Testimonials

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“When we arrived at the train station in Beaune, she was there waiting for us to start our day in     Burgundy I knew she was an American living in France, but it soon became apparent how well Diana was received by the locals. She was one of them, she spoke the language fluently and had cultivated deep relationships. Her knowledge of the history, the wineries and ways of Burgundy were invaluable. I felt as if I had known Diana my whole life. We couldn't of asked for a more enjoyable and relaxing day. Her charm along with her expertise made for a special day.

M. Manookian San Francisco, CA

"Having taken other small group luxury tours for years, traveling with The Hidden France team takes the experience to another level. Diana Williams and her associates always put their clients first. Staying in only the best places (which are sometimes off limits to other groups), eating in restaurants before they are discovered, and having exclusive wine tastings with some of the outstanding wine makers, only tells a part of the story."

B. Harwood Maplewood, NJ

“My husband and I spent a beautiful summer day touring Burgundy with Diana. She is extremely knowledgeable in Burgundy's rich history, culture, wine and the wine making process. We really enjoyed learning the nuances of the region, and having a local expert to guide us was critical to get the most out of our short visit. Diana went out of her way to make our trip a memorable one and completely customized our day to our interests and truly took us off the beaten path. We couldn't have been more pleased with our experience and have highly recommend Diana to friends.”

M. and O. Shumacker Chicago, IL 

“We LOVED having you as our guide/mentor/new friend/go-to person! I am recommending you and your services to everyone I know who is talking about going either to France or Italy. Our trip was absolutely seamless - even though you had so many people with individual problems and dietary restrictions! You are so organized, informed, creative (great photos and slide show - and you did it so quickly!) You acted as if everyone in the group was an old friend, instead of a stranger; but, at the same time, never forgot your professionalism and leadership role. I truly look forward to our next trip with you - wherever and whenever that might be.”

S. and G. Kraft, Sous-Commanderie des Chevaliers du Tastevin Boston, MA

“Our trip with Hidden France was perfection; no detail was too trivial for Diana to resolve. She thought of everything, and we felt thoroughly indulged and rested.”

S. Fiennes and J. Tenison

“Hidden France is exactly as it's name describes; Diana knows every secret there is to be known- from what to order at the best local restaurant to which wine maker will spend an hour sharing their best Grand Crus. We wanted a quiet weekend away to celebrate a big anniversary and Diana set it up such that we had as much time as we wanted to ourselves whilst also having this amazing guide wherever or whenever needed. We are already planning another trip which we will ask her to lead and may take a group of friends so that they can enjoy Hidden France's amazing hospitality. We have been fortunate enough to have guides take us to many places and none have come close to the thoughtfulness, professionalism and enjoyable company. Worth absolutely every penny for what feels like a 'behind the scenes' VIP tour of Burgundy.”

C. and H. Bentinck, NJ

"We were in Beaune for a weekend wedding and wanted to take a tour of the wine region. Diana was wonderful! Even though our plans were constantly changing, she was ready with options and ideas to maximize our time. We shared wine and a wonderful lunch and couldn't have been happier. Diana was knowledgeable and patient with us. I felt like I'd known her for years We'll definitely make another trip!"

N. and D. Borden Boston, MA

“We have traveled around the world on many occasions but rate Diana Williams Gambal as our best tour leader in all categories from advance planning, daily travel, greetings by hotel staffs, daily tours to vineyards and historic sites, dining, and making sure all the dots were always connected. We look forward to a future trip with Diana Williams.” 

 G. and J. Clark, Baltimore, MD 

“My husband and I were part of a Wine and Food Society tour of Chablis, Burgundy and Provence, visiting vineyards, tasting many wines and staying in beautiful accommodations in "Hidden France”. Our director, Diana Williams Gambal, was knowledgeable and personally known to many owners of vineyards we visited. She was resourceful in reserving restaurants, inns and hotels for all of the sixteen members of our group to enjoy. In addition, she arranged interesting tours of towns and cities we visited. Diana was creative and attentive to individual participant concerns and requests. She was skillful in planning a wonderful itinerary for our Wine and Food Society group.” 

C. and M. Meredith, Baltimore, MD

"It was my second time to join the tour of Hidden France while we went to Piemonte in Northern Italy, very famous with local wine and trifle. This time unfortunately my husband could not join me in the tour and I was an only Japanese participants among all those coming from the States. On the way to Piemonte I was a bit worried about the tour but it turned out to be one of the most memorable and unforgettable tour that I ever joined in my life. Thank you Rick (my husband) for not having joined me. I love you so much!!  The tour of Hidden France was made up with the three elements, drinking, eating and biking or hiking. Among them hiking (I never even tried biking!) is usually the most challenging for me but I really enjoyed it this time thanks to Diana's well thought-out planning based upon her incredible preparatory hard works through her four times trips there in advance to the tour. My American buddies (especially a gentleman from New Jersey) on this tour also made this tour one of the most enjoyable and exciting for me. Everyday we drank and ate a lot then walked a lot while semi drunken together all the time. My buddies were so open and kind that I had no problem of communicating with them in my poor English. The next tour of Hidden France has already been scheduled to Portugal in early May this year and Diana should be quite busy with her preparatory hard works again. I will be there again with my American buddies and another Japanese, Rick, who can join me this time!

S. Ishii, Tokyo, Japan

“We assure you, if you hire Diana Williams to plan your trip, wherever it may be, you will have the journey of a lifetime, as did we! We cannot speak highly enough of her many skills.” 

J. and B. Smelkinson, Baltimore, MD 

“Hidden France designed an unbelievable and unique experience that shared with us areas of Burgundy that we would not have even imagined doing on our own. Diana’s attention to detail made the trip very easy. The wines, restaurants, scenery and experiences were simply spectacular.” 

 C. and S. Hemmersmeier, Salt Lake City, UT 

“Indeed, we have been most fortunate to tour Burgundy with the very charming Diana Williams Gambal. In both small group and private tours, we have been able to taste our beloved Burgundy wine with many of the leading Vignerons de Bourgogne. Diana makes every minute of your tour an education on the history, the wine and the beautiful scenery in the region. We have always been delighted with the restaurants and the local wine and food she selects for our enjoyment. Most importantly, the pace of our tours with Hidden France allows ample time to wander through the vineyards have an extra glass of wine or linger in the interesting small shops of Beaune.” 

 B. and V. Paterson, Naples, FL  

 “Hi Diana, I just wanted to thank you again for an absolutely wonderful time. We’re having great fun going through and organizing all the pictures and it brings back great memories. Your knowledge of and enthusiasm for the region (and its wines) added a dimension to our vacation that we could not have achieved on our own. It was a pleasure to meet you and Alex and we are grateful for the knowledge that you shared as well as your hospitality. Best of luck - until we meet again! 

A. and D. Jones, Sanibel, FL

“Indeed, we have been most fortunate to tour Burgundy with the very charming Diana Williams Gambal. Diana makes every minute of your tour an education on the history, the wine and the beautiful scenery in the region. We have always been delighted with the restaurants and the local wine and food she selects for our enjoyment. Most importantly, the pace of our tours with Hidden France allows ample time to wander through the vineyards have an extra glass of wine or linger in the interesting small shops of Beaune. Diana also organizes some time with her always busy, husband, Vigneron Alex Gambal. He is American by birth but clearly is respected by the other wine makers for his skill in producing exceptional wine.” 

Toujours en Vin, W. and B. Paterson, Naples, FL 


"From our first contact with Diana it was clear that she was committed to making sure that our trip to Burgundy was everything we wanted it to be without compromises. While in Burgundy no request was too much. When we met in Dijon we immediately felt that this was going to be an experience quite different from other biking and multisport trips we had taken in the past. Diana was extremely flexible and able to accommodate with ease any request and change of plans. The high point of our first day of biking (Alex was able to bike with us that day) was our 4-hour lunch at a remote farmhouse. We started out as clients and ended the lunch laughing, swearing and drinking wonderful wines with Diana & Alex, coloring the rest of our trip. When we left Burgundy we not only gained appreciation for such a beautiful area of France, but we also gained two very dear friends."

J. Brochstein and A. Styles Chappaqua, NY

"Hidden France has done it again! Our itinerary was well thought out, beautifully executed and marvelously filled with suprises! We came to love this glorious part of France because of the experiences Diana planned for us and special things about Normandy and Brittany she introduced us to. Diana is one, and has access to many, of France's most experienced and knowledgeable tour guides and was able to provide behind the scenes access to many of the most famous and beautiful places in Normandy, Brittany and Mt. St. Michel. Her attention to detail and heartfelt desire to make everyone's trip wonderfully fun was also evident in the many great meals, picnics, wines and ciders of each area's best restaurants, cafes and small out of the way stops for a coffee and a pastry or 2!  And every hotel we stayed in was truly over the top - a wonderful respite at the end of each day." 

J. Sherman, Captiva, FL

“I wanted to let you know that the two days we spent with you touring the Cote d’Or was the highlight of our trip. Your knowledge of Burgundy and winemaking is impressive, and you are a skilled guide in sharing that knowledge with your clients. In addition, your personal friendships with many Burgundian winemakers provided us access to people and places we never would have had the opportunity to experience if not for you. More importantly, our two days together was more like an outing with a friend than a commercial tour. Your selection of lunch spots was superb, and time seemed to fly by. Our ramble through Chambolle Musigny with one of Alex’s wines was a charming conclusion to our visit.”

D. Gatchell St. Louis, MO

“Visiting and biking through the Burgundy region has always been on our bucket list. Unfortunately we only had one day to spend with Diana. She sent us the agenda and we were ecstatic. Riding through the vineyards and small towns was a real treat. We would periodically stop and she would explain to us the history of the region, the winemakers, the grape varietals and the timing of the harvest. We had a fabulous lunch with wine at La Montrachet. Then we rode back to Beaune on a different route. We also were able to visit the Alex Gambal Winery for a tasting and tour and that was delightful. Her hotel and restaurant recommendations were very helpful. We can not wait to get back to the region and have Diana schedule a more elaborate and extensive stay.”

P. and C. Rafield Birmingham, AL

“My husband and I spent a wonderful day with Diana. After explaining our interests and knowledge, she tailored a special day exploring the Côte d'Or. Diana truly understood our sensibilities. She taught us about the rich history of Burgundy and introduced us to some delicious wines. Our lunch was incredible and the company even better. We are looking forward receiving the case of wine we purchased to continue remembering this great day in Burgundy.”

C. and M. Black San Diego, CA

“We are confessed Hidden France junkies. We are so fortunate to have had the marvelous pleasure of traveling with Diana Williams, Hidden France’s founder, on each and every one of her well researched, fun filled, remarkable trips in some of the most beautiful places in France and Italy.Each adventure was filled with unique experiences. Every day was most carefully planned, no detail too small or overlooked, with lots of room, too, for spontaneous whims and chances to dig deeper into our explorations both of the paths along which were traveling but of ourselves too.. We had dozens of opportunities to meet with local wine makers to taste and learn about their amazing wines. And the histories of their vineyards and their winemaking families and cultures.  We shared meals at restaurants that are small, intimate and serving local meals using the incredible bounty of the local markets and Michelin starred restaurants that are famous to each region. And were so lucky to have stayed at some of Europe’s most wonderful hotels that pampered us with great service, wonderful rooms, stunning views…we never wanted to leave.  But each day brought a new anticipation of another great experience, a chance to feel that we were part of the countryside, town or village whether we were biking through the vineyards in Burgundy, walking in the foothills on the ancient pilgrims’ paths in Tuscany, or stopping for a quick cappuccino or glass of wine with a view overlooking the hill towns in Provence. It was always breathtaking and so incredible that we had to only reach out, lift our glasses and drink it all in. Never will we forget each experience, each day that was so well crafted, that leaves us begging for more.  Diana, encore une fois, merci beaucoup, c’etait magnifique!”

J. and D. Sherman New York, NY

“Our wine club does bi-annual trips to various wine areas around the world. My wife and I have been on five of these, and Hidden France with Diana Williams Gambal as our guide was the best! This was a result of Diana’s energy, attention to detail and her years of experience as a guide. She fit the two week trip to our group’s interests, vigor and wine knowledge. Although multi-lingual, Diana being American made communication and everything much easier. We hope to be able to use her again.” 

R. and E. Born, Lutherville, MD

“In the spring of 2016 Diana Williams Gambal of Hidden France led a 16-member group from the Baltimore Wine and Food Society on a two-week tour of French wineries and wine country in Burgundy, the Rhone Valley, and Provence. Her performance in this effort was simply outstanding. She set up 19 tastings in a variety of venues that ranged from top echelon producers to small wineries with lovely handmade offerings. At almost all of these wineries we had the opportunity to tour the caves, the vineyards, and the wine-making facilities. We usually did 'vertical tastings' that ranged from 'village' wines to Grand Crus. In addition, Diana arranged for a large number of sumptuous meals - lunches and dinners in high-end restaurants that served wonderful, quintessentially French cuisine. All of our accommodations were at Five Star hotels located in various lovely and historic towns throughout eastern France. Throughout our tour Diana was energetic, engaged, helpful, and always available. She knew important details about each of our hotels and towns in which they were located - places to tour, shop, eat, and taste. She speaks fluent French, is married to a winemaker in Beaune, and is exceptionally knowledgeable about the wines and wine-making practices of her adopted country. I would strongly recommend Diana Williams and Hidden France for large, fairly long-duration tours such as the one described above, but also for smaller groups and shorter time frames.” 

 E. and R. Zoll, Baltimore, MD

“Diana, thank you again. It is great to be back home, but we are still basking in the joys of our unbelievably great trip. It was magical & we can't wait to get back! We had such a great time getting to know both you & Alex. You were incredible hosts, and the trip you planned could not have been any better.” S. and K. Pretzer, Raleigh, NC “We had a perfect trip to Provence with Hidden France. Every detail of the trip was thoughtfully arranged by Diana and nothing was left to chance. The hotels were charming and lovely, the food was out of this world, the wine was delicious and everyone we met was just unbelievably nice to us. We rode high quality bikes or hiked every day, which I highly recommend, as a great way to see the countryside and an even better way to keep the calories off! The best part of Hidden France is spending time with Diana who knows everything about the region, the culture and the wine. Also, Diana can customize your trip so you are getting exactly what you want. I highly recommend Hidden France – you won’t be disappointed!” 

E. Pearsall and N. Jannotta, Jackson Hole, WY

“Even having previously traveled to various parts of France, I congratulate myself for having engaged Diana Williams Gambal of The Hidden France to advise, arrange, and oversee, in June, 2014, the flawless visit of my wife and me to Alsace and Champagne. Knowledgeable of wine, restaurants, hotels, and culture, of the nuances of transport and comfort, and sensitive to the individual needs and desires of her clients, Diana, by meticulous preparation, removed all burdens of logistics to allow maximum focus on what w came for. She is equipped to do the same everywhere in France. Diana is accommodating and patient, a comfortable and safe driver, informative, flexible, and easy to be with. We never tired of her presence; on the contrary, we were more and more pleased. While not one to make recommendations, I enthusiastically commend her to make your trip approach perfection." 

H. and A. Finkel, Brookline, MA

“Thank you again. Excellent day! You, the tour, the lunch, the tasting with your husband! Tout est parfait!!”👍🍷💐 

 J. McNulty, Sebastopol, CA

"Beautiful countryside,meaningful history (Mt. St. Michel, the Bayeux Tapestry and the Normandy Beaches ) all presented in a superbly crafted package accompanied by great food and drink (cider and the freshest seafood imaginable). This 5th trip with Diana and Hidden France won't soon be forgotten." 

 B. Harwood, Maplewood, NJ


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