The best way to explore Paris neighborhoods is à pied. But with winter breezes blowing off the Seine, you’ll want to step indoors from time to time.
Here are 5 memorable ways to warm up over the holidays.
• Nothing warms a cold body like liquid chocolate, and Angelina is known around the globe for spicy chocolat à l’Africaine, served in a pitcher with an accompanying bowl of whipped cream. There are several locations in Paris, but my favorite is the elegant shop on rue de Rivoli.
• On Ile St Louis, La Charlotte de l’Isle is a tiny tea salon serving tea and hot chocolate. Their chocolat chaud à l’ancienne is made by melting bars of bittersweet chocolate into hot foamed milk.
• Just up the street, Clair de Rêve will delight the whole family. Marionettes that you can name – Pinochio, Puss‘n Boots – and others that you can’t float at the ends of their strings. Wind-up toys, carrousels, and storybook characters are made here, and adult collectors, aware of the quality construction, are loyal customers.
• The high-ceilinged, well-lit color-filled rooms at the recently renovated Musée Picasso will make you forget the thin winter light outside. Femmes à Leur Toilette, a large, gorgeous mural of wallpaper cutouts and gouache on canvas is a treat to behold. Nearby is Picasso’s sumptuous pastel portrait, Olga Pensive; the artist’s personal collection includes Cézanne’s brilliant Château Noir.
• Ply your inner artist with luminous color at scarf store Diwali. The selection is amazing: wool, silk, cashmere, and blends, in an array of shapes, sizes, hues, patterns and prints. Friendly staff are quick to show new and flattering ways to layer, drape, loop, knot, and tie scarves. Trendy teens and their more sophisticated moms will all find something here.
Do you have a favorite place to step in out of the winter cold in Paris? We’d love to hear from you.