Behind closed doors and alone with the icons, that’s the experience of these ten days in Paris and London. Experience exclusive access to the Palace of Westminster, British crown jewels and the Palace of Versailles, a helicopter above Paris and a hot air balloon above Champagne, dining in the Eiffel Tower and vintage afternoon tea. Including various experiences that aren’t open to the general public, these ten days showcase the extravagance and secrets of two capital cities. For additional England...
Paris – Michelin Dining in the Eiffel Tower
The queues outside the Eiffel Tower are legendary, even if you have a skip-the-line admission ticket. It’s crowded and chaotic, hardly the best introduction to a city known for its glamor. But there is beauty here, away from the crowds, as found at Le Jules Verne. Patrick Jouin designed the interior, all clean lines, and minimalism, allowing the city views to take center stage. Alain Ducasse is the chef at this Michelin-starred restaurant, and the menu inspires, classic French cuisine in the most iconic French setting: guinea fowl with peaches, foie gras with peppered melon, chocolate desserts that make you swoon. Take the private elevator to Le Jules Verne for a three-course dinner with paired champagne and wine, watching the city turn from day into night. Private transfers are included throughout the day, and your hotel is central as it’s possible to be in Paris.
Paris – Helicopter Above Paris and Behind the Ropes at the Palace of Versailles
Eye-popping buildings and landscaped parks, grand avenues and glorious icons, that’s the order of today as you fly above Paris on a private helicopter tour. Touch down at a heliport near Versailles, a champagne reception greeting you at ground level. A regal cafe on the canal is your place for lunch before you step inside the extravagance of the palace, Versailles the opulent home of French royalty and leftover from a glamorous century. Explore the chandelier-laden corridors and glimpse the grand meeting rooms, before stepping beyond the red rope for a private tour of the state apartments; the most extravagant parts of the Palace of Versailles are found in private rooms dating to different kings and queens. Return to Paris, and you are never short of superb options for evening dining.
Paris – Exploring Paris in a Vintage Citroen 2CV; Champagne and Cabaret at Moulin Rouge
Paris’s beauty is most alive in the everyday. The neighborhoods drip with artistic flourishes and aromas of coffee and chocolate along narrow streets; the clink of bone china in a traditional tearoom. Look beyond the famous monuments and central Paris inspires from every angle; it’s like being frozen in the 19th century. A convertible Citroen 2CV is from the mid 20th century, and it’s the ideal vehicle to get around; quiet, small, easy to maneuver down tiny streets, and seriously high on the coolness scale. So spend hours exploring neighborhoods like Saint-Germain and Montmartre, a driver showing you some of the secrets of central Paris.
Stop for sweet treats and coffee in the Laduree tearoom then drive off along the River Seine, bumping over the cobbles as you find the artistic detail in townhouses and everyday cafes. The afternoon is free, and you could travel anywhere in Paris dependent on the mood – the opulent shopping arcades just one example – before the evening gives you VIP seats on a private balcony at Moulin Rouge. Dalloyau macarons and champagne are served as you have the ultimate seats for the world’s most famous cabaret.
Paris – Inside the Champagne Region; A Tutored Tasting and a Balloon Ride Over the Vineyards
It’s a 75-minute train to the Champagne region, and the cork pops at Dom Perignon, the vineyard that inspired it all. Pop goes another cork, as you taste your way through different champagnes with a local winemaker, such subtlety to the flavors, such nuance to the production. The local cuisine pairs expertly with champagne and should keep you on the good side of tipsy before a balloon ride over the vineyards and Montagne de Reims. Travel back to Paris by private chauffeured car, and you may have some new restaurant recommendations for the evening, winemakers always a trusted guide on where to dine.
Paris – Musee d’Orsay and a Private Seine River Dinner Cruise
Musee d’Orsay is Paris’s real art haven, full of masterpieces that may not have as much fame but certainly contain the detail. Tour the museum with an art historian, and you’ll learn the founding stories of many of the art world’s legendary names. The afternoon is left free for you to explore Paris at your own pace before you cruise the Seine at sunset, rosy colors reflecting off 19th-century facades before the lights turn on and you dine on the river. It’s a private cruise running through the heart of the city, a fine dining window onto the best of central Paris.
London – First-Class Eurostar and Private Viewing of the Crown Jewels
Onto the Eurostar and through the tunnel, Paris to London in just over two hours of first-class bliss. Coffee and pastries keep you energized, and you arrive in the heart of the capital, just a five-minute transfer from your hotel. Take some time to stroll central London before a Beefeater greets you and leads the way through the Tower of London. It’s closed to the public at this hour, so you wander alone through the White Tower, Traitors’ Gate, and remains of this ancient fortress. The highlight here is the crown jewels, the world’s most famous coronation regalia, so many diamonds and precious gems it’s hard to know which way to look. When the viewing room is crowded the sparkle is lost; with a private viewing of the crown jewels, you can truly appreciate the most extravagant jewelry on the planet.
London – Luxury Afternoon Tea in Central London
Stroll Central London, go shopping in West London, find something alternative in East London, or discover the tranquility across North London. There’s so much to do and see in this city it’s best not to have a fully prescribed itinerary. This afternoon you indulge, luxury afternoon tea in one of London’s timeless venues. Cakes and scones and triangle sandwiches, along with other gourmet treats on tiered crystal platters. It’s an iconic London experience, passed down from regal centuries, kept exclusive through the ages, now just as opulent as always. Come with an empty stomach because it’s the country’s ultimate brunch experience and a good way to rest and relax after some active days in Paris.
London – Private Tour Through Parliament and Other London Monuments
The Palace of Westminster is a grand neo-Gothic building where politicians and lords shape the country. Artistic flourishes cover the ceilings, velvet seats are found down corridors and chambers, lavish halls are fit for lords, and there’s a sense of history that dates back over a millennium. There’s no building in Britain like it, yet the Palace of Westminster is closed unless you’re a politician or the Queen; or if you are one of the small handful of daily visitors to explore on a private tour. On certain days of the week, you can access Parliament and inhale the history, which is what you do today on a private London tour.
Step inside the Robing Chamber where the Queen gets ready before opening Parliament for the year. Admire the Royal Gallery and the ostentatious design of the Prince’s Chamber. Enter the Chamber of the House of Lords, the remarkable design of Augustus Pugin seen in its untrammeled glory. Then through the corridors where politicians sometimes roam to a cafe overlooking the River Thames, a place for a cup of tea and possibly a chinwag with a politician sitting nearby – the guide can illuminate you on who is who across the cafe. The tour of Parliament must keep to strict time schedules but the rest of the day is flexible, a private guide able to show you many other London monuments or take you off the beaten path in a city of endless highlights.
London – Castles of South England Royal Tour
For this final day in England, you leave Central London behind, traveling to the outskirts to unravel the regal histories of land and country. First Hampton Court Palace, where Henry VIII’s indulgent tastes fill galleries and chambers along the River Thames. Then Eton, the famous boy's school where royalty is education and kids still wear black tailcoats. Runnymede is where the Magna Carta was signed while Windsor Castle should need little introduction. It is the world’s largest royal residence and lived-in castle where the British Queen resides. As you would expect, it’s opulent beyond words and ostentatious to the extreme.
There are the State Apartments, which you may recognize from photos of when US presidents and other royalty come to visit. Look up in St. George’s Chapel to marvel at the fan vaulted ceilings, then look down at the miniature details of Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House. Now step over the ropes to see parts of Windsor Castle inaccessible to most visitors, like chambers gilded in gold and meeting rooms framed by priceless art pieces. Travel onwards from Windsor to Amberley Castle, a 900-year-old castle framed by 20-meter curtain walls and landscaped gardens. It has been converted into a boutique hotel that creates a unique final night in England.
London – More Extravagant Luxury and Departure
Wake up late; you’re staying in a castle, so there’s no need for an alarm. Look out on the gardens, sip tea on the terrace, take your time over breakfast then spend the day ambling slowly towards London Heathrow. Dependent on your flight time there are various castles and mansions to visit on the route, including a palace from Churchill’s chronicles and stories from the childhood of Anne Boleyn.
- Float over the vineyards of Champagne in a hot air balloon and enjoy a tutored tasting at legendary producers like Dom Perignon
- Discover the Tower of London after it has closed its doors for the day, including a private viewing of the British crown jewels
- Experience a different side of the Eiffel Tower by dining at its Michelin-starred restaurant
- Wander the corridors and rooms of the Palace of Westminster, the British parliament building that is closed to the general public
- Admire the wonders of the Musee d’Orsay with an art historian; spend an evening privately cruising and dining on the River Seine; watch Paris unfold with a helicopter tour above the city
- Explore Britain’s legendary castles on a private tour, then spend the night at an iconic castle on London’s outskirts
- Go behind the ropes with exclusive access to the Palace of Versailles and Windsor Castle
- A vintage Citroen 2CV is the perfect vehicle for exploring the neighborhoods and streets of central Paris
- Luxury afternoon tea is the iconic VIP London experience
London and Paris have been around for centuries, yet their secrets are surprisingly well kept. Some of the most extravagant icons keep their doors closed to the public, others invite you to visit after dark when everyone else has left. Certain icons contain alternative stories and experiences if you know where to look. Just beyond the city boundaries, there are more pre-eminent names and attractions – Dom Perignon, the Palace of Versailles, Windsor Castle – and in each you can go beyond the ropes to experience what they are really about, not merely the gift shops and postcards.
Spread across two iconic capitals, this ten-day tour takes you behind closed doors. Each day offers something different, something that elevates the experience from all the other visits to Paris and London. You will experience Michelin dining in the Eiffel Tower, hot air ballooning above the Champagne region before tutored tasting at a legendary producer, and a private viewing of the Crown Jewels on a nighttime tour of the Tower of London. Discover the Palace of Westminster – the British Parliamentary building – from the inside, including a cup of tea in a stately cafe overlooking the River Thames. Think extravagant places to dine, unique ways to travel, admiring it all from on high and the VIP treatment the whole way.
Start in Paris, the City of Lights divided by the River Seine. Dine in the Eiffel Tower, then explore the city on a helicopter tour. Touch down in Versailles for lunch and go behind the ropes at the Palace of Versailles. It’s into the streets and neighborhoods with a vintage Citroen 2CV as your vehicle for navigating a maze of bakeries, chocolatiers, 19th-century charm and narrowing lanes. In the evening, sip on Champagne with the best seats in the house at Moulin Rouge. More Champagne on day four, this time with a tutored tasting in the home of Champagne, an exploration of Dom Perignon complemented by a hot air balloon ride above the vineyards.
Your final day in Paris is completed with an art historian’s tour of Musee d’Orsay and a private dining cruise along the Seine; by now you’ll know the city from the inside. As with your time in London the itinerary isn’t too packed, giving you free mornings and afternoons to explore at your leisure, with chauffeurs that can be arranged if required. You stay in the heart of both cities, minimizing travel time and placing so many fine-dining restaurants on your doorstep. Traveling to London is by first-class Eurostar, and all the transfers are private, as you would expect on a VIP tour.
Arrive in the British capital and discover the Tower of London at night, after it has closed its doors for the day. You have a private viewing of the Crown Jewels, the most legendary of all the world’s jewelry, including the largest diamond crystal and cut diamond ever known. The following day is relaxed with an indulgent high tea filling the afternoon. The Palace of Westminster is closed to the public but open to you on a private tour, politicians also wandering the lavish rooms and having a spot of lunch in the cafe over the Thames. Complete this handcrafted tour with two days of royal castles in and around London, including a night in a refurbished castle and behind the ropes access of the Queen’s official residence: Windsor.
$6,495 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
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Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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