Christmas in Paris was fantastic!

Old Nov 3rd, 2011, 11:37 AM
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I was in Paris just before the OP last year and stayed right behind St. Sulpice (trip report if you click my name). The St. Sulpice market is nice and quaint, but we really enjoyed the one at the bottom of Champs Elysees, which is much larger and had a lot more to offer, plus you get to see the avenue all decked out and the ferris wheel at Concorde. You'll also find one near SGdP church and a huge one at La Defense. I detail all those in my report, so won't repeat here. Just know that there's not just one Christmas market in the city!
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Old Nov 3rd, 2011, 02:15 PM
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Thanks to denisea for referring our Paris New Years' Eve concerns, and to BeachGirl1247 and amyb for helpful info. We read and enjoyed your report, amyb. The suggestion of planning things within walking distance of our hotel on New Years' Eve support for what we are thinking. Any suggestions of less expensive restaurants in SG area which we might reserve for NYE? Probably many of the places will raise their prices for NYE.

Also, we noted in your report, amyb, that the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps were super-packed. Do you think this would be the case after Christmas? We'll be in Paris from December 27-January 2.

Any ideas are appreciated.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2011, 05:05 PM
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Not sure how packed the big stores will be after Christmas, it was hard to tell who was actually shopping and who was looking at the decorations when we were there.
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Old Nov 4th, 2011, 05:12 AM
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I would think GL and Printemps would be a bit less crowded after Christmas. I agree, they were wall to wall, jammed a few days before.

Their are tons of markets but we liked the small one at St Sulpice because it is small

If you don't want an expensive meal on NYE, try les éditeurs. They do take reservations and we always had fun there. Or you might also consider Le Petite Chaise, be more expensive.
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Old Nov 4th, 2011, 05:34 AM
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Agree that the shopping at Galleries Lafayette was very crowded at Christmas with all of their beautiful decorations. However, we noticed the crowds were much less after the new year but unfortunately, the decorations were down or coming down. If you can handle crowds go to GL before NYE to see their incredible Christmas displays.

I stayed on Ile St. Louis & we stayed in that area (and St. Germain) for NYE but I have my notes from the trip that may help on restaurants. Also, most all restaurants have prix fix menus for NYE so if you have restaurants in mind you might contact them to see if they have it available yet to decide. Here are a few I found opened at the holidays:

Au Bon Accueil, 7th arr, near Eiffel Tower, great views, traditional bistro and popular place.
Chez Les Anges, 7th, www.chezlesanges.com
Epi Dupin www.epidupin.com
L'Epigramme, mixed reviews on it but it's in St. Germain

We found a local bistro which we had frequented quite often during our trip to celebrate NYE. Hopefully, you'll find a comfortable spot to enjoy the celebration after your dinner.
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Old Nov 4th, 2011, 08:27 AM
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Thanks, denisea and BeachGirl247, especially for the restaurant suggestions. We are pursuing them. . .whether they're open for NYE, times, etc. We have been thinking about booking an early dinner, and purchasing tickets to a NYE concert at St. Germaine de Pres Church at 8:30, doors open at 8:00. Then going out for drinks afterward. All this would be within walking distance of our hotel. However, it seems that some restaurants do not begin serving until 7PM. So we'll do some additional searching. Thanks again for your input.
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Old Nov 4th, 2011, 09:57 AM
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How I didn't see this report when it was first posted I'll never know...but it's terrific!

And helpful for my early December trip to Paris. I was thinking a lunch or dinner at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, but I fear the menu prices are out of my comfort zone. But your photos from that meal are to die for! I just may have to re-prioritize my budget!

Since we'll be there 2 weeks before Christmas I was interested to see your comments on the Christmas markets. I'll be sure to check out the one at St. Sulpice.
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Old Nov 4th, 2011, 10:34 AM
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fantastic trip report. In your album, it looks cold but beautiful.
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Old Nov 4th, 2011, 10:51 AM
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LCI- Thank you. I still like to re-read the T/R! There is a smaller part two with more food photo links! You should re-prioritize! We love, love, love L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon! You don't have to get the degustation menu which is a decadent/luxurious thing...we still talk about it!!! I have always enjoyed the open kitchen and seating around a bar. Excellent service. Last year, we just ordered off the menu and still enjoyed it tremendously and were less broke when we got back home!

Tentek....there were very few moments that I was really cold. So worth it and I will always be thrilled that we went at Christmas....truly special.

tomarkot...Paris definitely doesn't start dinner until 7pm or later and it is usually us tourists in restaurants at 7pm...if you can go later, try to! I do find it hard some times to wait that long and I can't do it well here at home (growing up "supper" was at 5:30pm!!!).
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Old Nov 4th, 2011, 11:30 AM
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Denisea, we're going to re-assess our original idea for NYE. Your point about later dinner is well taken. We'll book a concert for another evening and just splurge for a later, more leisurely dinner. And, after reading your previous post, we will have to book L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon. . .though maybe not on NYE. Thanks, again!
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Old Nov 4th, 2011, 04:13 PM
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Probably best decision on NYE. i am guessing that you have, but have you asked a contact at your hotel about NYE dinner?

If you go to L'Atelier and like champagne, try the Bruno Paillard. It is a small champagne house and I have never seen it anywhere else. Delicious. You can book on line for the first seating at L'Atelier. There are very few seats, so you will want to book ahead.
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Old Nov 5th, 2011, 11:57 AM
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Denisea, after attempting to research restaurants online for NYE, we did decide to choose a few from suggestions received and e-mail our hotel, hoping that they might agree to book one for us. Thanks again for your help. And happy anticipation of your upcoming trip! Can't wait to hear all about it when you return!
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Old Nov 5th, 2011, 07:51 PM
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Denisea....you have inspired me! It didn't take me long to re-prioritize! I made a reservation at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon for lunch one day during the week we will be in Paris. I figured if we go light on lunch we can splurge with the champagne you mentioned, a pre-Christmas celebration since we'll be there just before the holiday!

It doesn't take much to "twist my arm" when good food is in the picture!
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Old Nov 6th, 2011, 06:41 AM
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LCI....good move. I am sure it will be worth it.

They have Robuchon's version on carbonara which is legendary. The mashed potatoes are reportedly heaven, although I have not had them. We still drool over the first item in the degustation menu we during a summer visit....a gazpacho with mustard sorbet. Insanely delicious.

We have seen reports on L'Atelier by Giada de Laurentis and Anthony Bourdain. I hope you enjoy it.

Last year as we were waiting in line to get in for the 6:30 dinner seating on our last night...a local woman behind us demanded to know if we had a reservation and in the same sentence let us know that we wouldn't get in without one. I smiled and told her we did have a reservation (and thought to myself, "Hey, do you think I am some rookie, here"?)!

Tomarkot...I think that is the best way to go for NYE. I hope it all works out.
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Old Nov 6th, 2011, 09:33 AM
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Denise,

I just sent in the information for a reservation to l'Atelier for a reservation on December 23 as we are indeed going to Paris for Christmas. Do they send an e-mail confirmation back to you? I am very excited but we have to find somewhere to eat on Christmas day also. This is our 5th trip to Paris but our 1st at Christmas. I looked at your trip report and I am just counting downt he days. We brought our kids in 2006 for Thanksgiving Week and they loved it. Hope you have a great time.

Lisa
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Old Nov 6th, 2011, 11:07 AM
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lrock5, I am sorry but I can't remember if we got a confirmation email. I don't see one in my Paris folder from last year. I will go on their site and see if it jogs my memory. Did the site indicate that your reservation was accepted/confirmed? We have reserved twice online and have never had a problem with the reservation.

We went for the blow out at Le Cinq on Christmas Day, but I am sure there are options at many hotels that would be a bit more budget friendly than Le Cinq. I know gracejoan loves Bar Vendome at the The Ritz, so that is worth looking at.
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Old Nov 6th, 2011, 12:13 PM
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It said something to the effect that reservation was not official until confirmed by l'Atelier
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Old Nov 6th, 2011, 01:06 PM
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I just can't remember and I have checked my email to see if I could find anything. I feel like there probably was an email confirmation from them. I DO remember that you are expected to confirm the day before, by phone, which is pretty standard there.

I would think that if you don't receive a confirmation by the end of business on Monday, you could contact them to inquire.
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Old Nov 6th, 2011, 07:11 PM
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lrock5,

I made my L'Atelier reservation yesterday (Sat.) for Dec. 13th and this morning (Sun) there was a confirmation email. So I'm sure you should receive one by tomorrow. And the confirmation email did say reservations must be confirmed via phone the day before. Hope this helps.
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Old Nov 7th, 2011, 05:57 AM
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Thanks LCI...glad to have current info from L'Atelier de JR. We are branching out on this trip and won't make it this time around but I will want to hear all about it from ltock5 and LCI. I saw a post from Joan and she is scheduled to go there tonight, I think.
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