisian and is passionate about Parisian cultural history -- so knowledgeable! And after forty years in Paris, Harriet is also extremely well versed and brings an American perspective to the discussions. Even better, Pere Lachaise is their "neighborhood walk." Philippe knows all the stories, from the historical to the sad to the romantic to the salacious. The fabled cemetery is truly beautiful, but when you add the expert commentary from Philippe you feel like you are in the midst of a magical documentary. We also had the privilege of visiting Philippe and Harriet's sunny, book-filled Parisian apartment. This is the real deal ... how true Parisians live. (Hint : No big screen TV -- it's about the quality of conversation, wine and food.) And yes, this couple gets great joy from sharing their knowledge of French wine and cheese. The juxtaposition of Parisian history with the "here and now" sensuality of the tastings creates a truly memorable experience. I highly recommend adding an afternoon with Harriet and Philippe to your Parisian itinerary! (Lucy Sieger, Knoxville, TN)

Click HERE for a description of our other wine and cheese activities.

  • In 1871 La Commune, a revolutionary government ruled France for three months,. The last battle between the rebels and the regular army took place in the Pere Lachaise. After a fierce fight inside the cemetery, the last rebels were shot at what is now known as the Mur des Fédérés (Communards’ Wall).

  • Among its most famous inhabitants are Chopin, Sarah Bernhardt, Edith Piaf, Modigliani, Gertrude Stein, Proust, Balzac, Jim Morrison, Yves Montand, Simone Signoret, Oscar Wilde.

  • Today 44 hectares (110 acres) planted with some 5,000 trees harbor approximately 70,000 graves and thousands of urns on either side of its 60-odd miles of cobbled lanes. Price (perpetual) : $1,700 /sq.ft.

A strange grave! Trying to escape ?

 About your Franco-American hosts

Harriet Welty Rochefort, a former journalist and professor of journalism, is the author of three books about the French (see her site and read A walk in the Père Lachaise). She is currently writing an historical novel set in France during the Occupation (1940-1944).

Philippe Rochefort is a retired international bank executive who recently earned his Ph.d in History from the Sorbonne (see his resume).


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Harriet Welty Rochefort writes articles and books about France and the French. Order her books :

  • "Joie de Vivre", Secrets of Wining, Dining and Romancing like the French, St.Martin's Press, New York, 2012
  • "French Toast, An American in Paris Celebrates The Maddening Mysteries of the French", St.Martin's Press, New York, 1999
  • "French Fried, The Culinary Capers of An American in Paris", St.Martin's Press, New York, 2001

More on Harriet's books (excerpts, upcoming events, testimonials, etc..)

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