Ever since 1994 when the Channel Tunnel first opened for business, a weekend trip to Paris has been an important landmark in any nascent romance. Suddenly British men - never as at ease with overt displays of passion like our Spanish or Italians brothers – had a connecting artery pumping directly into the City of Love.
Want to show them you care, to take that important step between 'not sleeping with anyone else' and moving in together? Simple: book a mini-break to Paris. It's do-able without requiring a week off work, while still being expensive enough to feel like a real gesture - and what's more, it's Paris. The fact it's the biggest cliché in the world is both for very good reason and really rather the point.
In these miserable times for UK-Euro relations, keeping this tradition alive and well is important, before Brexit gets so 'hard' the French pour cement down the tunnel mouth and be done with us. Which is why men with a little cash to splash should consider doing it properly while they still can, and go for Eurostar's Business Premier package - and in particular enjoy its new lounge in Paris Gare du Nord (more on which later).
Travelling Business transforms the Eurostar from the 'slightly nicer train' experience of Standard class into something that gets your romantic jaunt off on the best possible foot – as well it should. There is an inherent magic in boarding at London and emerging, a couple of hours later, into the French countryside. Doing so while looking at each other over some free glasses of plonk, a warm meal and – crucially – enough leg room to engage in a little light frottage is precisely how any trip to the French capital should begin. Remember: we're going for the perfectly realised cliché here. You will be taking a selfie beside the Effiel Tower in a few hours and there's no point pretending otherwise.
So why not go the whole hog, and book a hotel where you can see the great metal phallus from your balcony?
The Shangri-La Paris, situated just across the river from the Tower and a stone's throw from the Théâtre National de Chaillot, is one of the most visually arresting hotels in Paris (no small feat), a far more historic cousin to the company's London outpost perched at the top of the Shard (though splendid that is too).
Once belonging to Prince Roland Bonaparte – grandnephew of Napoleon – the building's royal heritage is visible in every nook and cranny, from the elegant façade to the grand staircase to the lavish rooms (in this sense it more closely resembles The Ritz, though it is far less stuffy than the Queen's favourite grand old London hotel). Cocktails in Le Bar Botainste has a modern polish, while dinner next door in L'Abeille transfers you back to the opulent past. There's a beautiful garden and high glass roof covered curved dining room for breakfast. The whole place is, if you'll forgive, absolutely magnifique.
Paris, of course, is then your oyster (unlike London, which is merely your Oyster). We won't patronise you by rounding up the most famous city in the world's most important sights in detail here, but Notre-Dame by night (perhaps with a coffee at nearby Shakespeare & Co, the world's greatest book shop) and the perfectly kept Le Jardin du Luxembourg by day (fun fact: Hemingway used to hunt pigeons there while living in poverty) are the top recommendations for first-timers from this humble Casanova (or should that be René?).
Beyond that, remember you only have a day or two and don't try and squeeze in too much or tick boxes like the frankly awful Louvre (you won't see a thing). Just stroll the banks of the Seine and sniff out some of the better cafes – the staff at the Shangri-La will happily direct you to some exceptional ones – and gorge on fine cheese, rich meats and disconcertingly small glasses of good, cheap wine. It is what Paris is all about.
On your way home, be sure to get to the train station early, whizz through the (sometimes large) queues with your Business class fast track and check out Eurostar's new lounge. Situated on the top floor of the original 19th century building, it's a great place to unwind and reflect on your fantastically-romantic-and-possibly life-changing trip, all high ceilings, marble fireplaces and snug spaces. The cocktail bar is a winner too (you're still on holiday - remember!) while the food - developed by he of the Michelin star and OBE Raymond Blanc - is a great way to end your trip. Congratulations: you are now a fully-fledged romantic. And you didn't even have to write a poem.