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Winter Strolls: Three Itineraries for Soaking Up the Festive Atmosphere + Giveaway

Winter Strolls to Soak Up the Festive Season

Passage Jouffroy; Lily Heise

There’s something particularly special about Paris over the holidays. Of course there’s the sparkling street lights, the enticing window displays, the abundance of heavenly holiday treats, but it’s also something more than that. Spirits ride on this wave of joie and les parisiens can’t help but have a little extra joie de vivre. Here are three itineraries that will take you away from (most of) the crowds and allow you to take in that same joy, guilty pleasures, and offbeat sites that will make the holiday season in Paris truly shine.

Hip Shopping, Food and Culture in the Marais

Skip the mayhem of les grands magasins and do your holiday shopping as you take this creative meander through the Marais. Embark on your foray at the trendy concept store Merci, where you can pick up some of their carefully selected holiday ideas and perfect stocking stuffers like a candle version of their trademark red fiat bearing a roof-load of presents or a Christmas tree, thin garland thread, offbeat snow globes and an vast array of other cool gift ideas.

Winter Strolls to Soak Up the Festive Season

Merci Concept Store; Lily Heise

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Posted in Food, Markets, Shopping, Travel | 9 Comments »

A Different Kind of Christmas: First Holidays and New Traditions in France

HiP Paris blog. A different kind of Christmas. No matter where you care, you can always curl up with a cup of coffee and some Christmas cookies to ward off the holiday blues.

“If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your consciousness.” – Les Brown

It’s not very cold out today. For lack of a better term (and one you’re probably hearing a lot this year), it’s unseasonably warm. There’s no Christmas tree in my apartment. No gifts either. No creatures stirring. Not even a mouse! This isn’t to say that the Christmas spirit is absent in Paris… It’s definitely here. The mayor’s office is fully decked out with amazing trees that are three times my height, covered in ornaments the size of my head. The shops in my neighborhood are lit up and filled with gifts, and there’s even Armée du Salut, or Salvation Army, workers jingling their bells. I’ll soon be traveling to Orléans to spend Christmas with my husband’s family, but until then I’ll continue my week just like any other.

HiP Paris blog. A different kind of Christmas, Fruit crepes are appropriate no matter what the season.

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Posted in Parisian Living | 3 Comments »

A Starry Christmas at Poilâne: Shortbread Ornaments

Our friend Wendy Lyn (of The Paris Kitchen) shares of one of her favorite Christmas traditions: Poilâne’s irresistible shortbread cookie ornaments… for decorating, eating, or both!

Text and Photos by Wendy Lyn

As soon as the first “sapin de Noël” (Christmas tree) appears on the city sidewalks, I know that is my cue to go to the Poilâne bakery for the pretty all-natural shortbread cookie ornaments.

Parisians have adored this tiny shop since 1932, queing for buttery crossiants, apple tarts, shortbread cookies called “punitions,” walnut scones and boule miche breads made in the wood burning ovens downstairs. During Christmas, it is especially charming — practically raining cookies and tempting customers with heavenly aromas wafting out of the door. Continue Reading »

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Ode to Marrons Glacés

marronsPhotos: epiceriedecharles.fr and recette.cuisine.notrefamille.com

Text by Simone Blaser

This Christmas, we’re indulging in a holiday treat that is both delicious and oh-so-French: the marron glacé. That’s code for glazed chestnuts—gooey nuggets of pure holiday joy. When done wrong, they are overpoweringly saccharine; but at their best, they have a nutty and subtle sweetness so delicate and modest, it’s no wonder they gained popularity in Louis XIV’s court at Versailles. Continue Reading »

Posted in HiP Recipes | No Comments »