France·June 3 - 9 2024

Living Like a Queen - Marie-Antoinette’s World in Paris and Versailles

Walk in the footsteps of a queen.

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Overview

A pioneering celebrity and fashionista, Marie-Antoinette created her own style that, despite her tragic fate, still influenced the French art de vivre. Join us as we discover Marie-Antoinette’s France and walk in her footsteps through 18th-century Paris and Versailles. On this historic adventure, Marie-Antoinette will come alive for you. From our hotel in the fashionable Marais, we’ll discover restaurants, cafés, and shops fit for a queen. We’ll visit museums specializing in art from the Age of Enlightenment and unique collections of furniture, porcelains, and jewelry that reveal the luxuries so essential to life at court and in the city. We’ll visit breathtakingly beautiful gardens (Marie-Antoinette’s favorite flower was the rose), and of course, no Marie-Antoinette trip would be complete without a visit to Versailles. We’ll stay in pure luxury in a palace of our own at Versailles for two glorious nights. We’ll tour the public apartments at the chateau and then retreat to her private, exquisitely furnished getaway at the Petit Trianon. We’ll visit the gardens she designed, including her faux village, or Hameau, where she enjoyed the pleasures of motherhood and entertained her closest friends, dashing admirers, and a secret lover. Our trip will conclude with a fireworks display dedicated to the queen! This is your moment to be a French queen. Seize it!

Highlights

Visit the Glorious Bagatelle Gardens

Visit the Glorious Bagatelle Gardens

Buy perfume from an elite parfumerie founded in 1803

Buy perfume from an elite parfumerie founded in 1803

Embark on private tours of exceptional museums, chapels and historic buildings

Embark on private tours of exceptional museums, chapels and historic buildings

Shop ‘til you drop in Paris!

Shop ‘til you drop in Paris!

Visit Marie-Antoinette & Louis XVI's private apartments

Visit Marie-Antoinette & Louis XVI's private apartments

Dress up like the ladies in Marie-Antoinette's court to take tea and pastries

Dress up like the ladies in Marie-Antoinette's court to take tea and pastries

Savor a meal at the world-famous Alain Ducasse restaurant on the Chateau grounds

Savor a meal at the world-famous Alain Ducasse restaurant on the Chateau grounds

Let Marie's time in history come alive for you with an expert!

Let Marie's time in history come alive for you with an expert!

Itinerary

Here's a day-by-day itinerary of the trip.

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Welcome to Paris and the beautiful Marais

Day 1: Monday, June 3rd, 2024

Arrive in Paris and hop in a taxi/Uber to our fun and beautiful hotel in the heart of the 2nd district of Paris - the Hôtel Square Louvois. Taxis are easy at the Paris airports, but if you'd prefer a private car, we can arrange that for you (at your cost).

This evening, in the courtyard of the hotel, we'll meet up to enjoy some champagne, get to know one another, and learn a bit about Marie-Antoinette. After our champagne, we will enjoy a stroll through the Marais and a lovely dinner at the classic Bofinger.

Included

Champagne and Dinner

BulyStorefront

Paris, Art & Perfume

Day 2: Tuesday, June 4th, 2024

After breakfast, we'll begin our day in the Marais with a stroll through the magnificent Place des Vosges and a visit to the Musée Cognacq-Jay. Ernest Cognacq, founder of the world-famous Samaritaine department store, and his wife, Marie-Louise Jay, were art lovers. They particularly loved the art of the Age of Enlightenment. Throughout their lives, they gathered more than 1,200 European works, all reflecting the taste in vogue in the 18th century. The museum is now in the extraordinary Hôtel Donon, a sixteenth-century townhouse in the heart of the Marais.

We'll have lunch at Camille, a lovely, elevated bistrot Parisien.

After lunch, we'll have a very special visit to the perfumerie, Buly. Buly was founded in 1803 when there were no fewer than 139 perfumers located in Paris, and according to the city’s Préfecture, the toiletries trade was the second largest employer in Paris! Buly is a veritable bastion against the disappearance of France’s beauty heritage, inspired by the excellence and virtues of the past while committing to the best of the present.

Before free time, we'll participate in a floral design class about colors and different flowers.

For dinner, we will stroll to the lovely Dessance, a modern restaurant housed in a seventeenth-century mansion in the Marais. Even if you're not a vegetarian, their vegetarian-tasting menu is worth a try!

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

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Paris Gardens

Day 3: Wednesday, June 5th, 2024

This morning, we'll visit the gardens of Paris. The first stop will be the stunning Bagatelle Gardens, constructed in 64 days after a wager between Marie-Antoinette and her brother-in-law. A private garden expert and guide will join us. She designs the flower arrangements for the American Embassy and is a rose judge at Bagatelle. Lucky for us, we’ll be visiting during rose season!

We'll stop for lunch at the lovely Le Camondo.

After lunch, we'll take a short tour of the Parc Monceau, a garden built by Marie-Antoinette’s cousin, before exploring the elegant Nissim de Camondo Museum with its exceptional eighteenth-century furniture and decorative arts.

We'll have some free time to relax at the end of the day. In my opinion, there may be no better way to spend a few hours than in a French cafe with a coffee and a Pastis, watching the fashionable Parisians go by.

Dinner tonight is something a little different. We are going to a Cheese and Champagne Workshop. 

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

HoteldelaMarine

Paris - Chapels, Crypts and Historic Buildings

Day 4: Thursday, June 6th, 2024

After breakfast, we’ll visit the Chapelle Expiatoire. Called perhaps “the most remarkable monument in Paris” by Chateaubriand, La Chapelle Expiatoire is one of those hidden gems that blends history, art, and architecture and offers a quiet oasis not far from the bustle and hustle of the Grands Boulevards. The chapel is dedicated to Marie-Antoinette and King Louis XVI and was constructed at the exact point where they were buried after their execution by guillotine in 1793.

We’ll enjoy lunch at the Le Café Lapérouse in the Hotel de la Marine.

After, we’ll visit the Hôtel de la Marine, with its magnificent views and beautifully restored eighteenth-century interiors. As we overlook the Place de la Concorde, the site of the guillotine where Marie-Antoinette was executed in 1793, our discussion about the French Revolution will come to life!

Tonight, you’ll have a well-earned night off. Enjoy dinner at one of the many cafes and restaurants in the Marais or stroll over to the left bank.

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Not Included

Dinner

VersaillesInteriorPortrait

Versailles

Day 5: Friday, June 7th, 2024

This morning, we'll leave for Versailles, one of the greatest achievements in French 17th and 18th-century art. Louis XIII's old hunting pavilion was transformed and extended by his son, Louis XIV, when he installed the Court and government in 1682. A succession of kings continued to embellish the Palace up until the French Revolution. It's one of the most majestic, awe-inspiring palaces you'll ever see.

Susan, our expert on Marie-Antoinette and Versailles, will lead us through the public rooms of the king and queen.

We'll have lunch at Ore, one of Alain Ducasse's restaurants on the grounds of Versailles.

After lunch, we'll have a special visit to the queen's private apartments (You know who!) before checking in to our luxurious Trianon Palace Hotel, where we will have some free time to relax and enjoy the beautiful grounds.

This afternoon, we truly will feel like queens. We'll dress up in costumes the ladies in Marie-Antoinette's court would wear and take tea and pastries. Our photographer will be on hand to document the entire spectacle! Your Instagram accounts will never be the same!

This evening, we'll meet for dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant, Le Veranda.

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Costumes and Tea

VersaillesGardens

Versailles

Day 6: Saturday, June 8th, 2024

Today, we discover the gardens of Versailles. The gardens cover some 800 hectares of land, much of it landscaped in the classic French formal garden style perfected here by André Le Nôtre. You'll never complain about tending to your backyard garden again! We'll also visit the fantastic water show.

We will have a light lunch at the Flottille in the gardens.

After lunch, we'll visit the Petit Trianon, an elegant neo-classical building that the queen redecorated as her private residence. She was so intent on having 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 pretend village, where they once performed comic operas.

We'll return to the hotel to rest and relax. This is a great time to book an optional spa treatment -  after all, Queens need pampering!

This final evening will feature an extraordinary dinner at Alain Ducasse’s restaurant in the Versailles Palace.

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Not Included

Spa Treatment

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Au Revior Versailles

Day 7: Sunday, June 9th, 2024

After a sumptuous and leisurely breakfast, we'll check-out and depart back to Paris. Arrangements can be made to get you to the airport or your hotel. You may want to fly home first class - coach is too much of a letdown for a queen.

Included

Breakfast

You'll Be Staying Here

Hotel Square Louvois

Hotel Square Louvois

The Hôtel Square Louvois is a short distance from Opéra Garnier and Boulevard Haussmann. The Square Louvois Hotel elegantly combines contemporary design with Haussmann-like influences. Its refined style with Art Deco details makes the 4-star hotel the new chic place to be in the French capital. 

Trianon Palace

Trianon Palace

The Trianon Palace is a 5-star hotel featuring majestic neoclassical architecture and opulent décor. With stunning views over Parc de Versailles and the hotel’s gardens, the Trianon is fit for a queen!

Hosts

Meet your Host

Susan Taylor-Leduc

Susan Taylor-Leduc

Leading you in the footsteps of Marie-Antoinette will be the scholar, educator, and nationally certified tour guide, Susan Taylor-Leduc, Ph.D. Susan has been teaching art history in Paris for over 25 years, specializing in Marie-Antoinette and the gardens at Versailles. Most importantly, she's an absolute delight to be with! You will love your time with her.

Add Ons

Arrive one day early in France

Arrive one day early in France

Includes one night and breakfast at the Hôtel Square Louvois

PRICE$505.00

Her influence lasts to this day

Marie-Antoinette's World in Paris & Versailles

A pioneering celebrity and fashionista, Marie-Antoinette created her own style that, despite her tragic fate, still influences the French art de vivre. Join us as we discover Marie-Antoinette’s France and walk in her footsteps through 18th century Paris and Versailles.

Marie-Antoinette's World in Paris & Versailles

What's Included

What's Included

All meals (unless otherwise specified) with wine at dinner

Fabulous hotels fit for a queen

Museum and other entry fees, including Marie-Antoinette's private chambers

All transportation in Paris and to/from Versailles (except airport transfers)

Roundtrip airfare to France, taxi to and from the airport

Any personal souvenirs or purchases

Additional wine, beer or spirits beyond what is offered at meals

Travel and Medical Insurance (required)

Spa Treatment(s)

Reviews

"Susan was charming and wonderful ... absolutely made the trip. Her historical knowledge and insights were invaluable ... made the past come alive and what we were viewing meaningful. She welcomed all questions and handled all logistics expertly. You have a jewel in Susan! "

Janet W., Mahwah NJ, USA, 2023 Trip Guest

"The highlights for me were seeing Marie Antoinette’s private apartment, some awesome restaurants and becoming acquainted with the other women on the tour."

Karen B., Portland OR, USA, 2023 Trip Guest

FAQs

Fly into the Charles De Gaulle Airport and hop into a taxi to the hotel.

The trip officially starts on the afternoon of June 3rd, but if you are traveling across an ocean to get to France, consider arriving a day early so you have time to relax and adjust to the local time zone. If you do decide to arrive early, please let us know and we will book your room for you and make sure that you are kept in the same room until the trip starts.


We will have a zoom call about 6 weeks before the trip starts to discuss all that information and give you a packing list. Here is a great website that we love that will help you with packing and travel trips.

June, the first month of the summer in Paris, is an agreeable month, with an average temperature of between 21.6°C (70.9°F) and 12.5°C (54.5°F). 

Susan Taylor-Leduc will be your trip leader. Leading you in the footsteps of Marie-Antoinette will be the scholar, educator, and nationally certified tour guide, Susan Taylor-Leduc, Ph.D. Susan has been teaching art history in Paris for over 25 years, specializing in Marie-Antoinette and the gardens at Versailles. Most importantly, she's an absolute delight to be with! You will love your time with her. 

Inquire about this trip

Living Like a Queen - Marie-Antoinette’s World in Paris and Versailles

France· June 3 - 9 2024· 6 nights