SFP’s Paris Holiday Favorites

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It’s mid-December and the holiday season has officially arrived in Paris. It is a magical time in the city and it really brings the name “City of Light” to life. There is always so much to do in Paris and with the holiday season comes the standard Christmas Markets that pop up throughout the city as well as the smell of mulled wine and the delicious pain d’épices that is served with fois gras at almost every event.

Below are some of our favorites for the holiday season in Paris and some fool-proof ways to get you revved up for celebrations with family and loved ones!

1. Paris Lights Up!

One of my favorite things about the holiday season in Paris is seeing all of the local neighborhood street lights. Many of them change every year or every few years and each neighborhood is different. The big avenues like Avenue Montaigne, the Champs-Elysees or the exterior of the Grands-Magasins along Boulevard Haussemann always have beautiful large-scale displays, but the small neighborhood streets like rue Montorgeuil, rue Cler, rue des Martyrs, rue du Commerce, rue Levis, and so many more light up every corner of the city. It is always fun walking around and discovering the different holiday spirits in every city.

2. Bûches de Noël

If you are planning a holiday dinner or Christmas Day celebration you will need a fabulous bûche de Noël to finish off the feast. These beautiful holiday cakes are much more than your standard French pastry as each chocolaterie comes out with new elaborate designs every year. Pop into Pierre Hermé, Patrick Roger, Pain de Sucre, Jean-Paul Hevin or Patisserie des Rêves (to name just a few) to check out this year’s beauties. We also love the mini versions at La Maison du Chocolat and they will even serve you a nice cup of hot cocoa while you wait!

3. Pop-Up Christmas Markets

Not only are there the traditional Christmas Markets that pop up all over the city around this time of year but there is a new wave of weekend holiday markets that range from food-based to artisanal products and gifts. I have a particular affinity to these festive holiday pop-ups since my lovely husband proposed at one at the Palais Tokyo a few years ago.

Earlier this month there was a Finnish-Iclandic market at the REcyclerie int he 18th and there are three more coming up that we can’t wait to hit! There is a holiday food market in Ménilmontant today only that looks absolutely delicious and later this weekend Le Marché Noël des Start-Ups Food will be taking over the REcyclerie with food start-ups and fun gift ideas. If you are looking for something different (or just ate your way through all the food stands!), head over to La Bellevilloise for the Marché Vintage Noël for all things holiday-themed and vintage.

 

4. Window Shopping

Growing up in NYC, one of my favorite holiday pastimes was to visit the holiday window displays and that still holds true here in Paris! The window displays at Printemps, Galleries Lafayette, Le Bon Marché and even at BHV always put you into the holiday spirit.

Little fun-fact: the term “window shopping” in French translates to “lèche-vitrine” or “window licking.” Just make sure not to drool on all the fun displays this year!

5. Oysters Galore!

Another foodie-favorite of the holiday season. Not only are oysters absolutely delicious but I love seeing the stands pop up at the open-aired markets or in front of great fish restaurants where rubber-boot-clad men spend the December days shucking oysters. Grab them by the dozen and bring them home for a little holiday festive treat!

 

 

** We will be taking a short holiday break from the blog over the next few weeks. Wishing all of our lovely readers a fabulous holiday season and we will be back in 2016!

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  1. hi Sasha,

    Such a great blog, congrats!

    I woud love to have your feedback on Walk My Steps, our newly created platform for international travelers in Paris.

    Please drop me a short email, would be great to have your views and discuss potential partnership.

    cheers
    Dom

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