Travelling to Paris and France in Winter is beautiful. France in Winter takes on a special magic that is quietly charming ~ from the fairy lights of Paris to the stark bare vineyards of Burgundy, to the majestic snow-adorned Alps of the Haute Savoie and the decadent richness of the tearooms. Bistros beckon with warm bourguignon, shops lure with enticing sales, and the most elegant hotels offer amazing deals.
Le Relais Bernard Loiseau, Saulieu
France in winter is beautiful
France in Winter is beautiful, quiet, discreet. She becomes the elegant old dame and the haunting beauty. In this season of crisp mornings and dark evenings there is a sense of peace, and permission to regenerate and to reflect on the world while being immersed in a deeply soulful history. In winter France slows, but it doesn’t sleep; it’s lit by thousands of sparkling lights that make everything pretty and glowing. France in Winter – with its space and solitude – allows you to feel the country is yours, and for a moment, you become part of its beautiful tapestry … you feel like you belong.
The lights of St Germain
Amazing French hotel offers
In a French winter, the crowds are less and the French hotels work harder to beckon your custom. Three nights for the price of two … original room prices reduced and upgrades are given to chambres you would normally only dream about – like this gorgeous room upgrade I was given at Symphonie des Sens in the old part of Rennes, Brittany, while visiting our toy boatmakers. I felt like a queen, especially after a complimentary glass of champagne. C’est perfect!
Symphonie des Sens Hotel
Unforgettable French sales
Imagine yourself meandering through a little medieval town after taking in the wonders of a master impressionist exhibition when you see the sign ‘Soldes -30%’ in a gorgeous window display. “Sale 30% off”. And as you pass each store you see the same signs. ‘Soldes‘, ‘Soldes‘, ‘Soldes‘.
And if you need a little Paris or Provence in your live visit Little French Heart’s gorgeous online store.
The French sales mandated by the French Government to take place across the country in winter are unforgettable. You walk inside the store and the most strikingly fashionable outfits from French or international designers draw you in – not just one off pieces, but whole ensembles – the shoes, trousers, shirt, jacket, scarf … and lingerie. Silks and woollens and leathers, fine stitching, classic cuts, original styles … all at reduced prices. You can further reduce the price by claiming the tax back (around 12 per cent) when you leave the country if you’ve spent more than €175 at one store.
Once home, each time you walk out of the door in your new French outfit ‘oh la la‘ you are reminded of that little ancient town on that cold sunny day – your outfit becomes a living souvenir.
Sales in Annecy
Beautiful French ski villages
Visiting France in Winter is beautiful. It has some of the most divine ski resorts in the world – snow covered churches in 12th century villages mingle with traditional chalets and the latest technology skis. Fresh scents of wood-smoke beckon famished skiers into little farm-like bistros on piste that offer traditional mountain cuisine using locally produced ingredients or hot wine served with a dash of Grand Marnier. Exhilarating runs off towering mountains or through serene pine-fringed bunny trails … skiing in France is not a sport, it’s a cultural experience that will satisfy the most die-hard skier or those who are simply going along for the ride.
Les Gets traditional village, Portes du Soleil
French winter food is … everything
There is nothing more satisfying during a French winter than to wade through the thick curtains at the door of a French bistro, take off a heavy jacket and sit feeling light, warm and sparkly at the dining table. The anticipation of what delicacies abound is just as exciting as the meal itself. Rich bourguignon, steak a la planche, or the divine truffle experience like that at Chez Bruno in the south of France where heaven is literally served on a plate.
Chez Bruno’s Truffles
(a must … just once in this life).