Experience

St. Petersburg & Paris: A Luxurious Cultural Escape

Europe is renowned the world over for its old-world glamor and timeless elegance. But St. Petersburg and Paris are two cities which epitomise this more than most. Each as jaw-droppingly beautiful as the other but each with its own unique sense of style and cultural tale, they make for the perfect combination. On this eight-night cultural escape, you’ll start off in St Petersburg with days filled by Tchaikovsky, Fabergé and the Tsars before heading west to Paris, the Louvre and private perfume blending and caviar tasting experiences. Staying in iconic hotels and dining at exclusive restaurants, this is a slice of Europe in all its glory.

A Night in St. Petersburg

Arriving into the old-world glamor of St. Petersburg, you’ll be collected in style from the airport and whisked off to one of the city’s most iconic hotels – Hotel Astoria. Dating back to 1912, the Astoria boasts an illustrious address, sitting just a stone’s throw from Palace Square and the Mariinsky Theatre. Ticking off another St. Petersburg institution, time your arrival for a Friday and spend your first evening experiencing Tchaikovsky night at the famed l’Europe restaurant, where dinner is served with a side of ballet.

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Tomorrow, you’ll get to know St. Petersburg better with a private tour of the city in the morning, taking in Nevsky Prospect and other iconic sights, before joining your private guide at the Fabergé  Museum. Celebrating the work of legendary jeweller, Peter Carl Fabergé, the Museum houses a collection of fine artworks, including nine of the legendary Fabergé Imperial Easter eggs, designed for the last two Russian Tsars. In the afternoon, you’ll then take in the renowned collections of the State Hermitage Museum. Totalling over three million items and the world’s largest collection of paintings, there’s no need to rush here.

From Russia, with love

The next morning, you’ll join your private guide as you head out of the city to Peterhof. Russia’s answer to the Palace of Versailles, the UNESCO site is a stunning display of gardens and palaces where you’ll easily lose an hour or more strolling the staterooms and lawns. After a decadent afternoon tea back at the hotel, you’ll then spend the evening at the Michailovsky Theatre where you’ll be treated to VIP backstage access before enjoying that evening’s ballet in the utmost style in the Astoria’s private box. Take tomorrow to see the city at your own pace, perhaps with a visit to Tsarskoye Selo, before jumping on a plane the next morning to the City of Lights.

Picture-Perfect Paris

Touchdown in Paris and check into the effortlessly stylish Hotel de Crillon, your home for the next four nights. In this cultural escape, we thought there could only really be one logical starting place, The Louvre. So, tomorrow morning, you’ll join one of the curators for a VIP behind-the-scenes tour, far from the camera phones that clamour over the Mona Lisa to take you into some of the museum’s most incredible sights.

A Spritz, a Sip and a Soupçon

The following day is one filled with glitz and glamor as you attend a perfume making workstore in the morning, blending floral, citrus and wooded notes to create your own signature scent. You’ll then continue onto one of Paris’ leading caviar houses, La Maison du Caviar for a private champagne and caviar tasting session. Whether connoisseur or neophyte, discover a love of caviar that will have you booking into lunch in the restaurant after.

The Grand Finale

To bring together the best of St. Petersburg and the best of Paris, one TV programme has caught our attention – the Romanoffs. Epitomising Russian grandeur and dabbling in French elegance, this afternoon brings all that you’ve seen so far together with a private history tour led by an expert guide on the famous family. Take in the sights they saw and the places they stayed as documented in the show, before gaining further insight tomorrow with a specialist tour on how immigration over the years has changed the face of Parisian culture. Just like that, it’s time to return home; as you await take off and debate which city stole your heart, just know that both have ours.

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