France Intense Elite
Who am I ?
I am Pascal Mineau, born in Touraine. After completing five years of formal training in the hotel and restaurant industry, I worked for 10 years in Paris and in Great Britain as a Sommelier, Chef Sommelier, and finally Director of a Michelin Starred restaurant.
In 2003 I created a tourism enterprise, developing it into the France Intense umbrella which now includes France Guided Tours, France Intense Events, France Intense Elite and France Intense Bikers.
As a self-made man and tireless entrepreneur, I continue to develop my businesses with unending enthusiasm.
I am committed to providing every client with rich and unique experiences which include enjoying the extraordinary cultural and gastronomic heritage of France. An awareness of the beauty and goodness that surrounds so much of what makes France great also makes me a fervent lover of her history as well.
After years of traveling the world, I am convinced that France is a top must-see destination. Her history is like an open book – with her wines and gastronomy nourishing the spirit as much as the body.
This love of wine led me on a new adventure to embrace the Ambacia cellars – which have been in existence since 1463! I have crafted it into a welcoming place of sharing and conviviality – all based around my wines which all spring directly from the Loire Valley.
A man of passion, I consider myself a genuine purveyor of France’s Art of Living!
Travelling is the best way to understand the world we live in – and though the Internet can be a great source of information, only one’s own experience really counts.
As far as I am concerned, there are a few essential aspects of a truly great vacation:
– Nature created millions of breathtaking landscapes which we have the opportunity to discover. When traveling to those places we have the responsibility to preserve them for future generations by doing our best to limit our impact.
– Everywhere on the planet, humans have built cities, chateaus, and villages in a unique style and in the process created their history and heritage. Knowing some of this history helps our understanding in the present, therefore touring a country with an expert guide opens the windows to a much richer experience at each destination.
– It is so important to meet the locals. Not just the guide but people who are ready to spend time with you to share their knowledge and passion for what they do for a living. At France Intense Elite you will meet these winemakers, chefs, cheese farmers, painters, ceramists, musicians, designers and many more – and the moments you share with them will be priceless.
– Whether on holiday or not, we must eat at least 3 times a day. The foods and wines of every nation are part of the culture and some of us are so proud of what we have been producing for centuries that we’ve evolved this into an artform, the “Art de Vivre”. It goes without saying that France has a strong reputation for food and wine, it’s another reason to choose your travel agent and tour operator carefully – in order to avoid surprises. With fine dining being an integral part of our identity, we’re keenly aware that there is much more to discover while experiencing the authentic “Art de Vivre en France”.
As a kid, I remember spending fantastic holidays at my grandparents’ farm. I now realize the freedom Jeanne & Maxime had. We had ducks, chickens, rabbits and a multitude of fresh fruits and vegetables. My passion for quality food probably started there.
Later on, after 5 years in hotel and management school, I started to work as a sommelier at a luxury hotel in Hertfordshire, UK. I also spent two years in Paris as the private Head Waiter for the French Minister of Health and did the same at The Hilton there as well. As time went by I had the opportunity to work in a number of different restaurants across England and Scotland to finally become in charge of a Michelin-Star-awarded restaurant in Bristol.
When I turned 30 I realized it was time to go home and start my own business. After the extensive experiences in fine dining, I shifted focus to tourism – organizing cultural, food & wine tours across France – purveying the same standards as the luxury hotels and restaurants I had worked in just prior.
I started out on my own, designing the tours, booking the hotels and wineries, and for a while being the sole Guide for my clients. With this success the company organically grew and now we welcome thousands of clients to every part of France from all over the world!
In 2017, I had the unique opportunity to buy a very old and deep historical wine cellar (caves) in Amboise. So now, in addition to France Intense I am the happy owner of Caves Ambacia, where we continue the tradition of making Loire Valley wines with wine tours and special tastings. As perhaps my “pièce de résistance” I was recently inspired to open a nice bistro there which overlooks the River Loire while promoting gastronomic creations of the very best local producers around us.
Since 1990, I have gathered a serious experience in the luxury service industry. France Intense creates and operates top quality tours in France. However, for our Elite customers, I wanted to develop a specific department dedicated to luxury tourism with a dedicated team. This is how France Intense Elite is born.
For you, we have carefully selected the very best hotels across the country. Because you are use to top quality service a luxury hotel is certainly not enough. I believe that your best souvenirs are liked with people more than places. I have learned that, thanks to the numerous Elite customers I had the chance to tour with. They taught a lot and I feel privileged to have met them (including my mentors from the USA).
Thank you very much to Joe & Connie!
I am convinced that successful holidays happen when we introduce you to the people with a passion for what they do. With France Intense Elite, you will meet local wine makers, chefs, tour guides, farmers, designers, artists ready to share their passion, their culture.
There is no better way to understand a country than meeting true locale.
I also believe that we have a responsibility for future generations. France Intense Elite will always privilege people and site with ethics and nature friendly.
A feast for the senses – on two wheels. Motorcycle touring, a long tradition enjoyed by the French, Europeans and travelers from all over the world, has never been more in-depth than with France Intense Moto.
If your idea of a dream trip is only about “riding the twisties” in the Alps, please move on – for that is only a small part of what we have to offer…
Ride through fields of lavender stretching to the horizon, take in the rich history at ancient castles, charmed villages, historic vineyards, cathedrals and vestiges of the Roman empire. Every day it’ll be kickstands down to taste the most amazing culinary creations, with fine cheeses, breads and wines.
Always stay two nights in a hand-picked selection of Five Star hotels or exquisite homes along your journey of discovery. We suggest being led by an experienced guide who will deepen the experience at every stop, or feel free to guide yourself with a complete itinerary and GPS. If you want to ride completely unencumbered, a support vehicle throughout is an available option.
Either way, no other tour curator can offer what France Intense Moto specializes in: Your ultimate trip!
Focusing on this one magnificent country, France Intense Elite specializes in luxury travel. Palaces, haute couture workshops, renowned gastronomy and wines, perfumeries and cosmetic makers – these are only some of what makes France THE luxury destination par excellence.
We assist in getting you off the beaten track to enjoy France’s deeper treasures, navigating to truly unique experiences and highlighting the French “art of living”. Come meet exceptional personalities and escape to exceptional places. Let us open the doors to the real France – the unusual, the exclusive – not easily accessed by the general public. The exceptional service and the moments you’ll experience will leave you with priceless memories. We plan alongside you, selecting the accommodations that suit your sensibilities – from among the finest villas, castles and estates where you’ll enjoy the utmost in comfort and excellence that France has to offer.
Le voyage de Luxe
Spécialiste de la France, France Intense Elite vous offre sa version du voyage de luxe. Palaces, ateliers de haute couture, food & wine, parfumerie et cosmétique, font de la France la destination luxe.
Sortez des sentiers battus et profitez des trésors que la France a à vous offrir ! Laissez-vous guider, nous vous emmenons pour une expérience unique, mettant en avant l’art de vivre à la France, à travers des rencontres, des personnalités insolites et des lieux d’exception. Nous vous ouvrons les portes de lieux magiques, insolites et non ouverts au grand public. L’excellence des prestations et des moments que vous vivez vous laissent un souvenir mémorable. Nous choisissons avec soin, l’hébergement qui vous convient le mieux parmi de nombreuses villas, domaines et châteaux. Profitez du confort de l’excellence en France.
Serving the Client
Your journey begins upon first contact with your Elite travel advisor/concierge, a person dedicated to personalizing the enjoyment of your stay in France. After learning about your wishes and interests, you’ll receive a detailed proposal from them for your individualized travel itinerary. Each request you have is answered in a timely fashion and the same Elite travel concierge remains virtually at your side before, during and even after your time here, as needed.
Conversations you have with your advisor allow them to get to know you better, and ideally well enough to anticipate your needs and expectations throughout you journeys in France.
Votre voyage commence dès votre premier contact avec votre “travel confident”. Cette personne sera votre interlocuteur privilégié pour la création de votre séjour en France. Après une étude personnalisée de vos envies et centres d’intêrets, nous vous adressons une proposition détaillée de votre itinéraire de voyage. Chacune de vos demandes reçoit une réponse en moins de 48 heures. Votre “travel confident” est votre contact exclusif avant, durant et après votre séjour, vous permettant d’avoir une relation de confiance.
Ce lien fort, nous permet d’apprendre à vous connaître afin d’anticiper au mieux vos attentes lors de votre séjour.
Why France Intense Elite ?
As unique as you
Here, we cultivate the Art of Living
Live unforgettable encounters
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you like what you do, you will succeed. ” – Albert Schweitzer
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo DaVinci
“Being benevolent is the best way to achieve your own happiness.” – Matthieu Ricard