France and city breaks go hand in hand. Thanks to the Eurostar and Channel Tunnel, you don’t even need to set foot in an airport if you don’t want to. Take on elegant Paris and its beguiling buildings. Tick off its iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the Sacre-Coer from your bucket list and reward yourself for reaching them (the Sacre-Coer is quite a climb) with a couple of fresh patisseries and a café au lait. If you want food to take centre stage on your France city breaks, look no further than the country’s second city (but first for food), Lyon. Lusciously bucolic, you’ll find yourself
bouncing between bouchons in search of the perfect Salad Lyonnaise and ricocheting from one Beaujolais Crus tasting to another in the characterful Rhone Valley. When it comes to character, however, there is nowhere quite like Bordeaux. Boasting an intoxicating combination of 18th-century and modern architecture, as well as the silky-smooth Garonne, which winds through its centre, France city breaks are the perfect opportunity to unwind, dine and soak up new cultures.
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There should be just one response to the idea of a French city break – oui. The land of (good) wine, macarons, the indomitable French stick and Coco Chanel, France has always retained a certain je ne sais quoi. So whether it be getting to grips with the capital city’s history on a private walking tour, or relaxing at a salubrious vinotherapy spa – think Cabernet rubs and Merlot scrubs – in Bordeaux, France city breaks have something for everyone. And just because it’s a city break doesn’t mean you can’t spend a day or two in the countryside (like the Chateau de Chambord in the Loire Valley) for a dose of intoxicating history, mystery, architecture and prestige.
Speaking of prestige, it would be wrong of us to neglect the country’s most indulgent and prized possession – patisserie. On France city breaks, not only are you are guaranteed to sample the best of the best, but you can even have a go at making your own. Get to know your ganache from your praline and your mille-feuille from your crème brulée during a private lesson with a pastry expert before setting sail along one of the country’s city’s charming rivers (a must-do) with a bottle of Bordeaux – naturally.