We can feel the mood has been subdued these last few days in the city of love, delicious gourmet food and fashion. The recent events have been a burden that will be heavy to carry for Paris and its inhabitants, but never will it destroy its treasures! The many outings it has to offer will lift the spirits and is sure to bring back the longed-for Christmas magic…
1. Paris for… shopaholics
Shopping heaven La Vallée Village – Christmas obviously goes with shopping and choosing the (hopefully) perfect present for your family and friends! La Vallée Village is a shopping haven with all the most famous brands nested in a cosy village that becomes Santa’s town for Christmas! As you step past the gates, you will follow the cobbled streets past the lit boutiques. You will feel like part of something special, with your cup of Starbucks cinnamon Christmas hot chocolate in your hands, looking at the new items in the shopping windows. Mum will love a Furla accessory, a Lalique vase, dear sister will be crazy about a Michael Kors watch, dad will like a Hugo Boss scarf or belt… and if you’re feeling peckish, why not try the Prêt à Manger tasty and healthy food parlour: you should go for their lentil salad with avocado and chicken or a prawn wrap with spices, followed by a raspberry heart muffin for dessert… Vallée Village is only 10 minutes from the Dream Castle and Magic Circus hotels. A private shuttle can come and pick you up directly (very practical when coming back with loads of bags… ).
And in the city centre of Paris?
The most well-known French brands have their beautiful shop windows all lit up. Many consider them to be a real work of art. Just walk along Boulevard Haussman to the Galleries Lafayette and Printemps shopping halls. There might be crowds but it’s worth pushing in to have a glimpse. Buy a Fauchon chocolate éclair in the Galleries Lafayette and admire the huge Christmas tree that reaches up to the top of the glass dome ceiling. There is a rooftop from where you can enjoy a gorgeous view while eating your éclair.
2. Paris for… tourists
Admire Paris’ new Christmas garments about 70 meters above the ground. The traditional Ferris Wheel at Place de la Concorde has been offering glittering views of the city for 22 years now, and it will certainly continue offering its beautiful panorama! A great moment to share with your loved ones. Just one little tip: you should go when night falls, of course.
3. Paris for… Christmas lovers
Of course, Christmas markets! Let’s mention the most interesting ones that will convey the cosiness of Christmas: the Christmas market of Saint Germain is set in front of the mysterious Saint Germain church. It is quite small but one of the most authentic. Another interesting market is Made in France at Charles Michels square from 9 to 24 December: you’ll be able to discover lots of handcrafts and food exclusively coming from France. Very interesting if you are searching for a meaningful present. Want to buy a vintage wooden horse for your niece? Well that’s always possible if you go and have a look at the Vintage Christmas Fair, on 11, 12 & 13 December at Halle des Blancs Manteaux. Many 50s and 60s style toys and deco items will be waiting for you.
4. Paris for… gourmets
Let’s have a look at what the pastry chefs have created for us gluttonous folks this year: Pierre Hermé, particularly famous for his macarons (so chunky, they just seem to call out “Take me, take me!” from behind their glass windows), came up with an idea of 3 yule logs. Take your pick: mascarpone cream and chocolate biscuit; vanilla trio, chocolate and yuzu; or chestnut and fruit. These edible logs are available in any Pierre Hermé shop (for example the one at Boulevard de l’Opéra): perfect to make an impression when invited for a Christmas dinner.
Another brilliant pastry chef, Michalak, has created an original round red Christmas cake (reminiscent of Santa’s belly, and ours probably, if we eat too much all year long). Made of milk chocolate, and salted butter, with a marshmallow cover. Available in his new shop Michalak Take Away.
So, as you can see: no one can steal the Parisian spirit and joy for Christmas. There is so much to enjoy in Paris during this festive season! And as Washington Irving said:
“Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.”