A Chateau Christmas

I had read about the Christmas lights and decorations at the Vaux le Vicomte which is a chateau not too far from Paris. We took a train and then a bus and were quickly there. I had visited here years ago. It is really lovely.

We had a quick meal before touring the chateau. There were paintings all over the restaurant of beloved hunting dogs, like these two.

There were decorations set up in the stables too like this one.

The entrance to the chateau all decorated for Christmas. As it got dark the front was also lit up in red but we had to catch the bus back to the train station so I didn’t get a good photo.

A painting of the trial that took place when Fouquet, the owner of the Vaux le Vicomte was found guilty of using the money from France’s treasury to build his chateau and the very famous grounds which Louis XIV copied when building Versailles.  He probably wasn’t guilty but was framed by a jealous cohort but ended up spending the rest of his life in prison.

A Hansel and Gretel theme for the Christmas decorations.

A little wildlife seen amongst the trees.

A magnificent roof in one room over Christmas trees.

Lobsters as Christmas decorations in the kitchen.

Copper pots in the kitchen. Beautiful but lots of upkeep to keep them shiny.

 

Merry Christmas!

I want to wish everyone who stops by here a Very Merry Christmas!

Photos taken mostly in the beautiful Galerie Vivienne, a covered passageway from the 1800’s.

Christmas tree models in a shop outside of Palais Royal.

French pastries for sale.

The pretty lights outside of the restaurant, le Grand Colbert.

Inside the Galerie Vivienne.

Outside another shop.

A shop selling gorgeous Christmas decorations.

Christmas stars in a wine glass.

 

Already

I am writing this post on November 14th. I don’t know when it will be posted. I tend to save posts when I have enough material and photos. In this case, I see signs of Autumn and, even, a few signs of Halloween, now past. Windows tend to be decorated according to the season.

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Doesn’t this look like Autumn? It was outside of a vegetable and fruit store on Rue du Buci.

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Then I saw this newspaper shop also on rue du Buci and look at those windows! They’ve started with Christmas decorations early.

 

img_2263 Then I passed a flower shop near Parc Monceau and the window was full of Christmas items for sale, sort of like in the States.

img_2290 This is rather elegant and it is still what I consider Autumnal colors although, without a doubt, Christmas decorations.

img_2291 And trees made of feathers.

What’s New

I find it hard to believe that December is half over and that the shortest day of the year is almost here. I always look forward to that day because I love longer days with more sunshine and time to be outside. One new thing for me is that I tried out an exercise club near us for one month. Last year I tried the Club Med club which was really excellent and, as you might imagine, more expensive. During my time there I never met or talked to one person. At this new club everyone is very friendly and I now have at least some acquaintances, people who say hello and goodbye and even carry on a conversation or two. Believe me, that is totally new to me. The only thing is, I don’t like the exercise classes as much. The teachers are nice but there seems to be more behind what is taught at Club Med, plus the classes last a full hour not the 40 minutes at this new place. We are going out of town for Christmas and I will be starting again when we return. I have to. I have found I will only show up each day if I am paying for it. If I tell myself that I am going out and run, half the time I won’t. What to do?

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A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine who is from Belgium made us this dish of endives and ham. She said it originates in Belgium although the French have claimed it as their own along with French fries. I read that Belgium is trying to get first claims to originating French fries. Anyway, this was a great dish and it turned out to be pretty easy. First you brown the endives in butter, then add water and let them cook until tender (either stove top or in the oven), let them cool, wrap in ham and cover with Béchamel sauce, a milk based sauce, then top with cheese and bake for thirty minutes. I cheated and used store bought béchamel which is much smoother than what I make. It’s too bad endive is so expensive in the States. I guess you could do this with asparagus.

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Maurice and I went into the George V hotel for a look at their Christmas decorations. As I recall, they had the same thing last year but, as always, it’s very beautiful.

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This was out in the courtyard where breakfast is served in the summer.

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Every once in a while we splurge on something as we did here at the bar in the George V. The drinks aren’t cheap but it is such a pleasure to sit in a dark and elegant bar drinking a special cocktail, mine was a glog since it was chilly outside, and I ate a huge amount of gourmet nuts and olives.

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I asked for plain water from the tap not wanting to pay for a bottle of water but the waiter brought a little bottle of Evian over anyway and said it was “Château-la-Pompe”, a fancy way of saying tap water. They didn’t charge us for it at any rate.

The Walk Home

In order to get my steps up to the 10,000 mark on my Fitbit, I walked almost all of the way home after my lunch at Flesh. As on the other day, the sun was gone and the windows along the way lit up.

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The flower shops sell Christmas trees and other Christmas decorations.

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Look at the line of pastries and sweets in this shop!

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Inviting.

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A hat store with someone inside trying one on.

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A type of graffiti that I keep seeing around Paris.

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An elegant Santa.

Paris Christmas

There are simpler decorations around Paris than the mind blowing ones seen at the department stores. Here are a few of them:

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A simple painted window of a cafe.

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I loved this hat in a shop selling men’s hats. It looked like one Scrooge would have worn-or the Cat in the Hat.

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The lovely Stoher’s on Rue Monterguile.

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Oysters are always found for sale at Christmas time. Maurice always gets some for Christmas Eve.

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A tree made out of chocolate.

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I think this is Saint Sylvester, seen on Christmas decorations in France.