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.
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.