Paris in December - what I wore.

I was obssessing about the cold before I left. I'm not good with cold weather here in Adelaide but the weather here is a very dry cold. That cold wind comes straight off the Antarctic.

I bought a down Jacket from Kathmandu which kept me really warm and cozy and sometimes dry-ish.

In September I went to Singapore and managed to get a few things from Uniqlo such as felt lined gloves, heat-tech black turtle neck long sleeve top and thermal long socks in preparation for my December trip.

For those doing a stop over in Asia before going to Europe this is the place to buy winter gear.

I also bought a pair of woollen leggings from Adelaide. These were by far the warmest leg wear. Jeans and cords were ok but these were really warm. Unfortunately they were also hard to wash and dry in the hotel room.

I took:-
- 3 merino wool tops (different styles and colours) from Country Road and Sportcraft
- a Gap denim shirt
- a nice patterned fleece jumper
- a long line Metalicus dress
- a long sleeve, fully lined black and white mini dress from Seduce for a dressy dinner
- a pair of cotton leggings (to wear with the Metalicus dress)
- pair of ponte leggings (which I wore on travel days)
- a linen 3/4 sleeve tunic top (for travel days)
- an Esprit cotton maxi dress (for Sinagpore)
- black knee high felt lined leather boots (I wore on the flight over and around Paris)
- Sketchers shoes (I wore on the flight back) (these were my insurance shoes, I know they are super comfy and if the boots were not comfy for walking I was going to use the Sketchers)
- Ecco sandles (for Singapore)
- 2 long sleeve and 1 short sleeve tops for layering
- one pair of regular 100 denier tights
- a grey long cotton cardigan
- 2 silk long sleeve thermal tops

I wore everything I took at least once if not twice. I could layer a lot of the clothes together but to be honest the weather was not as cold as I thought it would be. In fact some days were really mild. I wore a thermal top with a upper layer plus my coat most days. I doubled up the tights with leggings in Zurich but that was - 2 degrees!

One the day when I went to Galeries Lafayette and the Opera, I was really too warm and left my coat in the coat check until after lunch.

24 Dec Paris - Singapore - Adelaide

Coming home

I had asked Paris shuttle to pick me up at 7am (4 hours before my flight). I got up at 6 am and was checked out waiting for the shuttle at 7am. He was 15 minutes late because he got stuck behind a garbage truck.

It was bucketing down rain but early enough that the driver got us to the airport in 30 minutes. Lots of time to lodge my detax forms. Travelling business class meant no lines for check in or security. I got to use the Star Alliance lounge which is after passport control but before security. The wind flaps were going crazy in the lounge. So loud! The breakfast offering wasn't great but sufficient.

Good bye Paris......

23 Dec Day 8 in Paris

Galeries Lafayette and Printemps window displays, Opera Garnier, Laduree

This was my last full day in Paris. L was keen on more shopping and I wanted to see the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps window displays.

We went to Paul's for breakfast. I found that the croissant and pain au chocolat at Paul's was the best. This time I ordered the coffee right and got a really good cafe creme.

We went straight to Galeries Lafayette on the metro. I got L the 10% discount card from the information desk while she was picking out a wallet and handbag. In all this the credit card system went down across France! WHAT!

Poor L - off to the cashier she went. I abandoned her to the lines for the cashier and out to see the window displays.

Unfortunately the sun was reflecting off the windows and the crowds were huge, so my photos didn’t come out so well. But the displays were enchanting. Being marginally taller than the children there to see the displays I managed to get quite close to the windows J

By this stage L had finished her purchases and we were ready for lunch. Easiest option was the food hall in Galeries Lafayette so that's where we went. The food quality was average and it was on the pricey side. Once again should have used Yelp to find something else.

L said she would love to see Opera Garnier too and we went to try our luck again. Yes! it was open for visits. This is an incredible building inside and out. We managed to track down the elusive Phantom of the Opera’s box.


Ok time for the last item on L's shopping list - sapphire earrings. L had been given a name of a store on Place Vendome. I mentioned that there were a few jewellery stores I had seen a couple of days ago when I had walked the route to Place Vendome.

Walking down Rue de la Paix L saw “her” earrings in a window and bought them. She was a very happy girl in Paris :) Jewellery shopping experience in Paris - These very exclusive shops don’t have a lot displayed in the windows. And you have to ring a bell to get in the shop. The first door lets you into a very small space between the first and second doors. The sales person will then admits you into the inner sanctum.

Surely this calls for a macaron celebration! To Laduree Mon Amie! We caught the metro as the feet were starting to drag. We had some macaron and coffee at Laduree. If choosing between Laduree and Angelina's - I would go for Laduree. There was a short line to get sitted. Once again tables were so close to each other.

I wanted to go to the Louis Vuitton store on Champs Elysees but the line was huge and not moving at all!


That evening I got to pick a place for dinner and we went to Le Grenier Notre Dame, a vegetarian restaurant in the 5th. Really nice and cozy restaurant. Good atmosphere, service and food. I had the couscous and L had the macrobiotic meal. We were both happy with our meals.

At the hotel we bid each other farewell and Merry Christmas. L was travelling to Munich the next morning and I was starting my 38 hour journey back Adelaide.


22 Dec Day 7 in Paris

Notre Dame, Le Marais, Centre du Pompidou, Eiffel Tower sparkling

Not much is open in Paris on Sunday. The Le Marais is open and I think most Parisians/visitors seem to make their way here on Sunday.  So today was nominated for walking around the Le Marais.

I woke up starving. Wonder why - maybe because I only had a small salad for dinner. L and I went to Bar du Marche on Rue de Seine for breakfast.

I had the breakfast special with french toast, yogurt, orange juice and cafe creme. I was too hungry to take a photo but it looked and tasted better :)

L ordered a salad for breakfast. Some weird diet thing......

I wanted to go to the Notre Dame church and also see the bird and flower markets. L insisted that I could not take photos of the birds as they were so cold and it was inhumane. I agreed. The birds looked miserable and it was a cold day.

We then walked across to the Rue di Rivoli where L went to BHV department store and I went to Centre Pompidou. The building itself appears like a part of modern art. All the utilities pipes and structural cables and pipes are on the outside of the building. It houses a vast library and the Museum of Modern Art. Modern Art encompasses artistes such as Picasso, Chagall, Matisse, Pollock, Warhol, etc.

Modern Art is not my cup of tea but this museum was included in my pass and I knew I wouldn't make it a priority on subsequent visits. On a nice sunny day the views from the top level would be worth the visit but it was raining when I went so I missed out on the views. I did see some weird exhibits.

I met up with L at the entrance of BHV department store at 1pm and we went to L'As du Fallafel to taste the famous falafels.

Rue des Rosiers was really busy and there are a few different falafel places and jewish bakeries along the way. But we finally saw the winding line up for L'As du Fallafel. The line extended on 2 sides. One side was for takeaway and the other was for a table inside. There was no way we were waiting for a table. The rain had stopped and we were wanted to walk around anyway.

A gentleman with blue tickets came up to us and asked us what we wanted. He took our money and gave us a blue ticket. Even though the line looked long it moved very quickly and we had our lunch in our hands in 10 minutes.

We started eating and walking around the lanes off Rue de Rosiers, moving towards Place des Voges and Rue des Franc Bourgeois. We went into a few different stores like COS. And finally hit shopping jackpot at Bimba and Lola. The sales assistant was marking down the products and as we tried on a couple of jackets, we discovered the prices had gone from 300E+ to 150-180E. I got a red wool winter pea coat and a gorgeous scarf. L got a navy blue long winter jacket and a pair ankle booties.

On a shopping high we headed back to the hotel to drop off our purchases. The bags were really big and we couldn't continue with them in tow.

At the hotel a quick check on the phone showed that the La Defence Christmas Market was open so we decided to go check it out. Unfortunately 15 mins after getting there, the skies also opened up and poured rain on us :(

But L was not put off by the rain. She ended up with a few purchases here. A scarf for herself, a toy for her nephew and some gorgeous jewellery made with Swarovski crystals.

This was the Christmas market I was most impressed with. There was a lot more variety here and there appeared to be some unique items available. I wanted to have a chocolate/Nutella crepe here but none of the crepe makers would make a fresh crepe for me. They all wanted to use the pre made ones. I tried one and it was cold and very disappointing. At this stage it was really raining so we decided to walk through the shopping mall to the metro.
This is a very big shopping mall with lots of the usual stores like Zara, H&M etc.

Back to the hotel for a rest before our dinner at the Buddha Bar near Place de la Concorde. The hotel reception had kindly booked a table for 8:30pm for us. L had been to the restaurant before and was keen on going again.

Personally speaking I don't like these type of places. It seems full of tourists and I was right. The 2 large tables around us were full of loud American tourists. The food was way over priced. The restaurant itself was nice and the service was ok.


After dinner around 10:30pm, we decided to walk past the Grand Palais where there was a carnivale inside over to Pont Alexandre III bridge to view the Eiffel Tower sparkle at 11pm. The weather seemed to have cleared and we got some fantastic views from the bridge. One word - BEAUTIFUL.

Back to the hotel on the metro.