Monday, July 25, 2022

Christmas in Paris in July

I don't know if Christmas in July is a thing all over the world, but it is here in Australia, or maybe it is just in my little corner of Australia. I even went to the bakery and they had traditional Christmas mince pies for sale, so it is definitely more than just in my friend circle. One of the nice things about that is that we can have the full on traditional Christmas dinner when it is cold, instead of when it is very hot! If we are organised enough we can wear our Christmas jumpers, we play Naughty Santa so everyone ends up with a small gift, my brother in law makes eggnog on occasion and generally we all have a lovely time. 

This year we spent time with a friend I formerly worked with who is crackers about Christmas (deliberate pun!) for a Christmas in July celebration so it was great to catch up with all the people I used to work with.

This year, we are planning to spend a week or so in France over the Christmas/New Year period, and the last time I was there nearly 30 years ago (how on earth has it been that long!) it was around Christmas time too. So today, I thought I would share a few Christmas (in Paris in July) related bits and pieces.

When I was last in Paris back in 1994, it was very early in my tour, so we really were a bunch of strangers on a bus who were about to spend 3 and a bit weeks together. We went to a small restaurant, where I tried snails for the time and received a small gift from the tour director. After dinner we went to a local church around the corner and had the most magical experience of midnight mass in French. I wrote more about this experience here.

If all goes to plan we will be in the Netherlands for Christmas then spend a few days in Northern France, followed by a few days in Paris in early January and then onto Southern Italy. I am therefore very hopeful that I will get to Paris in all it's glory, but just in case here are some lights

Last year I discovered Tatiana Eva Marie who is a Swiss born jazz musician who grew up in France but is now based in New York.  She released a Christmas album called Wintertime Dreams: A Parisian Christmas a couple of years ago that I listened to a lot last Christmas. It is such a delight to listen to with it's mix of classic songs, violins and accordians, and plenty of songs that sound like they have jumped out of the typical soundtrack which nevitably accompanies any movie set in Paris.

Here is a taster:

Currently I am reading a book called The Perfect Meal: In Search of the Lost Tastes of France by John Baxter. I am not going to finish this book in time to post about it for this year's Paris in July event. However, I have read a couple of other Baxter books over the years, most notably his book The Immovable Feast: A Paris Christmas. My full review is here, but I am going to share a quote from very early in the book about Baxter's first Christmas with his new French family.

With Jean-Paul present, the meal could begin. A few minutes later, he took his place at the head of the table, and the other dozen guests arranged themselves, with me at the foot.

The marathon of Christmas dinner commenced.

I'd been warned what to expect. After the foie gras, we'd be enjoying white boudin veal sausage with fried apple, then roast pintade - or guinea fowl - a gratine dauphinois of sliced potatoes baked with cheese and cream, accompanied by green beans and carrots, followed by cheese, and Francoise's twenty-five-egg mousse - each course with its wine, including champagne with the dessert.

The goose liver was delicious enough for one to spare little thought for the poor bird that produced it.We smeared it into fresh white pain, larger brother of the more familiar baguette, washing it down with '84 Bordeaux from Madame's own cave - which was literallya cave, hollowed out of the rock on which this house was built.

The women never stopped handing around plates, offering more foie gras, and returning to the kitchen for bread or cornichons. Jean-Paul exchanged a few phlegmatic words with Jean-Marie, then fell silent. From time to time he would tilt a wine bottle away from him and stare at the label, as if it might have changed miraculously into a better year.

Joyeux Noël en Juillet!

Paris in July is hosted by Tamara from Thyme for Tea and Deb from Readerbuzz.


  1. Christmas in Paris sounds very nice! Even if it snows, everything is fairly close to the Metro so as long as you have good waterproof boots and a warm coat, you would be fine. I visited my brother in Rome for Christmas once or twice and the sightseeing was easier because less crowded. Let's find you some historical novels set in France that you haven't read yet (no more WWII French collaborators - something less angst-ridden).

    1. I've read quite a lot of other French historical novels. Just not recently! lol

  2. My favorite thing about Christmas in Paris was seeing all the amazing special food in the windows of the food shops, Truffles and foils gras.. I don’t think they do Christmas in July. It’s not a thing in the US either, generally, though there may be occasional families who do something. I think it’s more important for places that have winter in July.

    best… mae at

    1. There's definitely a nice feeling to be celebrating in winter!

  3. How wonderful to be in Paris around the holiday time. I am eager to see your photos and blog posts when you visit there later this year.

    Love hearing Tatiana Eva Marie!

    1. I've been listenig to Tatiana Eva Marie a lot over the last few days Deb



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