London & Paris: Iconic Cities With a Unique Connection
London and Paris are two of the most sought after destinations in Europe. Aside from being cultural icons, they are also jam-packed with fun things to see and do!
Now, more than ever, it’s simple to add both of these cities to your travel itinerary. By taking the train from London to Paris (Eurostar) you’ll arrive in the City of Lights in just 2 hours and 15 minutes. That’s amazing! Aside from offering high-speed, Eurostar offers high-class service on-board. No matter what class of service you choose, you will not be disappointed with the amenities.
As mentioned above, all service classes are wonderful on Eurostar, but if you really want to treat yourself, we say, go for Business Premier!
Raymond Blanc, famed French chef, has updated the dinner menus for the summer which now includes new breakfast options. A continental breakfast awaits passengers leaving from Paris or Brussels, while those leaving from London will enjoy a traditional British breakfast, complete with Yorkshire bacon and Surrey sausages. For those who prefer lighter morning meals, the breakfast menu now includes plain yogurt, cereal and fresh seasonal fruit.
Double Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc is taking his collaboration with Eurostar to a new level. After creating an Afternoon Tea for the rail operator’s Business Premier Class in late 2013, the company’s culinary director — in charge of the menus since 2012 — has entirely revamped the breakfast offering and created new summer dinner menus.
Dinner menus include some of chef Raymond Blanc’s own signature recipes such as his red pepper mousse, beet risotto and chocolate delight. Naturally, when you have a new menu, you need to update the wine list as well! Eurostar Business Premier travelers can indulge in fruity Brouilly and Coteaux Bourguignons wines on the list, among others.
Here’s a fun fact: Eurostar’s dedication to responsible, locally sourced ingredients allowed it to become the first transportation company to become a member of the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
In a nutshell, what could be better than traveling by train from London to Paris in high-speed comfort, while enjoying amazing gourmet food designed by a double Michelin-starred chef? Nothing that we can think of!
Top 5 Things to See & Do in London
Buckingham Palace – Try your skill at making one of those stuffy looking guards smile! Buckingham Palace is a must-see on any trip to London. How many opportunities in life do you get to visit a Royal residence? Oh, and if you succeed in getting one of the guards to smile in a photo, we’d love to see it!
Strolling the Thames – A great way to take in more of London culture and atmosphere is to take a relaxing stroll down the Thames River. Have your camera ready as you will pass some truly picture perfect sites. Stop and have a bite to eat along the way, maybe even take a few moments to feed the birds (actually, if you’re wanting to feed the birds, you should go sit on the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral, just like the Bird Woman did in Mary Poppins!).
Tower of London – Take a step back in time with a visit to the Tower of London. Our advice would be to join one of the Yeoman Warders tours (commonly referred to as Beefeaters). The Yeoman will keep you entertained with tales of imprisonment, execution, torture and more. You will not only be entertained but you will learn a tremendous amount of history about the tower and British history. Other noteworthy things at the Tower of London are of course the Crown Jewels – including some of the world’s most famous diamonds, and the Ravens. According to legend, if the six ravens leave the Tower, the Kingdom and Tower will fall. To date, all six are there and accounted for!
Big Ben/Clock Tower – Know what time it is? Time to visit the Clock Tower! This tower has been commonly mislabeled as Big Ben. Big Ben is actually the nickname given to the main bell (largest in the tower) found within the tower (also known as the Great Bell). The Clock Tower is the largest four-faced, chiming clock in the world. Nearby the Tower you will be able to see the Houses of Parliament. This is another great location to snap some pictures for your photo book!
Do you know what the name of the clock tower is? Please leave it in the ‘comments’ section, we’d love to hear from you!
London Eye – Better than the Ferris wheel at your local carnival, the London Eye is a spectacular way to see London! This observation wheel will allow you to see even more of the city of London. Great fun for families, children love the London Eye! Flights (as they’re called) on the London Eye take about 30 minutes. It will be 30 minutes you do not regret during your time in London!
With the Total London Experience, you can enjoy everything on the list above and more! It’s a great way to get your feet wet on your visit to this amazing city.
Top 5 Things to See & Do in Paris
Trocadero – See just how “in shape” you are as you make your way up to Trocadero. In 1937, the old Palais du Trocadero was demolished and then replaced with the Palais de Chaillot, found at the top of the hill. Once you reach the wide esplanade, you will have the most amazing view of the infamous Eiffel Tower. This vantage point is one of the best ways to get you in a photo with the Eiffel Tower without cutting off heads or part of the tower. You can get nearly the entire tower and you (or your travel partners)!
Paris Dinner Cruise – The Seine is just as great a river to stroll down as the Thames, or why not treat yourself to a wonderfully romantic dinner cruise along the Seine River. Watch notable attractions pass by as you and your special someone float on your own piece of paradise. Along with breathtaking scenery, you’ll enjoy a terrific meal presented with a fine assortment of wine and cheese. Live music fills the vessel and you can share a special moment on the dance floor. The evening ends at the base of the Eiffel Tower…it doesn’t get more romantic then that!
Visit the Statue of Liberty – You can find the first model of the Statue of Liberty in the Jardin du Luxembourg. This garden is the 2nd largest in Paris, the largest being the Tuileries Gardens. You can visit the Jardin du Luxembourg and easily spend a few hours exploring the various statues, fountains & monuments – there are just over 100 to view! There is a spectacular playground area where young children can take a break from sightseeing and just be kids, there is even a vintage carousel! If you decide to visit, pick up a nice bottle of wine, a baguette and some tasty cheese and enjoy an unforgettable picnic in the park.
Paris Museum Hopping – Spend a day museum hopping! Take some time wandering down the long halls of the Louvre, embracing the magnificent work that fills the museum. Make a point of viewing the Mona Lisa and playfully debate the mood of the subject as well as who is being portrayed in the painting. Is it the artist’s lover? Self-portrait? You be the judge! Other notable museums you can see with the Paris Museum Pass are: Musée d’Orsay , Musée National du Château de Versailles, Musée National Picasso, Pompidou Center and so many more!
Eiffel Tower – Paris seems to be synonymous with love and the Eiffel Tower always seems to emit that certain romantic feeling! There is no better way to experience Paris then to reach the top of the Eiffel Tower with the one you love. Stare out across the city and embrace the vision before you. Take your partner in your arms and practice the fine art of kissing (which the French have perfected as well as they have wine making!). For those not married or engaged…well, there’s no time like the present to pop the question! If you’ve already crossed that bridge, well, simply enjoy the moment. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Do whatever you need to, to ensure you will never forget the way you feel at that very moment!
The #1 Train From London to Paris – Eurostar
We briefly touched on the benefits of Eurostar at the beginning of this post, but just to reiterate, on Eurostar, you can travel at the speed of light – well, pretty close to it anyway!
Eurostar whisks travelers between London and Paris in just over 2 hours time. The trip on Eurostar is so much more than just a train from London to Paris. To travel on Eurostar is to experience high-speed rail travel at its finest! Picturesque views right outside your window, friendly staff on-board and best of all, you have the chance to meet some great people, those traveling along with you on this state-of-the-art train.
It’s always fun to mingle with the locals, you may learn something new, or at least gain some insight on things to see and do that you may not have previously thought of.
Plus, with Eurostar departing London from St Pancras International Station, you can toast your journey at Europe’s longest champagne bar, right inside the station!
For some travelers, London and Paris are ice-breakers to the rest of Europe, for others, they are favorites. London and Paris are both very active cities offering something for everyone. From parks and museums, to iconic monuments and theater, you will find the right activities to ensure you have a fantastic vacation. And we highly recommend visiting both cities on your trip, especially with them just being two hours apart! Eurostar is an amazing ride through the French and English countrysides and of course, you’ll also be able to say you’ve traveled through the Chunnel!
Yes, Rail Europe provides you with wonderful offers on train tickets & passes for Europe, but we also give you the small details that can make your vacation dreams come true. Remember, the only limits you have are the ones you set for yourself. Book your Eurostar trip today and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!