A Popular Pair

Peanut butter & jelly. Milk & cookies. London & Paris. Some things just go together naturally! And visiting the two cities in one trip could not be easier, with a quick, fun train ride through the Chunnel in between. Read on for Ashley and Jared’s feed back about their recent trip.

We loved our Paris and London trip. The Hotel Pont Royal was in a perfect location, we were able to walk to most of the sites, including the Louvre, so easily. Proximity to the river was great. The hotel room was cozy, as expected for a city, and we loved our little balcony window.

The first day we went straight to the Louvre and had a great time exploring. Was 100% worth buying our tickets online ahead of time from their website —  we got in very quickly. We did the same for the Eiffel Tower and that saved us a from standing in a pretty lengthy line. We ended up deciding to do the Paris Big Bus hop on hop off bus that afternoon and we grabbed it directly from the Eiffel Tower. Some of the buses were a bit crowded but once we got one where we could sit on the second level we loved the ride around the city. We got off at the Galleries Lafayette and loved the shopping and food in that area. We spent all afternoon on the bus and also went to the Champs Elysees and took the blue route to see the Moulin Rouge. We had a good time.

The last day in Paris we did the Boutique Bike Tour in Versailles and I cannot rave enough about this tour. It was a trip highlight, and I would recommend it to anyone! We toured the chateau, went to a local market, had a picnic by the canal, and toured Marie Antoinette’s hamlet before ending the day in the gardens. The tour guides were fantastic and made the history so interesting and fun. We ended our last night on a river cruise dinner, which we liked the cruise but wouldn’t recommend the dinner portion, the food was just ok. We filled our trip with so much wine and croissants, we really loved our time in Paris.

The Eurostar may have been the easiest way I’ve ever travelled and we enjoyed the ride.  Once in London we went straight to Fortnum and Mason for afternoon tea while we waited for our room to be ready. This was the perfect intro to London, we really enjoyed it. We also enjoyed the shopping in the huge store afterwards. The hotel itself {the Chesterfield Mayfair} was in the most perfect location, we walked everywhere! We also loved the Mayfair area. Jared, being a big car fan, was shocked by all the luxury vehicles parked on the streets of Mayfair and loved just walking around to see them.

We walked everywhere in London! It was such an easy walking city and the hotel location was a huge help. The hotel itself was so charming and we loved the gin and tonic bar with nightly live jazz. The breakfast was also fantastic! They left a different treat every night at turndown and it was a really nice touch.

The next day we had our Harry Potter tour. The bus ride went smoothly and it was nice that we were on our own once we got there. We filled up almost the whole time we had allotted and both really liked the tour and butterbeer! This is great for any Harry Potter fan. There is so much to see it can be overwhelming but there are tons of cool photo ops too! When we got back to the city we had to check out Harrods.

On our final day in London we were recommended to the free tour by foot of Westminster. This was fantastic as well. The starting point was a 10-minute walk from our hotel which was very convenient. We loved seeing the changing of the guard, Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey. Unfortunately, Big Ben was under construction. This tour was about 3 hours and put us in Trafalgar Square. From there we had Dishoom for lunch (a must!) and went to Covent Garden for some more shopping. We loved this area.

Overall we had an amazing time and although we only had a short time in each location we made the most of each and now we just can’t wait to go back!

Paris is always a good idea

Longtime clients Linda, Fred, Marcia and Bill had a fabulous trip planned to Paris and London … and then the Paris and Brussels terror attacks made them question their plans. We talked about the pros/cons of postponing their “escape”, and I am so glad that they decided to forge ahead. As you can see, they had an amazing time!

Hi Ann — another fantastic trip!

Paris was fabulous. The hotel staff (Hotel Edouard 7) was extremely helpful in giving us restaurant suggestions and reservations.  Hop on hop tour off was about 3 blocks from the hotel, and the Champs-Elysee was within walking distance, along with shopping and Notre Dame.  We used the bus for 3 days  — we were very late arriving on the first day (plane delayed for 3 hours) so by the time we got on the bus they gave us an additional day.  Ate in some great restaurants  — Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower,  the boat cruise was fabulous, lot of cafes –  the food everywhere was wonderful.  The last night we ate in a traditional small French restaurant close to the Eiffel Tower suggested by the hotel, and  it was awesome. Bill and Marcia had not seen the Eiffel Tower at night when the lights blink, so when we got out of the restaurant we were just in time to see the light. Then we went to the Champs-Elysee for chocolate crepes (MMMM!!!)

view of a street in paris from the top of the Arc de Triomphe A old car on the streets of Paris

Another great place was the Capucine Café on Rue de Capucine. We had fabulous onion soup and good wine too!

In case you weren’t aware the lights on the Eiffel Tower blink for 5 minutes starting at 9 pm ( the first night was 10 pm) it is an awesome sight to see. If you want any more specifics of the trip would be happy to provide them for you. The guide at the Louvre was unbelievable; he was so knowledgeable in history and art, and with a great sense of humor.  He was amazing. For us the half day tour in Versailles was enough, and was very beautiful.

The Eiffel Tower lit up at night

FYI  — for the boat cruise we dressed up but there were people in jeans sneakers and shorts – we were happy to dress up though. It made it more special and it just seemed appropriate. Our Parisian haircuts were a very interesting and fun experience (we did not come out with punk pink haircuts)

two couples on a boat cruise in Paris

There was a lot of security around – military and police walking the streets and also around the attractions – security was evident at all attractions, with bag checks and some metal detectors.  At first it was a little unsettling, but then it was somewhat reassuring that they were around.  The only place I felt a little uncomfortable was the Eiffel Tower.  There were just so many people around and the security walking around seemed to be more focused.

The Chunnel was a nice trip – but a little confusing finding our way in the train station as the signs were not always pointing you in the right direction.  We decided on the Tube after we got to London because of the marathon – we found our way just fine, however it was not an easy trek with 4 suitcases and 4 carry-ons and no escalators up and down.  The stairs were a real task.

Again, the hotel (St Ermins) was perfectly situated, a 5 minute walk from Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey.  We rode the London Eye, took a boat down the Thames ( hop on hop off) again found some great pubs and ended our London trip with a traditional pub for fish and chips.  We ate at a great steakhouse called Hawksmoor in Langley. It was amazing — highly recommend it.
Big Ben in London The Tower Bridge in London  The London Eye Royal Guards in London
Our transfers were always there on time and waiting for us. Unfortunately the weather was not as cooperative.  It was very cold the entire time in London (had so many layers I looked like the Pillsbury dough boy).  It even snowed in London on our last day.  The first few days in Paris were beautiful but the last day got cold there as well.
Thank you again for another fabulous vacation with wonderful memories.


London or Paris? Why have to choose?

Read a great article by travel guru Rick Steves today about the Eurostar train between London and Paris. Talk about easy! You go right from one city center to the next in about 2.5 hours flat, without any of the hassles of air travel.  No need to get transportation out to the airport, deal with security lines, pay extra for your baggage, etc. 

With high speed rail service like this, there’s really no need to have to choose between fish and chips in a London pub or wine and cheese in a Parisian cafe — you can have both in one trip!

I have some clients who used the Eurostar this summer for a quick trip to London and Paris. They were lucky enough to grab a promotional discount for the upgraded “Leisure Select” service (complete with a gourmet meal, private departure lounge, and more) and they absolutely loved it:

It was great. Super comfortable, announcements in all languages, good food, and very fast.  Such an easy way to travel – beats the plane any day!

I know that a trip through the Chunnel is on my “bucket list”.  How about you?


You provided excellent guidance for us. I appreciated that you really had us think about what was most important to us when we were selecting the right cruise – and not to totally focus on what other people had to say. THANK YOU for helping to make this a memorable trip for our family! It really was a trip of a lifetime!

Clare and Mark (family cruise to Alaska)

The level of service we experienced was out of this world (and we did NOT make it easy on Ann). We weren’t quite sure where we wanted to go, when we would be able to go, or what “vibe” we were going for. After asking us some key questions (what we liked, didn’t like, why, etc.) Ann helped us narrow down our trip details and planned the honeymoon of our dreams. She helped book some of our excursions, answered some emergency questions while abroad and was always available/willing to help. I think it’s safe to say we won’t be using anyone else for future travel planning – Ann is a rockstar!

Carli (Italy and Spain)