The City of Light will always be home to Madame Gabriela. Our founders met in the 7th, our first photo shoot started in the Marais, our first (of many) innovative ingredients were suggested near Montmartre and of course our signature red wears her name. So it seems only fitting that as Paris opens back for the holidays, we open our little black book and showcase some of our favorites.
Are you ready to join us? Dig out your chicest scarf and your 'on fleek' gloves, and let’s enjoy the Madame Gabriela 5 Paris 'musts' for December 2020.
1. ADMIRE THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
From mid-November, Paris and her residents are decked out in Christmas finery. Trees are draped with twinkling lights and colorful decorations are strung across the streets, lobbies and entry ways. Most areas of Paris get an extra dose of sparkle for the festive season, but for the most over-the-top display head to the bustling Champs Elysées. This year’s display runs from 22 November 2020 to 6 January 2021 and includes over a million red and blue bulbs draped across 400 trees. You’ll also find plenty of sparkling lights lining Boulevard Hausmann, Rue Faubourg-St-Honoré (with its sophisticated color scheme), Place Vendôme (always on MG's list), Avenue Montaigne and Bercy Village.
2. WARM UP WITH A VIN CHAUD
A steaming cup of vin chaud is a French festive staple. Dry red wine is mixed with sugar, orange and fragrant spices like cinnamon, star anise, cardamon and cloves to make a real winter warmer (sometimes with an extra nip of cognac). You can find it in bars and cafés across Paris as well as in the Christmas markets, but our favorite is always served at The Ritz Paris inside the Bar Vendôme (loved for its around-the-clock ambiance) and the Bar Hemingway (a legend with all the chic of a private club).
When it comes to holiday shopping, there may be no more fitting destination than Paris, where even the most banal of objets come with a certain panache. Madame Gabriela's most frequent haunts? She never explores Paris before collecting a bedside arrangement from Castor Fleuriste: indeed an arrangement made for you by Louis Géraud is always the best gift you can receive. More than just a flower shop, it is a shop of art! Then, For small personal gifts, Officine Universelle Buly 1803 is the place to start and is a mecca for gifts with a wink to beauty for more than 100 years; For small take-home items, Astier de Villatte is an MG favorite for candles, ornaments, and classic white ceramics that are all handmade in Paris. Then... down an alleyway near the Louvre you’ll find La Galcante, offering journaux, documents and presse ancienne, but this little shop is so much more than that. A treasure trove of history, there are piles of publications dating back decades, sometimes a hundred years, and more vintage issues of ParisMatch and French Vogue than you could ever need. Finally, the city’s oldest department store, Le Bon Marché, is also its most stylish thanks to an extensive redesign by LVMH.
4. BIG BOX RETAIL
While team MG tend to shop clean, small and local there is something to be said for the extravagance of French retail during December. Galleries Lafayette is the perfect example. With amazing displays filled with wonderfully animated characters, beautiful decorations and that impressive stained glass interior lit up like a jewel box.
5. DANCE DANCE DANCE
Madame Gabriela NEVER leaves Paris without two things. A kiss... and a dance on the banks of the Seine. A quick Argentine Tango is the perfect excuse to capture the attention of a seductive Frenchman, and guarantee that Paris kiss.