Christmas in Europe is different.
For those of us that are sometimes overwhelmed by the Christmas holidays, Europe is a refuge. The holidays are understated, there is less in your face materialism and perhaps it is closer to the way it was in the past before the world carried it away into the search for bigger, better and more. As this photo of a local restaurant at Ecole Militaire in the 7th in Paris shows, the decorations are different too. Much more subtle, restrained, refined.
You have to look to find the christmas trees. Imagine those in the US.
Chestnuts are everywhere both in the markets and roasting in carts on the streets.
And they are delicious.
The weather is cooling quickly and its starting to feel like the holidays.
This is also a very good time to travel.
Air fares are ridiculously cheap, I flew round trip from San Francisco to London for under $600 and then on to Paris for under $60 each way. And here is the best thing of all, this is how aircraft are looking right now, at least mid-week.
Its pretty comfy even on transatlantic flights. Plenty of room in coach for your stuff and to sleep. Both ways.
When was the last time you saw a check in line like this? It is pretty nice.
Does this have you thinking of a last-minute trip to Paris? Contact us now.
A neighborhood story.
Urban living is sometimes seen as cold and indifferent. And that is because it often is. The neighborhood that the Yellow Flat is located in is typically Parisian, baker, butcher and until recently an old man who spent his days in a stairwell next to the grocery store smiling, smoking and panhandling. But this time when I returned to Paris the space where he sat was empty and instead I saw this:
A small makeshift memorial and flowers where he had sat and held court every day. As you can see from the poster he had died. A mass was held in his memory at the local church.
And these words in his memory. Even in Paris, in this most busy urban area, the world stopped for a moment to pay respects to him.
And the Euro? Wow.
I can’t remember the last time that the Euro was at 1.06 to the dollar making travel to Europe a great value. Take a look at this meal for two that we enjoyed at the Bistro Balhara or Rue Duvivier about 10 minutes walk from the Yellow Flat:
Start with a fricassee of crispy snails (yes I did it) and wild mushrooms.
Follow with perfectly prepared wild caught that morning scallops.
Finish with a soufflé finished with Calvados and flambeed at the table.
Including a bottle of delicious Gamay from the Loire, this lovely dinner cost us a grand total of 110 euro, 116 dollars. Perfect neighborhood cure for a cold Paris night. And next time I am going for the 6 course tasting menu at 52 euro each.
The Bistro Balhara is located at 23 Rue Duvivier, Paris 75007. www.bistrotbelhara.com
We hope to see you soon in Paris at our Yellow Flat.