Day 1 – May 30th, Monday
Arrive at your leisure and check into our fun and beautiful hotel in the heart of the Marais district.
At 7:00 pm we meet to enjoy some champagne in the courtyard of the hotel and learn a bit more about Marie Antoinette with Susan Taylor-Leduc, PhD our co-guide with GG2P’s own Katrin Hodapp for this luxurious trip. Susan is a charming ex-pat and scholar of gardens and Marie Antoinette, she will share anecdotes and lay out the fundamentals so that we can better appreciate what the coming days have in store for us. Read more about GG2P co-leader Katrin Hodapp here.
Afterward our champagne we will enjoy a lovely dinner under the arcades of the Place des Vosges at La Place Royale.
HOTEL: Hotel de Jobo
Day 2 – May 31st, Tuesday
In the morning we will explore le Palais Royal: in the eighteenth-century the gardens and the surrounding arcades were the center for fashion, theater and a new meeting place: the restaurant! The queen was a frequent visitor and loved learning about the latest fashions.
We will then head back to the Marais, the most historic and hip area of Paris, where we will lunch at the Le Bontemps a charming café restaurant that’s cozy chic, but we will leave room for desert as afterwards our tour will continue with a visit to the chocolatier Jacques Genin as well as the incomparable perfume store Buly. We will also visit the museum Cognac Jay which is a real treasure.
After a little rest at hotel, or more exploring and shopping we will walk to the nearby Seine where we will dine at Chez Julien with a view of Notre Dame.
HOTEL: Hotel de Jobo
Day 3 – June 1st, Wednesday
Today we will visit the gardens of Paris. First stop will be the stunning Bagatelle Gardens which were constructed in 64 days after a wager between Marie Antoinette and her brother-in-law. We will have a private expert guide for the gardens and who does the flowers for the American Embassy and is a rose judge at Bagatelle. Lucky for us we’ll be visiting during rose season! She is one of the few people who can show us the Bagatelle Chateau, normally off limits to visitors. This special visit will be followed by a light lunch in the chateau’s restaurant.
After lunch, we will take a short tour of the Parc Monceau, a garden built by Marie-Antoinette’s cousin, that she visited, before exploring the elegant Nissim de Camando Museum with its exceptional collection of eighteenth-century furniture and decorative arts
For dinner tonight, we’ll enjoy a hearty and satisfying meal at a true delight of a restaurant near our hotel, Robert et Louise specializing in steak.
HOTEL : Hotel de Jobo
Day 4 – June 2nd, Thursday
Unlike Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette was forced to drive to the guillotine in an open carriage. We will trace her fateful steps, from the Conciergerie on the Ile de la Cité to what was then the Place de la Revolution and today is the Place de la Concorde. Here we will visit the Hôtel de la Marine, with its magnificent views and restored eighteenth-century interiors.
We will lunch at the fashionable Ladurée, the pastry store that made macaroons famous and has wonderful savory bites for lunch.
Afterwards we can break up into two groups, the shoppers (true to Marie Antoinette’s heart) will visit the grand magasins (department stores) of Printemps and Galeries Laffayette and the historians will go with Susan to visit the Chapelle Expiatoire which is dedicated to Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI.
Tonight, we will dine on the lovely terrace of the MAD Decorative Arts Museum at its coveted restaurant Lou Lou in the famed Tuilerie Gardens complete with a view of the Louvre.
Day 5 – June 3rd, Friday
This morning we will leave for Versailles. It’s a short 1-hour drive so we plan to arrive for a 10am visit of the private rooms of the King and Queen led by the able hands of Susan. We will have lunch at the Petit Park on the grounds before checking in to our luxurious hotel Trianon where we will have some free time to enjoy the spa and beautiful grounds. One treatment included.
At 7:30 we will meet for a champagne tasting before dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant.
HOTEL: Trianon Palace
Day 6 – June 4th, Saturday
Today we will visit the Petit Trianon, an elegant neo-classical building that the queen redecorated as her private residence. She was so intent to have a ‘private’ retreat she even built moving mirrored walls to prevent the curious from looking inside! We then stroll through her private English garden gardens to the Hameau, her fake village where performed comic operas.
We will have a light lunch Angelina’s.
In the afternoon we will visit the Osmotheque to explore the perfume history of France. After some free time for the spa we will meet for a wonderful dinner at Alain Ducasse’s restaurant in the palace of Versailles capped off with a magnificent fireworks display.
This final evening will be very special indeed as Alain Ducasse’s restaurant is only open for lunch and to dine at night there in the gardens of Versailles is something very special and unique to be treasured for many years to come.
Day 7 – June 5th, Sunday
After a sumptuous and leisurely breakfast, we will check-out and depart back to Paris. Arrangements can be made to get you to the airport or your hotel.
GG2P reserves the right to alter the itinerary based on weather or availability as well as exciting opportunities that might crop up!
** Not to worry – Vegetarians will be well fed in all cafés and restaurants as well as those allergic to seafood or gluten. Options are plentiful.