Taking my teens, ages 15 and 13, to Paris for the first time. Can anyone recommend a chocolate tour or French cooking lesson that would be appropriate for teens? Thanks in advance!
I don't have any experience with traveling with teens, but I did take a baking class in Paris last September through Cook'n With Class. There weren't teens in my class, but their website says 12 and up are welcome. We all participated in making the recipes, but it was more like we just got to help a little to get a feel for the skill, so I'm sure they're capable of participating at that age. (We made croissants, so we all got to take a turn rolling out the dough, and we all shaped a couple of croissants). I had a great time. I imagine that since your kids are teens, they're probably welcome at most schools or tours, you'll just want to judge whether they are interested enough and mature enough to be respectful.
Paris Walks (http://www.paris-walks.com/) sometimes does a chocolate tour. Check their website to see if it is offered while you are there. It is a good value. You taste various chocolates and chocolate pastries along the way.
I've taken 4 classes over the years at Cook'n with Class (http://www.cooknwithclass.com/) - baking, bread baking, wine and food pairing, market tour and dinner; all were good and they were fun, but they are on the expensive side. With the exception of the wine and food pairing, all would be fine for a teen.
On my last trip, I took a lunch time souffle class at La Cuisine (http://lacuisineparis.com/). I enjoyed the class and our class ended up with only 3 students (not the norm) so we got lots of individual attention; they have some shorter and less expensive lunch classes and if you don't want to make a big commitment, one of these might be a good choice.
I've also taken a class at Le Cordon Bleu. The class I took was a market walk and demo. I loved the market walk, but did not care for the demo and I don't think a teen would like a demo class. If you look here, check for a hands on class.
I've used Paris Walks mutiple times (they have MANY topics) and have taken their Chocolate Walk at least 3 times over the years and will do it again this coming Fall. It was fun and informative (and tasty!), visiting several shops with tastings. I don't see an age limit on their Website but you might want to double check with them about that and any reduced price for kids.
I've done a lot of research on cooking classes in Paris and many are much more expensive than I prefer. Some of the least expensive (65 euros) are the lunch ones at La Cuisine (I've done several classes with them). Classes are in English and are very much hands-on, NOT demonstrations. They're well-taught and fun, ending with eating everything you make - miam!
I also attended a demonstration class (45 euro) at La Cordon Bleu (but I agree that teens might not like to sit through one of those. They do have hands-on classes available too but they're VERY expensive (at least for my budget).
How wonderful that you're introducing them to this beautiful city, especially to the food and the chocolate!
The Paris Walks chocolate tour guide, Iris, tells lots of stories about chocolate as you walk through lovely old areas of Paris. However, the tastings are dark chocolate - the French specialty. If the kids aren't going to like that, then skip the tour. Do take them to Angelina's in any event for hot chocolate (Le chocolat chaud à l’ancienne dit “l’Africain”) and pastries. It's a little pricey but oh-so-good. http://www.angelina-paris.fr/en/#/home/