Have you ever had that moment when you put your music player on shuffle, that song which sits on the bottom of your playlist pops up and it flashes back your fondest memories from THAT journey you had?
I’m gonna share the song with you a little bit later, but here I’m reminiscing my great time spending Christmas in Pairs last year, a trip sitting on the very top of my travel bucket list since I was a child . And I can’t believe it’s only two months till my favourite holiday season! Yesterday when I logged in to Spotify, I’m starting to get lots of Christmas songs on the recommended list. They must know that I’m one of those who’d start cranking up Christmas songs three months away from holiday (and always cause my friends to make fun of me!).
I’m sharing my must-have ingredients to make Christmas so quintessentially Christmas, and where I came across them in Paris. How many of these are also on your wishlist?
The Blossoms | The City of Love is a flourishing winter garden. The trees might have shredded their green layers, but the French won’t let that dampen their Christmas spirits. From roadside bistro to Champ Elysee, their love for red and white blooms is evident in every corner of town.
The Christmas Market | I simply love treasure hunting at local markets. From handmade art pieces, second-hand vintage to exotic delicacy, local market is the door that take you right to the soul of the place you’re visiting. There are dozens of Christmas markets around Europe, but what is truly awesome about Paris is that snow doesn’t usually fall till February, which means you can still enjoy a romantic stroll along the wooden chalets-lined Champs Elysées without having your hands turn blue and frozen. On those chilly days, how about just hold hands with your favourite companion, sharing a steamy Vin Chaud and hot Nutella-filled crepes as you marvel at the festive Parisian atmosphere? For the first timer in Pairs, you can’t go past the Champs Elysées Market as well as the Christmas Village at Trocadero, where you’ll have the most dramatic landmark as the backdrop for your photos. Been there, done that? Then the market at La Défense as well as Montparnasse might be for you.
The Gourmet Delights | Oh food, glorious food! Did you hear your taste buds calling with the most delicious month of the year fast approaching? From frogs’ legs to boudin noir, Paris has always been known as the playground for the connoisseurs, though not for the faint-hearted. For those who are adventurous enough to take on the fine and exotic tastes of Christmas, there’s always a local bistro or a boulangerie in Saint Germain des Pres to entice even the most discerning ones. Most places offer seasonal flavours that can only be sampled during the festive month, and I was lucky enough to have a bite of the Christmas foie gras macarons by Pierre Hermé. Hmm… bliss! If you like the sweet & savoury combination of chocolate peanut butter cups, this wacky flavour is for you.
The Red Beret (by The Seine) | If you’re looking for the most atmospheric backdrop to strike a pose in your red beret, it has to be on the riverfront by the Seine. I’m a self-confessed ‘mad hatter‘, and I believe there’s a hat for every occasion, for every travel destination. Sitting along the Seine in a red baret, a beige tailored fur coat from 70’s, and perhaps just add a painting palette in hand – voilà! You’ve got the postcard photo that is très Paris, très chic. 🙂
The Christmas Lights | The City of Lights lives up to its fame to put on a magical Christmas light show. I’ve seen those postcard-like shots of the decorated Champ Elysee, but trust me, it’s nothing like what you see on screen when you’re right in the middle of the action! I was totally mesmerised by the glittery, glamorous and almost velvety garment the city was draped in. The true beauty of it? You don’t have to flock to the tourist stripes to chase the Christmas lights. Decorated streets can be found literally in every Parisian arrondissement. Just get your camera ready and be prepared to have your jaw dropped.
Joyeux Noel! The Sound of Greetings | I sincerely think the French Tourism Body should hire me as the ambassador as I’ve been singing praises about the French hospitality and how friendly the French people were, at least those warm-hearted ones whom I came across! When me and my Mr were out and about doing our wedding photo shoot, we were absolutely showered with love from the passers-by saying ‘joyeux noel’ and ‘félicitations’ with big smiles. Well, I guess the silly season can even turn the grumpiest Grumpy Cat into a cheerful kitten, am I right? So I do say that Christmas is the best time to be in Pairs! But of course, nothing beats the warm wishes from home when you’re travelling a few thousand miles away. I was so glad that I took my TravelSIM with me so that I didn’t miss any greetings from my loved ones back home.
I didn’t manage to collect those sound of greetings from Paris, but here it is the mellow tune from my favourite Christmas song, the song that was playing over and over again while we were indulging in our Christmas dinner in our lovely Paris apartment, and the song that took me back in time to last Christmas…
So tell me Dear Reader, where were you last Christmas? Have you visited Paris in Christmas? And where will you be spending this wonderful season this year?
With love, from Paris x