Visit Emily's Instagram @thereal_emilyinparis to see her meanderings at Christmas including this gorgeousness at Le Flore en l'Ile on the Ile Saint-Louis... oh my... swoon!
Guest: Emily Gaudichon
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In Christmas week I was very excited to chat to Emily Gaudichon who has joined me for a petit papotage on the Loulabelle’s FrancoFiles podcast previously right back in episode 20. Emily is on Instagram as “The Real Emily in Paris”. I’ve always wanted to go to France for Christmas so it was wonderful to chat to her and find out the low down for Christmas in Paris!
Emily spoke about some of the traditions in France such as Christmas Eve being the biggest celebration and Santa coming that night. I loved hearing her chat about the decorations in all the stores and the famous Christmas markets. From what Emily says the photos I’m seeing on Instagram at the moment showing that every corner of Paris has been Christmas-ified is exactly what it feels like to her!
Interestingly Boxing Day is not a “thing” in France and is not a public holiday. They head straight back to work after Christmas Day.
Now as I said to Emily I love Christmas and I love Christmas in Australia as to me it means time spent with my family. But I am longing to one day spend Christmas in France. After chatting to Emily I want to shop at the boutique dedicated to umbrellas, to visit les magasins dedicated to only gloves, or to just très beaux parfums. Not necessarily in a sparkly place like the Champs Elysée but in the tiny tucked away corners of Paris as she described. Perhaps I would visit one of my fave parts of Paris to shop in which is in the Marais, around the Rue de Rivoli peut-être or across the other side of the Marais in the St Paul area which has some beautifully quaint vintage stores. I want to see the Christmas decorations in the Gallery Lafayette, which has always got the most sensational and giant Christmas tree under the magnificent dome, which in the past I have loved sitting under even in non-Christmas times to enjoy un coupe de champagne. I want to see the gorgeous Christmas lights that pop all through the city, in the gardens, the covered petit walkways and also on the Tour Eiffel. I’d like to experience the lights and festivities in the country French towns and villages. I want to visit the Christmas markets and have mulled wine from a little caravan in les jardins!
I’d like to go to midnight mass in Paris. I recall when Paul and I were last in Paris we happened to stumble into Notre Dame right when mass was starting and for both of us growing up Catholic, it was a beautiful experience that is all the more special now since the fire that damaged Notre Dame pre-Covid.
I’d like to partake in Le Réveillon which is the Christmas Eve dinner. The name means “wake up” as the meal is supposed to keep everyone awake for midnight mass. Emily described the lusciousness of the meal that includes oysters – les huîtres, snails – les escargots, foie gras and champagne, champagne and more champagne! Because Christmas in France is all about the food and I’m all about food, it’s going to be a perfect match!
There is so much on my Christmas list that I’d like to see and do when I eventually spend a Christmas in Paris or France, I may need to go back multiple times! For this year though I will happily see my family on Christmas day as I haven’t seen some of them since Christmas 2019 due to travel restrictions. I will make a mulled wine and dream of future Christmases en français!