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Fête & Gala

photo, swiss boules, place vendome

In the Place Vendôme.

2OO4's Eves

Paris:– Wednesday, 15. December 2004:– My usual source for this page has turned up as usual, but has less to propose than in past years. This hardly means there is less in Paris this year. Nothing could be further from the truth.

It seems as if few places wish to advertise for two nights of the year, and there is less inclination to offer thephoto, hediard goody basket information solely as information. If you are in Paris you will see signs outside many restaurants and cafés offering Christmas and New Years Eve menus. If you see one you like, try it – everybody puts on a special effort these nights.

Tasties at Hediard, in the Place Madeleine.

Below there are well–known Paris establishments, that don't rely solely on the trade they do on two nights. While Christmas Eve may be a bit more restrained, all the corks pop for New Years Eve. At least, this is the theory. Maybe, in Paris, it is the law.

The list presented below is far from complete. There are 300 places not on it. It's main function is to give you a slim but representative choice, from simple to fancy, from reasonably–priced to extravagant.

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On This Week's 'Scène Noël' Page
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Christmas Eve

Les Bateaux Parisiens – propose a cruise beginning at 19:45 on Christmas Eve, with three levels of dining. Prices ranging from 125€ to 155€ include Champagne and wine, plus live music with a singer. The cruise on the Seine ends at 23:00, but the music continues until midnight. There will also be a Christmas brunch cruise, beginning at 12:15. Les Bateaux Parisiens, at the Port de Bourdonnais, Paris 7. Métro: Bir–Hakeim or RER Tour Eiffel. InfoTel.: 01 44 11 33 55.

The Peniche Métamorphosis – is unusual because it offers a show for kids, and special menus for kids, for both Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. For the first evening, the dinner and show is 45€ for the kids and 90€ for adults. For New Years it will be 75€ for the kids and 150€ for adults. The dinners are at 20:00. The Métamorphosis is moored opposite 7. Quai Malaquais, Paris 6. This is probably close to the Pont des Arts. Métros: Pont-Neuf or Saint-Germain- des-Prés. InfoTel.: 01 43 54 08 08.

Café Drouant – the fixed menu in this fish restaurant for New Years Eve is 170€, and itphoto, chalets, st germain is closed on the evening of Christmas Day. The Café Drouant, 16–18. Place Gaillon, Paris 2. Métro: Quatre–Septembre. InfoTel.: 01 42 65 15 16.

In Saint–Germain.

Chez Jenny – is an Alsatian–style brasserie, which might mean its portions are, well, Alsatian. Sans frou–frou, expect Christmas Eve to cost around 42€ and New Years Eve, 60€ excluding drinks. At Chez Jenny, 39. Boulevard du Temple, Paris 3. Métro: Oberkampf, République or Filles–du– Calvaire. InfoTel.: 01 44 54 39 00.

Au Pied de Cochon – this famous Les Halles restaurant maintains its traditional 'menu' of about 50€, but you can add anything extra to it like lots of oysters and Champagne. Au Pied de Cochon, 6. Rue Coquillière, Paris 1. Métro: Louvre–Rivoli or Châtelet. InfoTel.: 01 40 13 77 00.

Le Grand Café – is a 'grand' brasserie on the 'Grands Boulevards,' with a few extras added to its usual à la carte menu of 50€. Le Grand Café, 4. Boulevard des Capucines, Paris 9. Métro: Opéra. InfoTel.: 01 43 12 19 00.

La Taverne – is another 'grand' brasserie on the 'Grands Boulevards.' With entertainment on New Years Eve, its gala menu with flowing Champagne will cost you 189€. La Taverne, 24. Boulevard des Italiens, Paris 9. Métro: Richelieu–Drouot. InfoTel.: 01 55 33 10 00.

Charlot, le Roi des Coquillages – for seafood and oyster fanciers, an average menu is about 70€. If you gophoto, boulevard haussmann for the lobster, washed down with magnums of Champagne, it might be a bit more. At Charlot, 12. Place de Clichy, Paris 9. Métro: Place de Clichy. InfoTel.: 01 53 20 48 00.

L'Alsace– in addition to passing either Christmas Eve or New Years Eve on the Champs–Elysées, you can do it for about 50€. Another plus point here is the take–out service that operates 24 hours a day. At L'Alsace, 39. Avenue des Champs–Elysées, Paris 8. Métro: Etoile. InfoTel.: 01 53 93 97 00.

On the Boulevard Haussmann Saturday.

Le Fouquet's – is a prime show–biz hangout, frequented by French stars in disguise. For the season there is a 95€ menu with drinks not included for both Christmas Eve and the day after. For New Years Eve this rate hops up to 210€. Le Fouquet's, 99. Avenue des Champs–Elysées, Paris 8. Métro: George V. InfoTel.: 01 47 23 50 00.

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Two Menus

Chez Clément – has eight locations in Paris, all of which will be offering a Christmas Eve and Christmas day 'menu,' in addition to the 'à la carte' for about 35€, drinks not included. The gala New Years Eve menu is 125€, and includes a cocktail to get you warmed up and Champagne thereafter. There will also be some entertainment offered at all Chez Clément locations. In Montparnasse, at 106. Boulevard du Montparnasse, Paris 14. Métro: Vavin. InfoTel.: 01 44 10 54 00.

Chez Clément's New Years Menu

Cocktail 'Fragola Bellini'
En Amuse–Bouche, croustillant écarlate de tomate et poivron
'Variation Carmin de Homard,' en raviolines at demi–homard du Canada aux petits légumes
Tournedos de bœuf, sauce aux airelles, trio rubis
Le Saint Marcellin sur son tapis rouge
Vacherin glacé, Chaperon rouge
Café et mignardises empourprées

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Le Procope – is Paris' oldest café, dating to 1686. It proposes, in a three–century old 'révolutionary' atmosphere, to carry you back to the epoque of the 'Grand Siècle' with an evening of six–course dining and dancing with all the Champagne you desire, for 200€. At Le Procope, 13. Rue de l'Ancienne Comédie, Paris 6. Métro: Odéon. InfoTel.: 01 40 46 79 00.

Procope's New Years Menu

Crémeux de St Jacques aux parfums de homard
Foie gras frais de canard confit aux artichauts, Beaumes de Venise
Bar au beurre croquant et Champagne, champignons des bois
Noisettes d'agneau aux légumes oubliés
Mont d'Or aux mirabelles
Biscuit aux marrons glacés aux parfums du Grand Nord
Café, mignardises, et chocolats Grand Siècle, Eau minérales

En accompagnement:
Champagne Vranken Brut 1er Cru

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New Years Eves

La Closerie des Lilas – elegance and charm in this long–time Montparnasse cultural landmark. Pass the final evening of the year with dining, music and a singer, for 120€. At La Closerie des Lilas, 171. Boulevard du Montparnasse, Paris 6. Métro: Vavin or RER Port–Royal. InfoTel.: 01 40 51 34 50.

L'Arbuci – a jazz trio will provide the music here until late, while a four–course menu will help keep you going. This includes a glass of Champagne, and a half–bottle of Bordeaux per person. About 160€. At L'Arbuci, 25. Rue de Buci, Paris 6. Métro: Odéon. InfoTel.: 01 44 32 16 00.

Le Petit Zinc – is a German–style brasserie that offers DJ music for dancing, after a gala menu accompanied with classy Champagne. The seven courses will set you back 200€ Le Petit Zinc, 11. Rue Saint Benoit, Paris 6. Métro: Saint– Germain–des–Prés. InfoTel.: 01 42 86 61 00.

Gallopin – since 1876,photo, fauchon window a well–known brasserie that offers gala menus for Christmas Eve for 45€ and for New Years Eve, for 76€. At Gallopin, 40. Rue Notre–Dame–des–Victoires, Paris 2. Métro: Bourse. InfoTel.: 01 42 36 45 38.

Outside Fauchon on Saturday.

La Coupole – is a historic monument, like some others on this list, but it still parties on. La Coupole has a simple menu, starting at 49€. Unlike many other restaurants, La Coupole has a real dance floor. La Coupole, at 102. Boulevard du Montparnasse, Paris 14. Métro: Vavin. InfoTel.: 01 43 20 14 20.

La Fermette Marbeuf – this 19th century–style 'fermette' is offering a menu of 200€ for New Years Eve, with gypsy musicians – to add up to an unique 'Belle Epoque' gala evening. At La Fermette Marbeuf, 5. Rue Marbeuf, Paris 8. Métro: Alma–Marceau. InfoTel.: 01 53 23 08 00.

La Brasserie Lorraine – this famous brasserie is limiting its places available for New Years Eve to allow more room for dining and dancing with live music. Gala menu with flowing Champagne for 190€. At La Brasserie Lorraine, 2. Place des Ternes, Paris 8. Métro: Ternes. InfoTel.: 01 56 21 22 00.

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Big Shows

Le Moulin Rouge – is a cabaret with a big, big Paris show, and a red windmill outside. For Christmasposter, noel au soleil Eve it offers a multi–course meal starting with a Kir Royal and continuing with a half bottle of Champagne, for 150€. For New Years Eve it all gets more elaborate, for 500€ per person. Le Moulin Rouge, at 82. Boulevard de Clichy, Paris 18. Métro: Blanche. InfoTel.: 01 53 09 82 82.

Le Lido – 60 dancers, 600 skimpy 'costumes,' a gala dinner and self–dancing are on the program for New Years Eve. Price of 530€ per person includes a bottle of Champagne. You only live once. Le Lido, 116. Avenue des Champs Elysées, Paris 8. Métro: George V. InfoTel.: 01 40 76 56 10.

La Belle Epoque – is a cabaret with a show called 'La Vie est Belle,' which includes some 'French' can–can, for older folks. Before this starts at 22:30 there is a dinner, with drinks included. The 'note' for Christmas Eve is 125€, and 250€ for New Years Eve. At La Belle Epoque, 36. Rue des Petits–Champs, Paris 2. Métro: Pyramides. InfoTel.: 01 42 96 33 33.

There are at least 20 other cabarets offering big, or not so big shows. If the Lido seems too stratospheric, less can be had for less. For example, Le Crazy Horse is charging 150€ for New Years Eve, with the show and Champagne included plus a souvenir. At 12. Avenue George–V, Paris 8. Métro: Alma–Marceau. InfoTel.: 01 47 23 32 32.
Another is the Le Club des Poèts, which has live poetry for New Years Eve. Along with a modest dinner, the tab will be 100€ if you don't go wild with the Champagne. At 30. Rue de Bourgogne, Paris 7. Métro: Varenne or Assemblée Nationale. InfoTel.: 01 47 05 06 03.

"You Only Live Once"

Finding prices at the following isn't so easy, but I leave these in because you might want to pay virtual visits, via the Web sites.

Hôtel Le Meurice – for Christmas Eve, the dinner is served in the Jardin d'Hiver, or on Christmas Day. For New Years Eve, in the Jardin d'Hiver the tab will be higher. You can also chose the fancy restaurant, with dancing afterwards in the Jardin d'Hiver, for 600€. At Le Meurice, 228. Rue de Rivoli, Paris 1. Métro: Tuileries. InfoTel.: 01 44 58 10 55.

Hôtel Le Crillon – has two very elaborate restaurants, L'Obélisqueposter, expos 2005 musee guimet and Les Ambassadeurs, which are serving very elaborate gala dinners from 540€ and up. Try Le Crillon, at 10. Place de la Concorde, Paris 8. Métro: Concorde. InfoTel.: 01 44 71 15 49.

Le Train Bleu – is located in the Gare de Lyon, and is pretty classy if you like a 19th century train–styles of life. For New Years Eve, with Champagne, wine and music – the Quatuor de Jazz – the bill will be about 230€. At Le Train Bleu, in the Gare de Lyon, Paris 12. Métro: Gare de Lyon. InfoTel.: 01 44 75 76 76.

Le Relais Plaza – this hotel is offering a Christmas Eve menu for 190€ with drinks extra. On Christmas Day the price drops to a reasonable 80€. Le Relais Plaza, 17. Avenue Kléber, Paris 16. Métro: Kléber. InfoTel.: 01 53 64 32 00.

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