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“Whoever does not visit Paris regularly will never really be elegant”, famously mused Honoré de Balzac.
Not ones to dispute the French literary great, we thought it best to arrange a weekend getaway to Paris pronto, to ensure elegance levels are maintained among our readers.
Appropriately setting the tone for a refined weekend, the winner (and a plus one) will be travelling to Paris in style thanks to Eurostar’s Business Premier class. Queuing n’est pas chic, so you’ll breeze through security and straight into the Business Premier lounge before settling into the crème de la crème of train carriages.
Two and a half hours later, you’ll emerge blinking in the City of Light and make tracks to the legendary Hotel Lutetia. Since opening in 1910, this ostentatious Left Bank hotel has attracted notable guests – including David Lynch and Yves Saint Laurent co-founder Pierre Bergé – and today the crowd is just as appealing. Just check out the ritzy guestbook, smug in the knowledge that you’ll soon be scrawling your own name in it.
Come morning, we’ll be treating you to breakfast – as a gentle(wo)man always should. Prey on the impressive buffet in L’Orangerie or go a la carte. For dinner, we’ve also taken the liberty of booking you a table in the hotel’s Brasserie Lutetia, where chef Gérald Passedat channels his Michelin-starred magic via top-notch seafood plates, served with a side of people watching.
After leaving you time to explore Paris on your own terms, we’ve got one more treat in store for you. Departing from the dock by the Eiffel Tower at 6pm, O Chateau will whisk you off on an hour-long champagne cruise along the Seine. Drink in the sights while you quaff brut, demi-sec and rosé, expert sommelier on hand to fill you with both knowledge and bubbles.
And so comes the end of your Paris soirée. Before heading to Gare du Nord, we suggest putting your newfound champagne knowledge to the test and picking up a couple of bottles of fizz. Elegant and effervescent to the last – De Balzac would surely approve.
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Eurostar operates up to 19 daily services from London St Pancras International to Paris Gare Du Nord with one-way fares starting from £29 (based on a return journey). Fastest London-Paris journey time is 2hours 15 minutes. Tickets are available from www.eurostar.com or 03432 186 186.
Train versus plane – benefits of travelling by Eurostar:
Seamless city centre to city centre travel, with stations located in the heart of our destinations. Fast and convenient check-in – passengers are requested to arrive only 30 minutes before departure (or 10 minutes if travelling Business Premier). The extra baggage allowance you get on Eurostar verses planes (Eurostar offers each person two suitcases and one piece of hand luggage with no weight restrictions and at no extra charge). Comfort and space on board to work or unwind.No queues or baggage reclaim upon arrival – simply take your bag with you on board.
About Hotel Lutetia
Hotel Lutetia is an iconic landmark situated in the vibrant Saint-Germain-des-Prés area of Paris and the only luxury grand hotel on the city’s Left Bank. Originally opened in 1910, the building’s design was a daring move from art nouveau to the emerging style of art deco. The Lutetia delivers an authentic Parisian experience and has been at the heart of the local community for more than 100 years. The hotel now features an eclectic mix of restaurants, bars and lounges throughout the historical ground floor including the return of the Lutetia Brasserie under the supervision of three Michelin starred chef Gerald Passedat. Unique to the area, Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre, is Lutetia’s 700 sqm/7,500 sqft spa dedicated to wellbeing and fitness featuring a 17m swimming pool bathed in natural daylight.
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