We depart from London St Pancras International on the morning Eurostar service through the Channel Tunnel to Paris Gare du Nord. (First Class upgrades and regional connections also available on request). On arrival we will be met by our comfortable local coach and we will enjoy a short guided tour of Paris. We will then travel to the charming town of Chantilly, situated in the heart of the Chantilly Forest, nineteen miles north of Paris. Our hotel, the Château de Montvillargenne, is approximately 3 miles from the town centre set in its own wooded grounds on Avenue Francois Mathet. Please note the hotel has a heated indoor swimming pool.
Bedroom upgrades are also available to the executive deluxe rooms, they are all individually designed and offer a higher level of comfort including a private whirlpool bath.
In the evening once you have settled into your room join our party for a welcome glass of Kir in the bar before dinner.
Enjoy your buffet breakfast. This morning we transfer to nearby Senlis, a pleasant market town typical of Picardy, where we will have some free time to wander round the shops or perhaps enjoy some pâtisserie.
Following an opportunity for lunch in Senlis (not included), we will visit the Château de Chantilly, a magnificent structure which stands on a rock surrounded by water. Our visit will include the sumptuously decorated Grands Appartements, dating from the 17th-19th centuries and the Galeries de Peintures, whose collection of pre-1850 paintings is second only to the Louvre.
Please note: in October we will instead spend all day at the Journée des Plantes at the Château de Chantilly. Hundreds of nurserymen from all over Europe display and sell their plants in the magnificent grounds of the Château. Courson displays exceptional collections of rare and unusual plants. Reflecting the informality associated with the fair ferns, salvias and iris rhizomes are laid out on trestle tables while peonies, clematis and topiary stand on the ground in pots. Please note that there are no restrictions in bringing pot plants back into Britain, as long as you can carry them home yourselves - so no trees or garden furniture please! Please note admission to the Château and its grounds (unguided visit) is included; refreshments (not included) are available throughout the day.
We will return to the hotel in time for dinner.
This morning, following breakfast, we depart for Giverny and the world famous house and gardens of Claude Monet. Our early start today will ensure an early arrival at Giverny - a time when the gardens are at their most tranquil. Both the house and gardens have been lovingly and accurately restored - one would believe that the family have just gone out to walk in the garden. You will have plenty of time to explore this marvellous garden at your leisure. Light lunch facilities are available near the garden (not included).
Following our visit we will enjoy free time in Giverny along with an opportunity to visit the little church where Monet is buried.
Dinner will be served at the Château de Montvillargenne in the evening.
Enjoy your buffet breakfast. We then travel to Paris for a visit to the Musée de l’Orangerie des Tuileries, which re-opened in May 2006 after an extensive refurbishment programme. The highlight of the museum’s impressive collection is undoubtedly the series of 2-metre high murals entitled Les Nymphéas, a sequence of impressions such as clouds, reflections and sunsets which Claude Monet installed between 1914 and 1918, when he was at the height of his extraordinary powers. To stand before these unique paintings in peaceful meditation is a moving and memorable experience. In addition to the Nymphéas, the Orangerie offers a fabulous collection of masterpieces from the Jean Walter and Paul Guillaume Collection, a highly original insight into modern art featuring Cézanne, Renoir, Picasso, Rousseau, Matisse, Derain, Modigliani, Soutine, Utrillo and Laurencin.
Thereafter you will have free time to shop and sightsee at your leisure. Paris is, of course, the most romantic city in the world with wonderful art galleries, churches, and shops.
Later, we return to the Gare du Nord for our Eurostar train back to London where we expect to arrive in the evening.