A day out in Paris with a difference

Parvis des Libertés et des Droits de l'Homme - photo credit: The Paris Tourist Office © Amelie DupontWhat to do with a day in Paris? If you haven’t visited before then all the iconic landmarks, museums and attractions will beckon. If you have been to Paris and are looking for something a bit different, my recent away day may appeal.

I was en route to Les Villages Nature® Paris and arrived on the Eurostar service from London St Pancras at midday, with the rest of the day free to experience this lovely city.

First stop was lunch, of course! After all, this is Paris, home of the long and lazy lunch.

I took a taxi to Les Jalles restaurant, a typical Parisian Bistro which is incredibly popular with locals and visitors. After a delicious lunch of poached eggs in black truffle puree, piquant sword fish and sublime strawberry meringue and cream, I was ready to sightsee.

Paris Parfume Museum - Photo credit: The Paris Tourist OfficeA short stroll away from the restaurant is the famous Fragonard Perfume Museum. Opened in 1983 the museum is housed in a beautiful building that was once a theatre. It has been sympathetically restored with many original features remaining. The free tour was very informative and explained the background of the Fragonard family and the development of their successful perfume business. There are opportunities to smell the different scents, oils and tinctures used in the manufacturing process and to admire the many antique artefacts that have been lovingly collected over the years by the family. Before leaving I can recommend spending time in the gift shop where, as well as perfume, you will be tempted by original textiles, gifts and homewares.

After the tour I was picked up outside the museum by the cutest open topped French 2CV and took a tour with Paris Authentic. This iconic car still packed a punch as we ducked and dived around all the sights of the city. My driver was very experienced who thankfully wasn’t intimidated by French traffic! With the roof down, I had the wind in my hair as we sped along the Champs-Élysées, around the Ritz Hotel, and of course the Eiffel Tower. Citroen 2cvMy driver spoke excellent English and gave an interesting and amusing commentary whilst dodging lorries and coaches that would suddenly loom up beside us. Maybe not for the faint-hearted, but enormous fun!

All to soon my day was at an end, and it was time to make tracks for my final destination. For anyone returning to London, Eurostar’s frequent service will get you back in just 2 and half hours.  

Travel via Eurostar

In the quiet, spacious surroundings of an Eurostar Standard Premier carriage, you’ll find the freedom to unwind and enjoy a light meal served at your seat. Standard Premier fares from London St Pancras International to Paris start from £79 one-way* for an adult and £55.50 one-way for a child aged 4-11 (based on a return journey).

Tickets are available from www.eurostar.comor from Eurostar’s contact centre on 03432 186 186

Customers travelling by Eurostar can enjoy a range of benefits including:

  • 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 versus planes (Eurostar offers each person 2 bags/suitcases and 1-piece hand luggage).
  • No queues or baggage reclaim upon arrival – simply take your bag with you on board.
  • Comfort and space on board to work or unwind.
  • Free travel for children under four.

Information about Paris

www.france.fr provides visitors with access to information on destination, inspiration, upcoming events and practical information about France.

Also check out Paris Convention & Visitors Bureau.

See also

Family Fun at Les Villages Nature® Paris

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Sally Dowling

Travel writer

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