You may be surprised to know Paris and London are an ideal pairing for a quick trip abroad, allowing enough time to sample the food, the arts and the shopping. Close enough to travel by train but far enough apart in culture to feel distinct and special, Paris and London won’t leave you disappointed.
We traveled to Paris and London for a quick pre-Thanksgiving getaway to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. We didn’t have a ton of time to be away so wanted to minimize our time in the air but still explore a new to us city abroad. November is an ideal time to go. The Christmas decorations were going up and twinkle lights make the cities sparkle at night. The weather is crisp but not so cold that you need heavy jackets; perfect for exploring on foot or bike. We began our trip as we flew in to Charles de ‘Guile airport in Paris.
Pro Tip: Whether you fly in to Paris or London, be prepared for a long trip to the city center. Traffic is at an all-time high in both cities, so pack your patience and enjoy the anticipation of exploring the city. Let us schedule a transfer for you to take the hassle out of long trip.
If you are familiar with Mandarin Oriental’s signature style, you’ll know what we mean when we say The Mandarin Oriental Paris represents modern Paris beautifully. Situated on rue Saint-Honoré and just steps from Place Vendôme, one of the most stylish districts in the world, Mandarin Oriental, Paris enjoys a wonderfully chic location. It’s within walking distance to the Louvre and surrounded by excellent Parisian bistros. The lobby has a lounge vibe with modern art, a glass fireplace and plush couches.
Friendly, welcoming and attentive are hallmarks of their legendary service and the Paris location offers plenty of opportunities to be served. Enjoy complimentary breakfast in the hotel’s garden, indulge in a patisserie in the cake shop or 2 Michelin star restaurant, Sur Mesure Par Thierry Marx.
Pro Tip: Ask the concierge for dinner suggestions and make reservations. You’ll be tired after walking the city and won’t want to think about where to eat. The Mandarin Oriental concierges have great suggestions for every taste.
After a good night’s sleep, embark on a mystery bike tour of the city. A bike tour of Paris is an excellent way to get to know the city on a cellular level. So much to see and do, and each tour is different. I won’t spoil the mystery but think a stop at a boulagnerie for a fresh croissant, visits to the local markets, traveling through 16th century arcades, a stop to see Monet’s Water Lilies, a tour of Notre Dame, a ride through the Jewish Quarter for a world famous falafel.
Pro Tip: Use the Metro. It is one of the easiest subway systems to navigate and has stops in all of the places you could want to go. Buy a 10 trip pass to save a couple of dollars but keep your ticket until your ride is complete. Conductors have been known to ask to see your ticket and will levy a fine if you don’t have yours.
On the second full day in Paris, set off on foot to explore the places and sights that peaked your interests from the bike tour. A first stop might be the Louvre Museum to say hi to the Mona Lisa or spend the day shopping on the streets of Paris. Galeries Lafayette is an enormous upscale department store with everything from apparel to gift items and gourmets. Be sure to travel up to the roof for a spectacular view of the city and the Eiffel Tower.
Pro Tip: The Louvre is one of the largest museums in the world. If you are an art enthusiast and want to make the most of your time there, let us schedule a guided tour with one of our art experts. You’ll learn inside tidbits about the artists that bring the paintings to life. As you leave the Louvre, be sure to make a stop at Angelina’s for afternoon tea or a hot chocolate and macaron to go.
Today, depart Paris for London but not before a quick trip to the see the Eiffel Tower. With a Metro stop two blocks from the tower, it’s an easy jaunt from the hotel with time to stop in and enjoy a café au latte and a pan chocolate. First class train service is a convenient and enjoyable way to travel from Paris to London, allowing you to skip the traffic to and from the airport. Enjoy a comfortable chair, a three course meal, a glass of wine and free wifi.
Pro Tip: Luggage is brought on to the train with you. If you aren’t one to pack lightly, we can arrange for your driver to assist with transferring your luggage with you.
The train arrives in the heart of London. The Mandarin Oriental is centrally located on the edge of Hyde Park. Nearby, you’ll find loads of restaurants and shopping. The famous Harrod’s shopping mecca is only a block away. A least once in your stay, enjoy breakfast in the restaurant and watch the Royal horses parade by on their way to report for duty.
Start your morning with a walking tour of London. Wander inside Westminster Abbey, hear the chimes of Big Ben, see the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, and stroll the arcades and classic shops of St. James. Walk a little further and you’ll be in the heart of Piccadilly Circle (think Times Square). London’s neighborhoods are eclectic; one with quaint cobblestoned paths and the next modern and sleek. Your feet will get tired long before your eyes will.
Pro Tip: London’s culinary scene and night life won’t disappoint. For the daring looking to try something a little adventurous, try the Out of the Blue experience at the famous Blue Bar in The Berkeley Hotel. You’ll have a full sensory experience as you sip mystery drinks and try to make out the components of each cocktail.
This morning, enjoy a spa treatment at the four-story spa at The Corinthia. Enjoy their large thermal baths, heated marble chaise lounges, saunas and steam rooms. Thoroughly relaxed, you’ll be ready for something to eat. No trip to London is complete without a formal afternoon tea and Mandarin Oriental has one of the best in town. The Rosebery is tranquil and calm with beautiful bay windows overlooking the bustling city street. A tea sommelier assists with pairing your teas with the food courses including finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and decadent desserts.
Pro Tip: Make sure you schedule your tea well after a meal, as you’ll want to leave room for all of the yummy treats.
Paris and London in six nights is perfect for a mother-daughter getaway or a romantic celebration. Let us help you plan your next special occasion. We love to share our insider knowledge with you and sprinkle in surprises and delights that make each stay that much more enjoyable.