Staff Review

A Short Break in Paris


18 Nov 2016

by The Kirker Team

Kirker Holidays


Living in London, it is easy to forget how simple it is to get to Paris these days and what a magnificent destination we have on our doorstep. The glorious London terminus at St Pancras is a wonderful way to start a journey, and we were able to arrive just forty minutes before our train and stroll through customs without the rigmarole of airport check-ins and security.

On arrival at the Gare du Nord, although it was late evening, the station was bustling and crowded so it was a great relief to meet our transfer driver on the concourse – a relief which was heightened as we passed people queuing for taxis in the rain and stepped into our warm, dry Mercedes vehicle. In a few minutes we were checking in at the beautiful Hotel Raphael, just off the Champs-Elysees. The hotel is a wonderful example of Parisian elegance, but more intimate and relaxed than the traditional ‘palace’ hotels.


The next day we had breakfast in the hotel’s beautifully appointed restaurant, before setting off to visit our hotels in the Champs-Elysees area. By the evening we had met some lovely hoteliers and seen some immaculate suites, but it was the restaurants which had most stuck in our mind. After seeing the variety and imagination on the menus at Michelin starred restaurants from chefs including Alain Ducasse and Pierre Gagnaire, we were reminded that one of the best reasons to visit Paris was of course the famous French gastronomy! With this in mind we took ourselves to one of the recommended restaurants in our Kirker Guide Notes on the left bank, where we were able to congratulate each other on a busy day’s work with a delicious meal.


The following day we moved hotel to the Westminster, a more traditional four star hotel just off the prestigious Place Vendome. This makes a great base for exploring the city on foot or by metro and is only a few yards from the Opera. We saw our hotels around the Opera and the Louvre, before exploring the Marais – a new area for me. This part of the city is full of charm and there are dozens of interesting boutiques and appetising bistros on every street. It is also home to one of my favourite hotels in the whole city, the Pavillon de la Reine, which is tucked away in a peaceful, ivy-covered courtyard just off the Place des Vosges. For dinner this evening, we took a recommendation from a local and wandered into one of the Marais bistros where we enjoyed an excellent meal in the company of a local financial ‘celebrity’.


Our last day was spent on the left bank, where we had the chance to see some of our most romantic hotels such as the lovely Relais Christine, before returning on an afternoon train back to London.

This short trip to Paris was all too brief, but served to remind me how hassle-free the experience is, and how incredibly worthwhile. I came home full of the firm belief that we should all make a visit to Paris at least once a year, however busy we are - even if only for a couple of nights and a delicious meal in a local restaurant.

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