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Je t’aime in France; Te amo in Spain. Paris and Madrid are two of Europe’s most captivating capital cities with the power to seduce you with their timeless allure of beautiful architecture, fascinate you with rich history and iconic art, and charm you with their culinary cultures of iconic European dining. Whether you voyage to France or Spain, a weekend city break in Paris or Madrid will sweep you off your feet, with romance resonating through the cities’ beating hearts, in time with the rhythm of true love.
It is impossible to escape the romance of Paris; after all, this is The City of Love. The sophisticated setting for many a love story, Paris is a place to indulge in the classic and timeless elegance of Parisian chic, and soak up the sights that have made this sensational city so recognised for romance.
What is so wonderful about Paris, is how it calmly combines refinement with relaxation; days can be spent wandering through the stylish streets and savouring the simple pleasures of life; good coffee, good food, good wine, good company. If Paris were to live by a mantra, we suspect it would be ‘If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well’, and neither time nor energy is spared in the culinary culture that tempts and tantalises its tourists.
Take your time and indulge the Parisian dream; un café au lait et un pain au chocolat in a quaint cobbled square with a copy of Le Monde; visit the traditional boulangeries and fromageries, pick up something from a Parisian patisserie and stroll hand-in-hand along the River Seine. Pack a picnic from the delights of the colourful street markets, and head to one of the city’s gorgeous gardens or picturesque parks. By night, whether you seek a cosy family-run bistro or Michelin-starred gastronomic genius, the restaurants all share the love of exceptional ingredients and exquisite presentation, all embodying a strong Parisian pride.
With illustrious artistic ancestry, including Renoir, Picasso, Monet and Van Gogh, Paris is perfect for art lovers, and there is little more classically romantic than gazing through the galleries together. The Louvre and Musée d’Orsay are home to big hitters and impressionist collections, whilst the Centre Pompidou has a cool and contemporary edge, but you will also find a world of more petite and intimate galleries to explore.
See the sights in style, by sailing down the Seine on a romantic river cruise, or take to the water in a more whimsical fashion, with a romantic rowing boat; head to Bois de Boulogne, a breathtakingly beautiful park, where you will find serenity on the idyllic Lac Inférieur, with a bottle of champagne as you soak up the sunshine from your pretty whitewashed boat on the still waters. Après ça, wander through the woods to Jardin Shakespeare; you’ll find a magical land where the plants, flowers and trees mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays are growing, and summertime shows are performed in the open-air theatre.