When you think of the great cities of Europe, you can’t help but think of London and Paris. Nowhere in the world does ornate old-world luxury meets modern city chic quite as sublimely as these two after all. The alluring grandeur of the British monarchy draws crowds to London from miles around and the fashion and food awaiting them in Paris is the only thing that can lure them away. Fancy spending a week experiencing a glorious mixture of the two? In London, take in all things royal and historic with everything from exclusive private tours of HMS Belfast and Kensington Palace to private viewings of the world’s most famous jewellery collection, the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London. You’ll then hop the channel to immerse yourself in stylish Paris, as you try your hand at French Patisserie in our unique master-class, take a romantic sunset trip up the Eiffel Tower followed by dinner at a Two Michelin Star restaurant and get behind the velvet rope at the Palace of Versailles. All of this topped off with a quintessential country retreat, what’s there to say no to?
Live like a King (of England)
Touchdown in the UK and we’ll be on hand to whisk you to Cliveden House, a grand hotel in the Berkshire countryside, right on the River Thames. Here you’ll rest your head for one night. Use this time to reset your engines after a tiring flight and prepare yourself for a jam-packed week of sight-seeing by indulging in a traditional British cream tea, exploring the house’s 376 acres of National Trust parkland or relaxing in the spa.Read more
The following day get your first glimpse of Old London Town when you check into the iconic Browns Hotel in Mayfair for three nights. Just a stone’s throw from some of London’s most fashionable boutiques, this location is enough to give Paris a run for its money in the fashion stakes. Once you’ve dropped your bags off in your room make your way to Wellington Barracks in Westminster where, in true Black Tomato style, a private guide will take you for a unique experience watching the Changing of the Guard ceremony from within the parade grounds. You will be in a privileged position away from the heaving crowds and standing right next to the soldiers. If you ask nicely, they may even let you try on a bearskin. Then head over to the Cabinet War Rooms, a fascinating underground complex that the British government used as a command centre during World War II. You will be given a private tour with the Director who will take you to explore hidden rooms where British legend Winston Churchill made world-altering decisions.
The Royal Touch
For the next couple of days, your mind will be on the monarchy as you wake up bright and early to take a trip to the Tower of London before it opens and have one of the city’s busiest tourist attractions all to yourself. Witness the dazzling beauty of the Crown Jewels, made even more spectacular by the lack of tourists jostling for prime viewing position, as you have a seldom-allowed private viewing. Once your eyes have had enough of the sparkle, find your sea legs to board the historic warship, HMS Belfast, for a private tour of the decks with a few exciting Black Tomato surprises thrown in along the way. End your fascinating day in a truly special way by taking a London Eye ride with a difference. You will be given a pod all to yourself to watch the sunset behind the skyscrapers. With the rest of the city far below and a glass of champagne in hand, cheers to a fabulous start to your chic city break.
The following day the magic continues as you visit Kensington Palace, the home of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, for a private tour around the magnificent State Rooms. Perhaps you also want to see the home of royalty from centuries gone by? At Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace you, and only you, will be taken up to the rooftop to get a tour and unique bird’s eye view of the magnificent gardens below. In the afternoon, return to Central London and while away the hours browsing with the help of a personal shopper in glamorous Bond Street’s designer shops.
Hoping to return from London with a few of the British manners having rubbed off on you? We can arrange for you to have a private breakfast before leaving for Paris with a British Etiquette expert who will give you some seriously posh dinner table tips to impress your friends with. You will then be dropped off at St. Pancras Station where you will have to bid adieu to the red post boxes and double-decker buses of London and say bonjour to the cobbled streets of Paris. Only a two and a half hour Eurostar ride (in business class of course) and you will suddenly emerge from Gare du Nord station into The City of Love, your home for the next three nights.
During your time in Paris, you will be staying at one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, the distinguished Ritz Paris. Sleep in the same suites as the likes of Coco Chanel and Charlie Chaplin, and treat yourself to a Bloody Mary in Ernest Hemingway’s favourite bar, now named in honour of him, Bar Hemingway. This hotel is the embodiment of classic Parisian chic.
After an already indulgent petit-dejeuner spend your first morning in Paris learning to make rich pains-au-chocolat and dainty macarons in an exclusive French patisserie master-class. Feel free to occupy yourself in the afternoon shopping in the architecturally stunning Galeries Lafayette and strolling along the Champs-Élysées to burn off all those scrumptious treats. Perhaps seeing the Mona Lisa with your own eyes is on the bucket-list, if so wander over to the Louvre. As the world’s largest art museum and holding some of the greatest masterpieces such as Delacroix’s patriotic ‘La Liberté Guidant le Peuple’ and the ‘Venus de Milo’ statue the Louvre is not to be missed- whether you are an art aficionado or not. Don’t worry we haven’t forgotten about Paris’ most famous attraction, in the evening you will be going up the Eiffel Tower. With a different perspective of Paris from every floor choose your favourite spot and take in gorgeous views of the Seine and Notre-Dame as the sun sets before dining at Two Michelin Star restaurant Le Jules Verne. Oh so romantic.
For the final day of your trip, we have something very special planned, Versailles. A 17th century World Heritage Site and the home of French Kings until the French Revolution of 1789, the Palace of Versailles is an architectural and artistic marvel. You will spend an entire day there with a private guide wandering in the glorious gardens and perusing its exhibitions. An aptly opulent end to a luxurious European city break. Tomorrow you will fly home from Charles de Gaulle Airport and will no doubt be desperate to showcase your British etiquette and French patisserie skills to your friends when you arrive.