Big city lights
Our first day in Paris was all about a burst of energy and excitement. We went to see Mona Lisa‘s famous smile at the Louvre, then jumped on a hop-on-hop-off tour bus to get a bird’s-eye view of the city. Later that night, we dined on a five-course dinner at our hotel, Fouquet’s Barrière, in its famous Fouquet’s restaurant (yes, the same one Eloise is toujours at). To finish the evening, we went to the top of the Eiffel Tower and looked down on the city’s sparkling lights. We truly felt the magic of Paris. Fouquet’s Barrière Hotel, 46 Ave George V, 75008.
Pampering and shopping
We started at a slower pace and padded along our hotel’s beautiful hallways to the U-Spa, for a hot-stone massage. Then, off to the French version of a shopping mall, the chic Galeries Lafayette, for a fashion show and shopping to our hearts’ content. Then we rested our stiletto-weary feet and took in the city at night on one of the famous bateaux mouches that cruise along the Seine. Galeries Lafayette, 40 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009.
Escape to the seaside
After an amazing buffet breakfast at our plush hotel, we drove to Deauville where Coco Chanel opened her first store, watched its famous horse races and had an amazing lunch at the Hippodrome de Deauville. We then walked along the beach and took in the town, full of beautiful wood-beamed houses and chic French on their summer holidays.
We hopped on a train to Mont Saint-Michel, the famous monastery built on a rock island and only accessible by land when the tide goes out. It looks like something out of Harry Potter — unbelievably beautiful. The next day, we said goodbye to our hotel and to Chatelaine‘s wonderful editor-in-chief (and tour guide), Jane, and took a train to Normandy to tour WWII beaches. We then carried on to Arras to see Vimy Ridge and visit Canada’s WWI memorial. Then it was off to the South of France for sunshine and a little star-spotting. Royal Barrière, Boulevard Eugène Cornuche, 14800 Deauville.