Husband and I plan on taking BOE 14-day tour this May. We originally planned to spend a couple days in London before meeting up with the tour in Paris. But now, we're considering cutting our time in London short by a day so that we'll have a full day to spend at Versailles. Right now, we have tickets for the Eurostar at 3:30 pm London - Paris.
I can either exchange them for tickets a lot earlier in the morning and arrive as early as 9:30 in Paris. But then we still have to get to our hotel to drop off our bags, then take the Metro/RER to Versailles. From what I've read, we'd end up arriving at Versailles as late as 12:00 pm? (I read that although the actual train time is roughly 45 minutes, we should allow up to two hours for train transfers, crowds, etc.) That wouldn't be worth the trip the palace closes at 6:30 and gardens at 8.
Our other choice is to leave London as late as 8:00 pm the day before (we're staying at St. Pancras, so getting to station in London is not an issue), and arrive in Paris at 11:30 pm. We've never been in Paris before, nor do we speak French. So I'm concerned about arriving at Gare du Nord at close to midnight and finding a legitimate taxi to take us to our hotel. Has anyone gone through Gare du Nord so late at night? What has your experience been, and are taxis still plentiful that hour of night?