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Paris’ Essential Winter Warmers

November 23, 2017

French onion soup and tots of absinthe aren’t the only ways to stay warm in Paris this winter. Here’s LUXE’s list of favoured winter warmers, from morning exertions – of the Arctic or the African kind – to evenings spent in the company of belly-heating wines and delicious bistro fare. Bisous.

It might seem bonkers to head to an ice rink when it’s freezer-cold outside, but you’ll warm up your limbs in no time by attempting to beat gravity and stay upright on the white slippery stuff. (If you’re something of a practiced ice-skater, respect.) Once you’ve gorged on pre-twirl croissants and coffees for breakfast, head to one of our preferred Parisian patinoires (ice rinks): the glittery expanse at L’Hôtel de Ville or Trocadéro, plus the shiny kingdom on the first level of the Eiffel Tower.

Prefer to work up a sweat on slightly less slippery ground? You’re in luck: the annual Africolor music festival (17 Nov–24 Dec) is a fun, colourful, riotous celebration of African music and culture, which takes place in various venues across the city. One thing’s for certain: approximately zero ice will be invited. Huzzah!

Having done your daily exercise (and worked up a thirst), it’s time to reward yourselves. Oenophiles: stagger this way, please. Warm belly, heart and soul with a glug or two of delicious French wine at cosy Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, a cool, shabby-swank club for natural-wine-lovers, with a friendly atmos and bright-as-a-button staff brought in by the ECC gang. (To really do things properly, add a generous dose of cheese.)

Having successfully ticked off one, two or three pre-prandials, head to Bistrot Paul Bert to continue the sensory indulgence and round off the winter wonders in style. Nothing wards off chilblains better than French feasts – or so we’ve been led to believe. This brilliant bistro, where portions run large, pays fitting tribute to all the classics, including steak-frites, andouillette, soufflé and tarte Tatin. Owner Bertrand Auboyneau has a healthy crush on wine – and it shows on his joyful wine list.

L’Hôtel de Ville / pl de l'Hôtel de Ville, 4th / +33 1 42 76 40 40 / paris.fr
Trocadéro / pl du Trocadéro, 16th
Eiffel Tower / 5 ave Anatole France, 7th / +33 892 70 12 39 / toureiffel.paris
Africolor Music Festival / 17 Nov – 24 Dec, 2017 / 5 rue Arthur Groussier, 10th / +33 1 47 97 69 99 / africolor.com
Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels / 7 rue Lobineau, 6th / +33 9 54 90 20 20 / 6pm-2am daily / compagniedesvinssurnaturels.com
Bistrot Paul Bert / 18 rue Paul Bert, 11th / +33 1 43 72 24 01 / lunch & dinner Tue-Sat
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