A pioneering celebrity and fashionista, Marie-Antoinette created her own style that despite her tragic fate still influences the French art de vivre. Discover Marie Antoinette’s France and walk in her footsteps through 18th century Paris and Versailles.
On this historic adventure you’ll learn more than you ever thought possible about Marie Antoinette, and she will come alive for you. From our hotel in the fashionable Marais we will discover restaurants, cafés and shops fit for a queen. A special outing to the Palais Royal reveals where Rose Bertin, her famed courturier designed her trendsetting dresses. In the Marais you’ll dine on the most beautiful square in Paris dating back to the 17th century.
We will discover the jewel box museums that hold the secrets of how one lived in the eighteenth century: unique collections of furniture, porcelains and jewelry that reveal the luxuries so essential to life at court and in the city. We then turn to Revolutionary Paris, tracing the queen’s final years that led to her tragic destiny.
We’ll then head out to Versailles where we’ll stay in pure luxury for 2 glorious nights. We tour the public apartments at the chateau and then retreat to her private, exquisitely furnished getaway at the Petit Trianon. We visit the gardens she designed, including her fake village, or Hameau, where she enjoyed pleasures of motherhood and entertained her closest friends, dashing admirers and a secret lover.
Don’t worry, along the way we’ll be indulging in some of the queen’s favorite pastimes: pastry-tasting, and perfume making plus we’ll be dining at some spectacular restaurants in Paris and Versailles ranging from bistro to Michelin star plus a champagne tasting, of course! This is your moment to be French queen… seize it!
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 guide 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.
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
We start our visit to Paris in the Marais. We will visit the Cognacq Jay Museum, a small house museum in the historic heart of the Marais. We will step back into time as we learn about exceptional pastel portraits, glimmering porcelains and furniture. We will learn about how women shopped, dressed, and amused themselves in eighteenth-century Paris.
We will lunch at the Le Bontemps a charming café restaurant that’s cozy chic.
We will leave room for desert as afterwards our tour will continue with a visit to the chocolatier Jacques Genin. We will stop by the incomparable cosmetics and perfume store Buly where we can try products inspired by eighteenth century recipes.
Free time this afternoon on your own to explore the Marais.
After a little rest at our 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
On our second day we will stroll from our hotel to the Palais Royal where we will visit the chic shops that surround the garden. The Palais Royal was a hot spot for eighteenth shopping and entertainment. We will then visit the Tuileries gardens, the center of public life and one of the most magnificent examples of French gardens in Paris. We will learn about the château, now destroyed, where Marie-Antoinette lived before being sent to the Conciergerie prison across the Seine.
We have lunch at Muscade, and discuss the history of restaurants which were invented under these very arcades. This restaurants’ lease dates to the 18th century!
From the Palais Royal, we continue to the recently opened Hôtel de la Marine, located at the Place de la Concorde. We will visit the queen’s private apartments, gloriously restored. We will also visit the room where the crown jewels were kept and then stolen during the Revolution. After dreaming of jewels, we will see the spectacular Al Thani jewel collections recently opened to the public.
FREE TIME Or for those who are interested, we can walk from the Place de la Concorde across the Seine to the left bank in the front of the Conciergerie, where the queen was imprisoned.
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
In the morning we take a short ride to visit the Park Monceau, built at the same time as the queen’s garden at the Petit Trianon. We will then visit the adjacent Musée Camondo, a superb collection of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette period furniture and decorative arts. Nissim de Camondo, a Jewish collector, dedicated the museum to his son, who died in WWI.
We will have lunch at Le Camondo in the museum’s carriage house which has been transformed into a café which boasting a modern lunch menu.
FREE TIME, or for those who are interested, we can continue to the Chapelle Expiatoire, the tomb commissioned by Louis XVIII to commemorate his brother and former sister in law.
For our last meal in Paris, we will either walk or taxi to L’Ardoise, a gastronomic bistro restaurant in the 1st arrondissement recommended by the Michelin folks with delectable regional specialties.
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 the Brasserie de Theatre, a traditional restaurant , and a favorite of the local crowd!
HOTEL: Trianon Palace
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 relaxing, we’ll head to the spa for some pampering – we deserve it!
Tonight we’ll meet downstairs at the hotel for a very special photo opportunity—dressed in period costume—and then we’ll dine at the superb 3 Michelin star restaurant by Gordon Ramsey, a meal you won’t soon forget.
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.
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If you’d like to come, press the Reserve Now button above. You will be prompted to complete a form with your pertinent details, put down a refundable $250 deposit, and schedule a time to speak with a GG2P representative. We like to speak with everyone before they embark on their first trip with Girls’ Guide to Paris & Beyond. This allows you to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have. These are intimate, small group trips; a quick yet personal conversation allows you to get to know how our trips work and make sure it’s right for you. If it’s not, we’ll immediately refund your $250 deposit.
If it’s a Go! after your call, we’ll bill you for a non-refundable deposit, usually 35% of the trip’s cost (less the $250 place-holder deposit, if you already paid it) and your place is reserved. At this point, you’re committed to the trip, so we recommend that you purchase Travel Insurance to protect you in case your plans change unexpectedly. The balance will be due approximately 2 months before the trip.
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