For Christmas’ Sake, Take a Stroll on the Champs-Elysées
You don’t have to be a tourist to enjoy the festivities along the Champs-Elysées during the holiday season. You can start out at the Brasserie in Le Drugstore for dinner, which certainly has the atmosphere you’ll be looking for but don’t expect more than a mediocre meal for a slightly pricey bill. Still, no one felt cheated as the lights along the avenue will live up to your expectations.
Cartier’s entire building changes to a bright red and the circles of lights in the trees along the avenue constantly change colors lighting the whole scene like the inside of a discotheque. With the light rain, the streets glisten and reflect the lights and colors. The avenue’s ‘bookends’ of the Arc de Triomphe and the Grande Roue, both lit with splendor, anchor the world’s most beautiful avenue. It simply couldn’t be prettier or more festive.
Start from the top (at the west side next to the Arc de Triomphe) and meander downhill. When you arrive at Rond Point, the blue and white globes of light at all corners are a total photo-op. From that point, the annual Christmas Market begins (Le Village de Noël des Champs-Elysées), spanning both sides and the entire length of the Champs-Elysées until you reach Place de la Concorde where there is an enormous Christmas Tree.
“Le Village Des Artisans d’Art” consists of real artisans selling a large variety of gift goodies. Among the merchants are multitudes of food and drink vendors selling everything from sausages to chocolates to waffles to “vin chaud.” You could certainly skip a restaurant meal in lieu of dining curbside — there are tables and outdoor heaters set up for comfort. (We joked that we wish we had, except for the subsequent indigestion)
There’s a skating rink if you’re so inclined, and a giant slide if you’re so reclined. There’s a giant mailbox for letters to Santa and a “Petit Train du Père Noël” for the kids. Let’s face it — there is no shortage of things to do or purchase. The market is open every day until January 6th from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. except weekends till 12 midnight.
This isn’t the city’s only “Marché de Noël” — I count fourteen in all — all duly noted on the city’s Web site.
Christmas in Paris. It may be cold and it may be rainy, but it sure is in the spirit of the holiday and no one can deny that it’s terribly romantic.
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
(photo by Phyllis Prinz)
P.S. I’m headed back to Nice on Friday for yet another filming of a House Hunter’s International episode, this time in my favorite Riviera town. It will be a small reprieve from Paris’ cold, gray, damp winter days! Today in Nice it’s in the 50s and sunny, of course — Nice gets 211 days a year of solid sun and an average of five hours of sunshine per day throughout the winter!
It’s also ‘low season’ in Nice and that means it’s a great time to take advantage, not only of the gorgeous weather on the Riviera, but there’s no better time to book your stay in either of our luxury Parler Nice Apartments! If you book your stay beginning December 21st through January 1, 2013 — take 25% off! (Minimum of 6 nights.) And if you book your stay beginning January 2, 2013 ending by February 14th — take 10% off the already low low-season rate! (Minimum of 7 nights.) Visit Parler Nice Apartments to learn more about Le Matisse and La Côte du Paradis, both located in the heart of the Carré d’Or just steps from the sea and great chic shopping!…which you will be doing under the sunshine!