Exploring a new city can be overwhelming, especially around Christmas time. To help you out, we’ve made you a list (and we’ve checked it twice) of some of the cosiest places in Paris in December. So, once you’ve shopped and you’re ready to drop, you’ll know exactly where to put your feet up, snuggle up by the fireplace or sample some of the finest wines Paris has to offer over winter…
Just along from Collège de France, and almost hidden by an ivy-covered façade, Le Coupe-chou projects a deliciously warm ambience, complete with a fine menu of Parisian delicacies. Simply snuggle up on one of the many cosy armchairs and sinking lounge sofas grouped around the fireplace. There’s no better escape from the cold outside when you’re in the heart of Paris.
Housed in a historic 17th-century building, Le Coupe was opened in the 1960s by a trio of actors. Offering a food-lovers fantasy of traditional Parisian dishes, this restaurant quickly became popular with celebrities, and is now a popular haunt of the city’s most fashionable denizens. Go here for reasonably priced authentic grub in an unmistakably Parisian environment.
Red Route, Stop: Notre Dame
SHAKESPEARE & COMPANY
With large picture windows showcasing epic views of Notre-Dame, its very own resident cat, and one of the largest collections of English books in France, Shakespeare & Company is one bookshop you won’t want to miss. Ernest Hemingway once frequented the labyrinth of bookshelves here, and in more recent years it has attracted famous names like Jimmy Page and Owen Wilson.
Whether you just want to take in the fantastic views across St.-Julien-le-Pauvre, or you’re dreaming about cosying up with a book in a corner, Shakespeare & Company is a must-visit on any Parisian adventure. Tables are available both indoors and out, serving a range of coffees, teas and juices. What’s more, they offer an array of delicious organic food. Be sure to venture down the rabbit hole at Shakespeare & Company and don’t forget to grab a slice of George’s famous lemon pie! Plus, if you’re shopping for a last-minute Christmas gift, thoughtful books make for a great sentimental present.
Red Route, Stop: Notre Dame
In the 8th arrondissement of Paris, you’ll find a watering hole unlike any other. At first sight, Gentlemen 1919 might just be a simple barbershop that time forgot. But beyond the theatrical stylists there’s a secret door (you’ll do very well to notice it) that leads to a speakeasy bar, directly inspired by the styles and customs of prohibition-era United States.
Here you’ll enjoy the finest whisky, cocktails and cigars while tucked up on classic brown leather sofas. The atmosphere is classic American jazz, so you’ll have legends like Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis to keep you company. Don’t forget, there’s only one way in, via the barbershop. Make the most of it and have a trim on your way through…
Red Route, Stop: Gentlemen 1919
What do you get if you cross a cocktail bar with a catacomb? Welcome to Candelaria!
Another hidden-away speakeasy, at first glance Candelaria appears to be an assuming Mexican restaurant with a gently burning stove and no more than a few chairs to squeeze into. But find your way through the broom closet back door to the golden glow of cosiness, cocktails and tacos.
Although it’s hard to find, Candelaria’s reputation continues to soar, with its menu, cocktails and sparkling service collecting plenty of awards and accolades. It’s one of the best bars in Paris so get in early to snag a seat and settle in for a very Mexe Christmas.
LE COPMPAGNIE DES VINSURNATURELS
In listing the cosiest corners of Paris, we wouldn’t be doing the city of lights any justice if we failed to mention the truly magical epicurean delights of fine wine and cheese. La Compagnie des Vin Surnaturels is an intimate wine bar full of cosy corners and sofas galore, with a carefully curated wine list to please even the pickiest of connoisseurs. It’s perfect for a relaxing night away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping.
If you can’t find the right drop among the 3000-bottle-strong wine list, you’re definitely in the wrong place. Once you’ve popped the cork, enjoy with a sidekick of burrata, prosciutto al tartufo, truffles or delectable fine cheeses. Yum.
Red Route, Stop: Louvre-Pont des Arts
Enjoy the festive season in Paris with our suggestions of restaurants, bars and bookstores bound to get you into the Christmas spirit. And if you’re travelling to the French capital with your family, make the most of the winter wonderland with our top picks for the best Things to do in Paris with Kids…