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Welcome 2 France Newsletter December 2015
Hello !

After the tragic events in Paris last month, our hearts and minds are with the victims of the terrorist attacks this festive season. While the world's thoughts and prayers are with Paris, it’s important to remember that even in the darkest times, Paris is a city that celebrates life and its people are more determined to live and love more than ever - especially with the holiday season coming up. Since security has clamped down in the city, its streets are safer than before, and there is no season more beautiful than Paris in December.

This Month's Featured Apartments

Champs Elysées - Iena

Be treated to the most glorious views of classic Paris in this sleek refurbished 2 bedroom apartment off the Champs-Elysees. This modern apartment has a wraparound balcony along with its open-concept living and dining area from which you can see the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, or just watch Paris go by on the tree-lined boulevards below with your croissant in the morning.

Louvre - Amiral de Coligny

This spacious 3 bedroom apartment located on the 4th floor of a 19th century building can sleep 6 people. It's facing the Louvre and offers not only a direct view over the museum but a romantic view over the Seine rivers and its brides, "bouquinistes", Eiffel tower and Invalides. This 200 square meter features 3 suites with its en suite bathrooms, a decorative fireplace and all the necessary amenities.

Louvre Palais Royal II

This furnished Paris apartment offers a beautiful combination of charming 18th-century spirit and contemporary necessities. The elegant and rich space is filled with an artistic blend of French styling and other aesthetic charms. The living room features an antique "bibliotheque directoire" and upscale furnishings. This apartment is a marvelous "pied-a-terre" in the Louvre area.

The Best Christmas Markets in Paris

Nothing says Christmas like Paris’ Christmas markets, so if you want a dose of festive cheer, just get into the spirit of the season at these markets. You can pick up Christmas decorations, festive objects as well as arts and crafts.

The Champs-Elysées Christmas Village

Put some Christmas lights up around Paris’ most prestigious boulevard and you’ve got a picture perfect location for some Christmas shopping. This is the largest Christmas market in Paris and one with an unbeatable atmosphere. While it might not be the best place for shopping and perhaps even overpriced at times, you can’t ask for more when it comes to the wow factor.

Open: 18 November 2015 - 4 January 2016
10:30 am - 12:00 midnight; Fridays and Saturdays until 1:00 am
Avenue des Champs-Elysées to the Place de la Concorde, 75008

Saint Germain des Pres Village of Father Christmas

With no less than 30 chalets, Christmas will take over the boulevard Saint Germain with the Village of Father Christmas. Take the family along to the Latin Quarter and shop for some tasty Christmas goodies!

Open: 14 November 2015 to 4 January 2016
10:00 am-7:00 pm
Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés, 75006

Christmas Market at La Défense

La Défense and its looming Grande Arche de la Défense might not be the most romantic setting, but with over 300 stalls selling just about everything from regional products and artisanal goods to toys, this definitely ranks as one of the largest and most festive seasonal markets in the Paris region.

Open: 19 November - 27 December 27th 2015
11:00 am to 8:30 pm. Closed on Christmas Day (December 25th)
Parvis de la Défense (near the Grand Arche), 92044 Puteaux

Christmas Market and Ice Rink at the Trocadero

There is no place more iconic than the Eiffel Tower, and doing a spot of Christmas shopping with this Parisian landmark in the backdrop is a magical experience. You’ll find 100 stands here where you can buy gifts, as well as ice skating and snow villages. Doesn’t get more festive than that!

Open: 13 December 2015 - 4 January 2016
11:00 am to 8:30 pm.
Place du Trocadero, across from the Eiffel Tower, 75016

Christmas Market at Gare de L’Est

This market stands out of the Christmas crowd with its famous Alsatian specialties. This festive street market is located near the train station and is known for its artisanal gifts and regional treats, which include sausages, mulled wine, gingerbread, sauerkraut among other delicious bites.

Open: 3 - 18 December 2015
9:00 am-8:00 pm (open Sundays from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm and on 18 December from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm)
Gare de l'est (outside the station on the main square), 75010

What You'll Find on a French Christmas Menu

On any special occasion, France is all about food and Christmas is no exception. Like most countries in the world, the French like to sit down to dinner en famille during the holiday season, where food plays a major role in the celebration. If you’re looking for some culinary inspiration or you want to host your very own French Christmas, then make sure you serve up a number of courses, all with good wine, of course, to enjoy the season.


Get the appetite going with a classic aperitif. A glass of dry Champagne or a Kir Royal is perfect to begin the meal, but of course, you can also go all out and try some fancy cocktails, like a classic Martini. Some amuse-gueules or canapes will also help to keep guests and family satiated while you put some finishing touches on in the kitchen.


After cocktail hour is over, it’s time to sit down. Traditionally the table is set with the best silverware and china, usually decorated with festive decorations. Classic dishes to begin your Christmas meal are oysters, which are in season right now, saumon fumé (smoked salmon) and foie gras. It’s important to serve up with a semi-sweet wine, like a Vouvray or even a very sweet wine like Sauternes to amplify the flavors.

Le Plat Principal

Now comes the star of the show. The mains can be flexible as long as they are seasonal, and poultry like chicken, duck or turkey are often served as the focus of the meal. Chestnut stuffed turkey is a popular dish of the season, embracing the seasonality of roasted chestnuts. Truffles are another popular accent for this festive course.

But being in France, you’ll find a variety of roasted birds, like castrated rooster, guinea fowl, and even red meat like lamb or roe deer. Often the main courses are accompanied by small legumes, like green beans, zucchinis or mushrooms. Wine pairing depends on the main course, but a good, robust red is a popular choice.

Le Fromage

Of course there is cheese on the menu, and anything less than three types of cheese is frowned upon. Often this course is served up with a green salad, with the accompanying cheeses presented on a wooden board. You should have a cow’s milk cheese, a ewe’s cheese and of course, a goat’s cheese. Sometimes the selection will be more generous!

Le Dessert

To round up the dinner, the traditional star of the French Christmas kitchen is the bûche de Noël. This buttercream cake comes in the shape of a log and is decorated with Christmas figures. The cake is served in slices, and perhaps with some more champagne or dessert wine, or a digestive like port or brandy.

Seeing in the New Year

There is no better place than to see in the New Year than Paris. Get the most out of the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 with some Parisian traditions and tips.

Parisian New Year Traditions

Before you book into any party, it’s important to know the dos, don’ts and traditions you’ll find in Paris. New Year is known as St. Sylvestre and actually, New Year lasts from 1 January to 1 February. You’ll still find people wishing you a Happy New Year throughout the month - make sure you return the greeting!

The drink of choice is classic Champagne or even sparkling white wine, but make sure not to confuse them. If you prefer something different, then you can still opt in for the seasonal vin chaud or cider. If you want a traditional snack, then try papillottes, seasonal chocolates and candy that pop like little fire crackers when you tear off the wrapping. They’re made with dark, milk or white chocolate and filled with nougat, ganache, praline or hazelnuts, sometimes even a fruit paste. There is usually a little joke placed inside the wrap.

Places to Celebrate

There is no need to book into a restaurant or an event to see in the New Year, when you can celebrate in front of Paris’s iconic landmarks.

The Champs-Elysées is the center of the action, where the street party starts at 9pm. If you can find the perfect spot with a view of the Eiffel Tower, then you’ve hit the New Year jackpot for that iconic Parisian New Year. However, this street event is only for those who do not have a problem with crowds and it should be noted that pick-pocketing can also be an issue. Also, it’s important to note that you should not drink alcohol here in public. And if you want to see a firework display, head over to Arc de Triomphe - it’s the only place where you have fireworks in Paris!

If you want a street event with a smaller crowd, then head to the Sacré Coeur
in Montmartre for a calmer event. If the weather is good, then you are treated to amazing views over Paris. The streets might get packed here, but it is still more of a laid back event than downtown.

The New Year’s Eve Dinner

Make sure you book into a good restaurant or dinner cruise for a classic dinner for the night if you want to do the whole shebang. You want to see in the New Year with a plate of Foie Gras, smoked salmon or oysters, don’t you? A dinner cruise is a great way to enjoy the Parisian sites, sample some gastronomy and see in the New Year in style. Make a night of it and dress up in your best!

Clubs & Cabarets

Paris has some amazing clubs that make a great place to see in 2016. If you can afford it, the Moulin Rouge is one of the most iconic ways to spend the New Year, with a luxury dinner of caviar, lobster and champagne dinner, along with a show and a surprise gift. Another cabaret, which also comes with a high ticket price, is the Lido on the Champs-Elysées, which also includes a luxury Champagne dinner.

But if you want to dance the night away, then there is no need to book into a cabaret. Simply look up any popular Parisian nightclubs for parties and after parties and you can find a way to see the New Year in with a bang.

Calendar of Events


Villa Flora, Enchanted Times, exhibition at the Marmottan Museum
10 September 2015 - 7 February 2016
Musée Marmottan Monet
2 rue Louis Boilly

Florence, Portraits at the Court of the Medici. Bronzino, Salviati, Pontormo
11 September 2015 - 25 January 2016
Musée Jacquemart-André
158 boulevard Haussmann

Fragonard Amoureux, exhibition
16 September 2015 - 24 January 2016
Musée du Luxembourg
19 rue de Vaugirard

Daum, variations d'artiste
11 September 2015 - 3 January 2016
Espace Dalí
11 rue Poulbot

Splendour and Misery. Images of prostitution in France (1850-1910)
22 September 2015 - 20 January 2016
Musée d'Orsay
1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur

Andy Warhol. Shadows
2 October 2015 - 20 January 2016
Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
11 Avenue du Président Wilson

Picasso and Contemporary Art
7 October 2015 - 29 February 2016
Grand Palais
3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower

Congolese beauty – Congo Kitoko 1925-2015
11 July 2015 - 10 January 2016
Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain
261 boulevard Raspail
75014 Paris

Anselm Kiefer
16 December 2015 - 18 April 2016
Centre Pompidou
place Georges-Pompidou
75004 Paris

Exhibitions and Other Museums

Osiris, Sunken Mysteries of Egypt
8 September 2015 - 31 January 2016
Institut du Monde Arabe
1 rue des Fossés Saint-Bernard

Music, Theater and Dance

La Damnation de France (Opera)
5 December - 29 November 2015
Opera Bastille
Place de la Bastille

Bluebeard's Castle/La Voix Humaine (Opera)
20 November - 12 December 2015
Palais Garnier
8 Rue Scribe

La Bayadère (Ballet)
17 November - 31 December 2015
Opera Bastille
Place de la Bastille

Elina Garanca (Recital)
20 December 2015
Palais Garnier
8 Rue Scribe

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The Welcome 2 France team
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