Trip Highlights

Highlights

A total of 11 nights in central London and while there having our own especially designed tour of London: a day tour to the magnificent university city of Oxford is also included with lunch at the iconic Randolph Hotel: an opportunity to play at the legendary Acol Bridge club in London in an Australasia v UK match: playing in 2 of the English Bridge Union’s signature tournaments: and last, but certainly not least, 8 fantastic days playing Bridge at the stunning Chateau des Comtes de Challes in the French Alps complete with excursions to Chambery and Aix-Les-Bains.

  • Destination: London & the French Alps
  • Duration: 23 days / 22 nights
  • Commence: 31/07/2018
  • Ends: 22/08/2018
  • Price: NZD 12,493

Details:

Inclusions

  • Escorted by Australasian Bridge maestro Paul Marston
  • Services of an Epic Journeys tour guide throughout
  • Flights from all major cities across NZ & Australia via Dubai to London return
  • European Bridge package 6/14 August as detailed
  • All accommodation as listed for 19 nights
  • All flight taxes, accommodation taxes and service fees throughout the tour
  • Full cooked Breakfast throughout the tour
  • Lunches and other meals as detailed
  • All entrance fees throughout the tour (during day tours)
  • All fees (entrance and table) for all Bridge sessions
  • All coach travel as detailed including all day tours and transfers

Costs

AU$11,369 or NZ$12,493 Per person share twin.
Single Supplement: AU$2,869 or NZ$3,152
Add-ons are available to the tour (before or after).

Deposits/Payments

An initial deposit of $2,500 is required to confirm your acceptance on the tour.

A 2nd instalment of $2,500 is required on or before 28 February
2018 and the final balance payment is due on or before 31 May 2018.

Flights

If you wish to sort your own flights you can remove $2,500 from
the tour price.

Tour Itinerary

Join Paul Marston (renowned Bridge Club owner, author and international player) on this epic journey to the UK & the French Alps. There is Bridge for players of all levels including the opportunity to play in the EBU’s (English Bridge Union) premier Pairs and Teams events. If you’re more of a social player who fancies 3 weeks in the company of one of Australasia’s great Bridge personalities, then there is ample opportunity to play against players of a similar level.

Emirates flights

Tuesday 31 July – Wednesday 1 August

Departs all major cities across Australia and New Zealand on Tuesday 31 July and arriving in London at 11.40am on Wednesday 1 August. On arrival at London Heathrow the group will be met and transferred to your London Hotel with the rest of the day at leisure. The Imperial Hotel is a very short walk to the British Museum and Bloomsbury Square.

The Imperial Hotel

Wednesday 1 August – Monday 6 August

61-66 Russell Square
Bloomsbury, London WC1B 5BB
Ph: +44 20 7837 3655

In Wednesday 1 August Out Monday 6 August 5 nights in London.

Non-smoking room includes free Wi-Fi, full breakfast included.

First full day on the tour

Thursday 2 August

Our first full day on the tour and after a leisurely breakfast we have a prompt 10am Coach departure for our especially designed tour of London. During the day, we’ll be driving past some of London’s most iconic landmarks but our day will start with a stop at Fortnum & Mason at 181 Piccadilly. Established in 1707 this is perceived as the upmarket Harrods and holds 2 Royal warrants and has supplied tea to the Royal Houses for over 300 years. Our Coach will be parked up here for an hour so you’ll have a chance to wander around the shop (make sure you see the Food Hall). Right next door to Fortnum & Mason is Hatchards Bookshop (est 1797) and diagonally across the road (and up a little) is the most wonderful Burlington Arcade (est 1819). After leaving 181 Piccadilly we travel the short distance along Piccadilly to Piccadilly Circus, down the Haymarket and left into Trafalgar Square where we’ll stop for 75 minutes. Trafalgar Square is home to Nelson’s Column, iconic stone lions, the famous Fourth Plinth and the National Gallery.

The main reason we’ve come here though is because we have organized a 60minute guided tour of the National Gallery and we’ll have the opportunity of viewing some of the world’s great paintings. After leaving Trafalgar Square we’ll drive to Covent Garden where we’ll have a 30minute stop to wander around the markets before continuing up the Strand, along Fleet St and through the City of London, including St Paul’s Cathedral, before crossing Tower Bridge and stopping for lunch at The Bridge House at 218 Tower Bridge Road. After a leisurely lunch we’ll drive back to The Imperial Hotel via the South Bank, Westminster Bridge (viewing Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey) and Buckingham Palace where you’ll have a couple of hours to freshen up before we head off for the group’s official Welcome dinner. We’re booked in at 7pm at a local restaurant and time to discuss tactics prior to tomorrow night’s first session.

Bridge takes centre stage

Friday 3 August – Sunday 5 August

At last Bridge takes centre stage and our group will participate in the English Bridge Union summer meeting – Weekend Challenge. This weekend is the Swiss Pairs for the Harold Poster Trophy and Bridge takes place as follows:

Friday 3 August 7.45pm Session 1 – 3 x 8 board matches
Saturday 4 August 1.00pm Session 2 – 4 x 8 board matches
Saturday 4 August 7.45pm Session 3 – 3 x 8 board matches
Sunday 5 August 12.30pm Session 4 – 4 x 8 board matches

Chateau des Comtes de Challes, France

Monday 6 August – Tuesday 14 August

We’re picked up after breakfast and transferred to London Gatwick Airport for our 90 minute flight to Lyon. On arrival in Lyon we’re met and transferred to the magnificent Chateau des Comtes de Challes in the French Alps (60 minute journey) for a week of Duplicate Bridge. The package includes return flights London/French Alps (60 minute journey) for a week of Duplicate Bridge. The package includes return flights London/Lyon, return transfers Lyon/ Chateau des Comtes de Challes, 8 nights accommodation in a Twin or DoubleBedded room, daily Breakfast and Dinner, and daily Bridge. Bridge is twice daily at 2.30pm and 7.45pmalthough nothing is obligatory and you can play as many sessions as you choose.

There are 2 excursions included in our package – the first to Chambery where you can shop on market day and have a guided tour of this historic old town with its cathedral and narrow alleyways, Piedmont-inspired mansions and picturesque squares and the second excursion is to Aix-Les- Bains where we take a boat tour on Lake Bourget and enjoy a guided tour of Hautecombe Abbey.

Optional tours might include Annecy (The Venice of the Alps) with its old town crossed by numerous canals, its medieval arcades, bridges and flower-decked quays – all on the banks of Lake Annecy or perhaps visit Perouges, a lovely walled medieval town that has been the setting to many historical films. However, from the Chateau itself, it is only a short 10 minute walk into the centre of Challes-les- Eaux, which is a spa and resort town situated in the valley of the Bauges and close to Chambery. There is a small selection of shops in this typical French town that includes a patisserie, boulangerie, tabac, bank & supermarket as well a couple of cafes and pizzeria.

Lyon

Tuesday 14 August

After breakfast, we depart at 9am for Lyon where we’re dropped off (the luggage stays with the coach) and have the day exploring this wonderful city. Sitting at the junction of the Rhone and Saone rivers this historic city with its 2000 year old Roman Amphitheatre will fascinate and tantalise but we’re only here a few hours before we’re picked up at 3.30pm for the trip out to Lyon airport to catch our 6.30pm flight back to London Gatwick. On arrival, we’re met and transferred back to our London base where we have 6 more nights at our main tour hotel – The Imperial in Russell Square.

The Imperial Hotel.

Tuesday 14 August – Monday 20 August

The Imperial Hotel.
61-66 Russell Square
Bloomsbury, London WC1B 5BB
Ph: +44 20 7837 3655

In Tuesday 14 August Out Monday 20 August 6 nights in London.
Non-smoking room includes free Wi-Fi, full breakfast included.

Randolph Hotel in Oxford

Wednesday 15 August

We have a full day tour departing at 9am which includes lunch at the iconic Randolph Hotel in Oxford (Inspector Morse and Lewis fame). In essence, the tour itself will include a return
Coach transfer, a 3 hour guided tour of this famous University city, our lunch and a wander around. The tour of Oxford will be a walking tour that will include a visit to both the Bodleian Library and Ashmolean Museum before heading to the Randolph Hotel for lunch and there will still be a little time left for a wander before heading back into London and plenty of time to find a local restaurant for dinner.

West End

Thursday 16 August

A cracking day ahead with a session at the Acol Club in London before a night out in the West End (choice of 2 musicals). So we start with an 11am – 2.30pm session at the iconic Acol Club
in London where we’ll play duplicate Bridge in an Australasia v UK match that has been set up by the Acol Club (includes a light lunch). Then a couple of hours respite before we’re off into the West End to see a hit musical.

English Bridge Union summer meeting

Friday 17 – Sunday 19 August

We’re back to the Royal National Hotel where our group will participate in the English Bridge Union summer meeting – 2nd Weekend Challenge.
This weekend is the Swiss Teams Championships for the Four Stars Trophy and Bridge takes place as follows:

Friday 17 August 7.45pm Session 1 – 3 x 8 board matches
Saturday 18 August 1.00pm Session 2 – 4 x 8 board matches
Saturday 18 August 7.45pm Session 3 – 3 x 8 board matches
Sunday 19 August 11am Four Stars Finals (session 1)
Sunday 19 August 12noon Session 4 – 4 x 8 board matches (Brighton Bowl)
Sunday 19 August 2.30pm Four Stars Final (session 2)

London Heathrow Airport.

Monday 20 August

Time for a leisurely breakfast and a free day (leave your bags at reception) before we get an early evening (7pm) transfer from our Russell Square hotel to London Heathrow Airport.
Emirates Flights Departs Heathrow: circa 10pm and arrives back into cities across Australia and New Zealand on Wednesday 22 August.

 

 

 

 

Your Guide for this Tour

Hosted by Paul Marston – As a player, Paul Marston has won more than 50 national and international open titles. As a writer, he has sold more than 500,000 books and he is the bridge correspondent for the Australian newspaper. Paul also runs the Grand Slam Bridge Centre in Double Bay, Sydney.

PRICE: 12,493 NZD

per person

Single Room supplement is NZD3,152

All enquiries contact
info@epicjourneys.co.nz or
Phone: 0800 031 539.

Book it

Download the Booking Registration Form