Even amidst the luxury hotel world, the name ‘The Ritz’ is the crème de la crème. And though it may have locations all across the world, there are perhaps few venues quite as illustrious as that of Place Vendôme in the heart of Paris’ first arrondissement. Surrounded by chic shops and just a short stroll away from the Palais Garnier Opera House, in 2019, there is also a Ritz Christmas Chalet at Place Vendôme (just outside the hotel itself)!
Ritz Christmas Chalet in Paris (Place Vendôme) Dates | 7th December 2019 – 5th January 2020, every day 3 PM to 8 PM.
Place Vendôme is a staple of must-see Paris for any amateur photographer or for those who wish to get a little off the beaten path and see more Parisian monuments than simply the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. Laid out at the turn of the 18th-century to commemorate Louis XIV (i.e. the Sun King and the man responsible for the overhaul of Versailles), the area was once home to an oversized statue of the King riding his horse.
As you may well imagine, this was soon torn down during the French Revolution. In time, and following the Revolution, the first statue of the King was replaced by the original Vendôme Column. This monument was erected at the behest of Napoleon Bonaparte and was supposed to commemorate the Battle of Austerlitz. And while the Vendôme Column was torn down in the 1870s, it was soon enough re-erected and now stands in pride of place in the very heart of the Haussmanian square.
How to visit the Ritz Christmas Chalet at Place Vendôme
In 2019, for the first time ever, the five-star hotel has more to offer than their rooms and restaurant offerings come Christmas time (check out their rooms here!) Instead, a white-painted Bavarian style foodie chalet has been installed in Place Vendôme in the 1st arrondissement of the city.
Nearby, two covered stands are perfect for perching and sipping on your goodies while admiring the rest of the square and catching up with friends. Even if there’s a little drizzle, it (should) be possible to stay dry! Surrounded by the towering Christmas trees that the square has since become so famous for, the chalet is serving a myriad of chocolate creations dreamt up by Pastry Chef François Perret.
And if you haven’t already heard of him, then it’s about time you did! After all, Perret recently won an award for ‘best pastry chef in the world’. Sweet treats include Apfelstrudel with a twist, hazelnut and chocolate pastries cooked to order, and, of course, traditional gingerbread.
If you’re feeling more like a hot beverage, then you can instead purchase a creamy signature Ritz Hot Chocolate. Otherwise, for the ultimate foodie experience, be sure to buy the ‘formule’ which includes a pastry and hot chocolate for €15. A single pastry will set you back €9.
Christmas things to do close to Place Vendôme
Nearby, rue Saint Honoré offers some of the best Christmas lights in the city, including a stunning display outside of Louis Vuitton, and more twinkling Christmas tree lights than you could hope to snap enough photos of in one session! Otherwise, head up towards the Palais Garnier Opera House, and the Grands Magasins are just a few minutes stroll away.
Once there, there’s even more Christmas in Paris fun to be had. For example, while Galeries Lafayette hosts a giant and oversized themed Christmas tree in its flagship cupola each year, for the first time ever in 2019, the department store is hosting a free ice skating rink on its rooftop terrace.
Skates are free, but be sure to arrive early as the queues build up fast. You’ll also need to wrap up warm against the cold and bring along a pair of gloves! Nearby, the Printemps department store is just as decked out for the holiday season, with fun animatrons and light displays in the ‘vitrines’ (shop windows). Inside the store, there’s just as much decor to be marvelled at, including plenty of ‘Printemps’ branded Christmas trees!