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Welcome 2 France Newsletter December 2016
Hello !

What better way to wrap up a fantastic 2016, than a trip to Paris. From the first week in December, the streets are gloriously lit up with Christmas lights and the streets are packed with shoppers trying to get the best presents in the world's fashion capital. Magical and as always, romantic, December really is the most wonderful time of the year.

This Month's Featured Apartments

Passy - Trocadero I

This Haussmann designed apartment from 1863 with authentic wooden floor and fireplaces, is facing south with a balcony. Owned by a renowned international artist, this apartment is designed tastefully and decorated with sculptures and paintings in every room.

Saint Germain des Pres - Atelier Loft Furstenberg

This apartment is available only for year lease. It is located in what can only be considered Paris' most beautiful area, the Atelier is in the same building as the Delacroix museum, and a stone's throw from Pont Neuf, Place de Saint Germain, and Louvre.

Saint Germain des Pres - Luxembourg Guynemer

Just a stone’s throw from the Jardin du Luxembourg – home of the Medici Fountain – and minutes from Saint Germain des pres area, this three bed luxury Paris apartment has more than just all the modern conveniences.

Top 3 Ice Rinks in Paris

Each year the city converts some of it's more popular squares into ice rinks for the holiday season. You could technically think of it as exercise but if you're like most people, it will probably just be good fun with a lot of falling down. There are several different options. Here we've selected 3 based on how popular they are.

Eiffel Tower
It's definitely not "off the beaten track" but it is beautiful. On the first floor of the world's most iconic monument, you'll have stunning views of the city as you glide on or perhaps glide into the wall. Expect long lines especially at the weekend or during sunset. Best time to go is probably midday, midweek.


It's indoors, so it doesn't tend to attract as many people and this will be the third year it's open so not even every Parisian knows about it. It's completely free ( if you have your own ice skates) but if you didn't pack them in the suitcase, you can expect to pay around 7 euros for one hour.

Le Grand Palais


Boulogne Billancourt
My personal favourite. Don't expect any tourists and it's a little bit out of the centre. This place is actually a proper ice rink and not a temporary Christmas attraction and it's open all year. You'll have more room to move around but remember this is a sports venue and you may have to share with people that take it seriously.

The Best Mulled Wine in Paris

The famous French writer, Victor Hugo famously once said - "God may have made water, but man made wine". Simple and true. It would be a sin to come to Paris and not have some wine but in December it gets even better with mulled wine. Ok, it's not native to France. Mulled wine actually originates in Germany. But if you ask me, anything concerning wine is best tried in France, especially Paris. Here are some suggestions for the best mulled wine that the city has to offer.

Cafe Hugo

Yes, you guessed it. It's named after the man himself. It is not really a local secret so you can expect a few tourists and it may not be necessary to whip out your French dictionary but the decor is beautiful and the "vin chaud" is simply amazing.

Cafe Marly

Perhaps one of the most romantic bars in the whole city. This is a great place to come as a couple. A stylish and chic bar that serves some of the best cocktails in town. Best time to come is in the evening mid-week. If you go at the weekend expect to wait a while for a table.

La Closerie des Lilas

Definitely the best pick of the lot. A favourite of the writer - Ernest Hemingway, this dark and shadow lounge feels like it came right out of a 'film noir' or maybe a stylish painting. It's pricey but you're well worth it.

Shopping, Shopping and then... Shopping.

It may not be the most cultural way to see the city, but there is no denying it is one of the best ways to explore the streets. Paris is the fashion capital of the world but it offers so much more. From browsing the high-street stores and luxury fashion houses of the Champs Elysées to exploring some of the iconic and historic department stores, Christmas is the best time to do this.

Notre Dame

Like most European cities you can expect beautiful Christmas markets dotted across the city. This one takes top place for beauty. Set against the stunning backdrop of Notre Dame cathedral and dabbled with beautiful Christmas lights, you don't even have to buy anything to have a great time here.


Gare de l'Est

Quite the opposite, in terms of environment. This Christmas market is in a train station. But where it excels is in tradition. A faithful representation of a true Alsace market, this is a great place to pick up little snacks to take home or even to eat yourself.


La Défense

It may not be official, but I think this is the biggest Christmas market of them all. Located in the financial district of La Défense, there is something for everyone here and a strong emphasis on local and regional traditional crafts. This is very different from your average souvenir shop.


Rue de Passy

Expect a lot of people on the Champs Elysées (and a Christmas market too) but Rue de Passy, is less busy, definitely less touristy but equally as chic. International fashion houses are lined right beside local Parisian designers - this is a great place to get some luxury items this Christmas.


Les Galleries Lafayette

Hard to single out just one department store when making a list like this but it would have to be this one. An iconic institution, this department store is a great family destination. Apart from just shopping, the design, robotic displays, animation and lights are enough to keep anyone happy.

Christmas Carols

Almost every church in the city offers some kind of musical treat this December. From choirs, to classical recitals, to carol singing - it's the perfect cultural experience to help you feel festive. World famous cathedrals such as Notre Dame and Saint German des Pres offer free concerts most weekends but you're advised to get there early. Here are two other suggestions, you may not know about.

La Sainte Chapelle
Offering over 10 different dates before Christmas, there is quite a range of musical events here. The choirs or concerts promise to have a stunning backdrop of one of the finest examples of stain glass art in the world. If you are really feeling luxurious, you can even purchase a VIP package and get complementary champagne (to be consumed outside the church, of course).

Philharmonie de Paris
Yes, it's not a church but it is festive and gospel inspired. On Sunday the 11th of December, El Niño comes to town. It's like nothing you've seen before. A classical composition based on the Gnostic gospels but with a modern twist and centred around the theme of the Nativity.

Calendar of Events


Palais de la Porte Dorée
All December
293 avenue Daumesnil

MC93 Bobigny
December 3rd - 12th
1 boulevard Lénine

Jeu de Paume
All December
1 place de la Concorde

Rodrigo Braga
Palais de Tokyo
Until December 18th
13 avenue du Président Wilson


James Issac
La Maroquinerie
December 10th
23 Rue Boye

Crystal Castles
Elysée Montmartre
December 02nd
72 boulevard de Rochechouart

Jóhann Jóhannssonc
December 06th
21 rue Yves Toudic

Nouvelle Vague
Le Flow
December 08th
Sous le pont Alexandre III

Ludovico Einaudi
Salle Pleyel
December 19th
252 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré


42nd Street
Théâtre du Châtelet
All December
1 place du Châtelet

Dark Circus
Théâtre Monfort
Until December 17th
106 rue de Brancion

Le Cabernet Burlesque
La Nouvelle Seine
From December 02nd to 30th
Péniche sur berges, face au 3 quai de Montebello

The Valley of Astonishment
Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord
Until December 23rd
37 bis boulevard de la Chapelle

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Thank you for your interest and best regards,

The Welcome 2 France team
Tel. 1 (650) 267-4328
(free local call number in U.S. or Canada)

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