Everybody knows the best gifts are edible – and there’s nowhere tastier than Paris. Give them what they really want this year (we’re talking truffles, Wonka-worthy chocs, honey fit for a queen bee and so on) by taking LUXE’s advice and doing your festive shopping in the eternally delicious world capital of fine food. Be smart and bring a spare suitcase for your calorific plunder.
First up: the Peninsula’s Parisian Christmas Market, which sees La Terrasse Kléber transformed into a winter wonderland, replete with festive finds galore. We wouldn’t recommend eating some of the gifts on offer here – Steiff bears, Agnelle gloves and Baccarat crystalware, for example – but you will want to take your appetite to the Seafood Chalet (for oysters, caviar and vodka), or the Sweet Chalet (for waffles, warm chestnuts and pretzels). Mon dieu.
Got a truffle-lover to buy for? Head to La Grande Epicerie for its decadent truffle oil. Set inside Le Bon Marché, this market of seasonal produce purveys piles of hand-sliced cured salmon, artisanal cheese, and a bounty of other edible spoils; it's one entire block of gourmand gorge-ousness with a well-curated wine shop downstairs. Shop some fab fash après.
Perhaps you’re after some chocs, instead. Let us point you in the direction of La Manufacture:
Alain Ducasse’s mecca for chocophile, and Paris’ first bean-to-bar cocoa maker. With pastry chef Nicolas Berger at the helm, La Manufacture meticulously roasts, grinds, and churns out delectable morsels daily, delivering small bites of heaven in the form of ganaches, pralines and truffles. There’s a series of single-origin somethings for dark chocolate lovers; nutty types will be wooed by the pistachio and peanut pralines. If you just can’t decide, opt for the encompassing ‘boite decouverte’ – and consider your souvenirs sorted.
Want some honey for your honey? La Maison du Miel is the bee’s knees – it was founded in 1898, after all. Back then, its mission was to bring the best of France’s regional honey to an appreciative Parisian audience; things haven’t changed much since, thankfully. There’s a vast variety of blends to pick from: rosemary, buckwheat, orange, lavender and lemon, for starters...
No trip to Paris is complete without pausing at Ladurée for its iconic, pastel beauties. Invest in a luxury hamper, a dainty Impressionist palette box of pastel macarons, or various other gifting goodies. The mammy of macarons has shops all over the city; the fairest of all is the Champs-Elysées branch. Post-purchase, pop upstairs into one of several regal salons, where guests can make like Marie-Antoinette and nibble on delicate sandwiches, vol au vents, layer cakes and, of course, seasonal and special edition macarons. Magnifique!
La Terrasse Kléber / The Peninsula / +33 1 58 12 67 72 / 7am-10.30pm daily / peninsula.com
La Grande Epicerie / 38 rue de Sèvres, 7th / +33 1 44 39 81 00 / 8.30am-9pm Mon-Sat, 10am-8pm Sun / lagrandeepicerie.com
La Manufacture / 40 rue de la Roquette, 11th / +33 1 48 05 82 86 / 10.30am-7pm Tue-Sat / lechocolat-alainducasse.com
La Maison du Miel / 24 rue Vignon, 9th / +33 1 47 42 26 70 / 9.30am-7pm Mon-Sat / maisondumiel.fr
Ladurée / 75 ave des Champs-Élysées, 8th / +33 1 40 75 08 75 / 7.30am-11pm daily / + branches / laduree.fr