The French capital is one of Europe’s biggest cities, roaring with culture, beautiful architecture and fine food on every street. Despite what cinema may suggest, Paris is more than just attractive people gloomily smoking cigarettes in monochrome. This season proves as good a time as any to visit, where the tourists are sparse, but the vibrancy of the city still burns bright.
Of course, attractions like the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame are musts to pass by whilst walking through the magically lit up Paris, but when the cold weather calls venture inside to the wide range of music, theatre and art on offer. Les Franglaises is an award-winning musical which will be running in the grand theatre Bobino, which has seen some of biggest names of 20th century French music perform. This light-hearted comedy about British and American pop culture, puts a fresh and funny twist on these songs and incorporating the idea of language into the play. It’s perfect for banishing winter blues, and an evening out for the family or with your other half.
If art is more your forte, an exhibition highlighting the work on Picasso in 1932 is on at the Musée Picasso-Paris. This will give you a chance to observe some of the artists greatest masterpieces as well as following his creative path and works in many mediums.
The Museum of Modern art will also be offering an exceptional exhibition on ‘Being Modern’ featuring exquisite works from the likes of Paul Cezanne and Alexander Caulder. For something more festive, a stroll down the Avenue des Champs-Elysees will transport you to a wonderland at night, decorated with 400 Christmas trees and bedazzling illuminations. Amidst the starry avenue sits a Christmas market hosting over 200 chalets of arts, crafts and gourmet goodness. Here you can treat yourself mug of mulled wine or a tartiflette; a rich cheese and potato dish of the French cuisine. For a fun finish to the evening, head down to the nearby ice rink in a perfect setting for an annual outdoor skate.
Foodies pay attention because no trip to the Capital is complete without cheese and wine! The Noel Gourmad showcases a three-day array of farmhouse cheeses, regional dishes, spices, seafood, salted meat, foie gras, wine and confectionery from the best artisans in France. Or how about a bite to eat on a boat that will cruise along the infamous River Seine?
Le Marais is an area of Paris with much architectural and historical importance, made up of small crooked medieval lanes, crammed full of boutiques, culture and of course more food and drink. This authentically European adventure will immerse you in a truly Parisian world. La Belle Hortense is a little blue fronted gem which will be worthy of making your last stop. This bookshop-wine cellar makes for a perfect winter evening of tranquillity, booze and books. The walls are lined with literature varying from poetry to classic collections, to rare finds, and is accompanied by enormous wine list – C’est magnifique!
Paris never fails to be a perfect holiday destination, no matter the season. If you’re set to be miserable in winter, why not fend it off in this beautiful French city? Comfort eating has never been so Michelin Star.
Words by Becky Waldron