Food fans tired of the same old walking tours in New York now have a new option: a private, food-art tour inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Art Smart—a company that hosts all kinds of museum and gallery tours—just announced "Feast Your Eyes," their latest offering. For two hours, guests get a chance to see and hear about paintings and sculptures from various collections inside the Met that are likely to make you hungry. Topics include beer and bread staples of ancient Egypt, Dutch Golden Age paintings, the development of the dinner setting, ostentatious European rituals and wine drinking games, the absinthe-drinking café society of Impressionist art circles in Paris, the rise of the coffee shop and café culture in Vienna, and cocktails and dining during the Jazz Age.
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Prices vary depending on group size: For one to five people, there is a base fee of $400 for the two-hour experience, plus museum admission fees ($22 for adults, $10 for kids and $15 for seniors). Once you get six or more people together, the base fee is removed and the tour costs $40 per person per hour, plus museum admission (call 212-595-4444 for group reservations). Attendees need not wait in any lines as the tour guide will have procured these in advance. Guide Joanna MacFarland leads the tour, though you can also opt to get the observations of chef and food historian Kelila Jaffe for an additional $150 an hour, according to company founder and president Judith Walsh.
Other personalized touches range from getting recommendations about where and what to eat in the museum to having Art Smart's team assist in private food and wine tastings at nearby restaurants. Consider eating before you arrive; store-bought snacks are not allowed inside the museum.