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Christmas in Paris Barbara: Create a local experience: Head to Montmartre, find a café on rue des Abbesses and order hot spiced wine (vin chaud) even if you don’t see it on the menu. Try a sharing planche of charcuteries and cheeses then, if you still have room, dinner of confit de canard or entrecôte frites. And wine. Or grab some oysters, cooked prawns, maybe foie gras and a bottle of bubbly at a morning market (it will be business as usual on Sunday the 24th). Buy a gorgeous scented candle, a bunch of flowers and throw open your hotel or rental window - and celebrate à la française. While you’re being authentic don’t forget a yule log cake - the traditional bûche de Noël - at any pastry shop. Angelina’s (226 rue de Rivoli 75001) fabulous tea room, which also happens to be open on Christmas Day, will have gorgeous ones in different sizes. (Recipe page 108) Craving Christmas Pudding? Marks & Spencer Foods (7 rue Mabillon Paris 75006) will be open the 24th from 08:30 - 14.00. Francois: Take a wander down the Champs-Elysees, the wonderful lights will make you feel very festive! Shop at Le Marché Poncele, a very famous food market for Parisians. It will be full of luxury goods before Christmas (foie gras, snails, fish and high end quality meats….) Buy some delicious tea from the tea boutique Mariage Frères - it's very special and very Paris!
Photo: Victor Dapremont Christmas eve in Paris Barbara: Be honest: How many times will you find yourself in Paris on Christmas Day? Splurge for one of these elegant brunches (reservation is essential) HÔTEL RITZ PARIS Grand Brunch de Noël (In the summer salon) 15 Place Vendôme 280 euros per person. www.ritzparis.com/en L’HOTEL MEURICE Brunch de Noël (In the restaurant Le Dalí) 228 rue de Rivoli 150 euros per person. www.lemeurice.com Barbara and Francois: Late night Christmas Eve: Squeeze into Midnight Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral with its children’s choir. Francois: pop to La Maison du Chocolat, one of the best chocolate boutiques in Paris Christmas Day in Paris Barbara: Well there’s more than you think: 1. The Pompidou Centre for an infusion of modern art 2. The Eiffel Tower! 3. The old Marais Jewish District around rue des Rosiers is just so pretty… 4. Most shops / showrooms on the Champs-Elysées are open through they close earlier than usual. 5. Brash brasseries on the boulevards do a brisk business, try the iconic names such as La Coupole, Les Deux Magots, Le Café de Flore - sure to be filled with other holiday homeless. 6. Angelina's Tea Room – which will be open during the day (226 Rue de Rivoli).
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