France: Christmas and New Year’s!!!

Ok so this is a nice subject and the best part of the year for many including us.  I have several posts on the festivities over the years, but in some older years I like to condense them in this post. Anyway, today everything starts earlier lol! And of course, the text has been modified and update with current information.

This was 2012, Happy New Year to all my readers and friends. Walking Versailles is always glorious and seeing its vibrant streets again is super, now at Christmas time,the lights, the ambiance is great. The ice skating ring at the Hôtel de Ville for the kids is nice too. The city seems full, lots of folks to catch the last days hours of the wonderful castle museum. It was a wonderful visit back to our old home!!

Well just arrived from a wonderful trip to Brussels and its almost 21H or 9pm here in Brec’h Morbihan Bretagne France!!! rainy all way and all week but we didn’t feel it lol!!! Just want to write a post without a picture to say thank you all for following my humble blog and wishing you the best for 2013 to you and yours. And wait until i get those photos loaded for more posts from Brussels.

This is a wonderful period anywhere we were. Mine for the last 9.5 years have been held in the Paris/Versailles region with exception years in Madrid, Brussels, Trier(Germany), and now Pluvigner in the Morbihan breton. The Christmas dinner or the menu de Noêl is a wonderful family dinner that many can recreate in many restaurant all over France just with a special menu for the occassion.  Here we eat oysters, salmon, rooster, leg of ham, roast pork as the main dish, depending on the region; with the famous Bûche de Noêl dessert , or Christmas yule log as best translation can find in English.

Some of the places to be part of it in Paris that we have particularly enjoyed were:

Chez Françoise, Esplanade des Invalides  Aérogare Air France,  rue Robert-Esnault-Pelterie if you come on foot or rue Paul et Jean Lerolle if you come by automobile, 75007. webpage: https://chezfrancoise.com/

Cuba Compagnie Cafe,48 blvd Beaumarchais ,75011. Webpage: https://www.cubacompagnie.com/

Restaurant La Gare,19 Chaussée de la Muette  75016 .webpage: http://www.lagare-paris.com/

For a New Year’s meal and party I love the memories on these ones:

The Revéillon at New Morning club is fantastic, 7-9, Rue des Petites Ecuries, 75010. webpage: https://www.newmorning.com/

In addition to those above, I had like the Blue Elephant thai food par excellent in Paris. at 43-45 Rue de la Roquette Paris 75011. webpage: https://www.blueelephant.com/

I love this one and in the news for the sad events of terrorism in Paris, it has come back. The best events in my opinion, was held at the Bataclan, 50 bd Voltaire, 75011. All starts from 21h45 until 06H, several packs available. DJ sexy show, dancers, lights, confettis,dance floor of 1000 sq meters, with giant screens all over. Wonderful place for many years .webpage: https://www.bataclan.fr/

Le Ciel de Paris, 33 Avenue du Maine, 75015.  at the 56th floor  Tour Montparnasse with wonderful views of Paris! webpage: http://www.cieldeparis.com/fr/infos-pratiques.html

If you prefer the compounds of a hotel surrounded by history of France, then I suggest the Westin Paris Hotel, 3 Rue de Castiglione, 75001. metro Concorde or Tuileries lines 1,8,12. Here servers were dressed in grand Siécle or century style with dresses from the times of the 17C and 18C accompanying each dish, and music of the times. This was the old Intercontinental hotel I was based there to cover all of France for IHG. It is now name the Westin Paris Vendôme part of the Marriott chain. webpage here: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/parvw-the-westin-paris-vendome

At the other property , we had the Le Grand Intercontinental and the Café de la Paix, unique, wonderful, still is. For the New Year’s Day or January , the Cafe de la Paix (decorated by Charles Garnier... ) offer an exceptionally great buffet brunch from 11h to 17h call brunch gargantuesque. Rose champagne and small dishes tapas style created by the Chef. For the kids a special place will be reserved with accordingly portions. Of course, read it is under renovation and open early 2021. webpage: https://www.cafedelapaix.fr/fr/

Another memorable spot was the Les Pavillons des étangs, 50 rue de l’Etoile, 75016. From 20h to 05h. Les deux étangs will open the door exceptionally  in a monument historic of Paris with a majestic park,  400 m² of dancefloor, 300m² of winter garden, 600m² of green garden heated area,a decorated chalet, 2 bars, space VIP  ,and a vast free parking. webpage: https://www.pavillonsdesetangs.fr/

And of course why not talk about my beloved Versailles, where the great ice skating ring was always an event and still does. Next to the Hôtel de Ville , it was opened  from November 23 to January 6 2013 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays,and Fridays from 14H to 19H and on wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10h-12h and 14h- 19h. During school vacation it was opened every day from  10h-12h and 14h-20h.

There were many events from chocolate making to theater playing at Monpensier theater, and the town is fully light up for the season, magical indeed. The district or neighborhoods will be the events of Noël aux Carrés Saint-Louis (Cathedral St Louis side) usually from  December 15 and 16 from  10h to 19h,  the merchants will have a real Christmas market or marché de Noël  with oysters, food and entertainement.

And yes! my district had the Noël  in  Notre-Dame (my old home!!) events at  place Charost , December 15 and 22, musical entertainment outdoors by the rue de la Paroisse on Dec  22 and 24 .  Noël in the district of  Montreuil : music of Noêl by rue de Montreuil with customs dresses and snow man as well as Noêl arriving in carriage on the 22 December.

For the serious side of Christmas there were a Christmas Mass held at Eglise Notre-Dame (the collegiale) Dec 24 at 18h, 20h, 22h. Dec 25 at  10h30, 18h30. Inside the chateau at the Chapelle Royale, Dec 24 at 22h ,and at the Cathédrale Saint-Louis, Dec 24 at 19h, 22h15  awaiting and mass at  23h, and December 25 at 11h.

My favorites restaurants such as Au chien qui fume, 72 Rue de la Paroisse 78000; always had  a special menu . Webpage: https://www.lechienquifume.com/

And our all time favorite Christmas, New Year’s or otherwise was the Le Boeuf à la Mode ,4 rue au Pain 78000; webpage: https://www.leboeufalamode-versailles.com/

For the comfort of visitors and Parisiens alikethe public transport system was always opened for extended hours and FREE!! this was usually from Friday December 31 at 17h to Saturday january 1 at 12h (12 midday).  This includes all bus, trains, trams, or RER in all of the Ile de France region not just the city of Paris but all its region.  Most metro stations will remain open until 02h15 (2:15 am), and some like the lines 1,2,4,6,9,and 14  will remain open all night until 05h30 (5:30am) . The Noctilien night transport service will be adapted to go in extra renforcement of needed areas of the SNCF/RATP system all night from 0h30 (12:30 am) to 05h30 (5:30am). Check for this year, schedules at official webpage: https://www.ratp.fr/en/visite-paris/english/visiting-paris-and-its-surrounding-areas

In my new area the festivities are less, at Auray , at the historical Chapelle St Esprit ,Place du Four Mollet,  they had a Christmas market or Marché de Noêl , for several years. Usually, Friday December 14 from  10h -19h, Saturday December 15 and Sunday December 16 from  10h -19h. Many artisans artist will show their work with gourmet ,food,and gifts displays for the season. Webpage: http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/auray/chapelle-du-saint-esprit/tabid/8474/offreid/7e87038d-cd73-49e0-a688-32991827b894

And there you go a sampler, historical but repetitive, looking forward to 2020, and hope things will be better than now with the virus. The period is special and hope it continues to be this year. Best wishes for all

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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