Everybody likes a bargain and at this time of year it is especially true! Christmas is fast approaching and you still don’t have gifts for everyone – so what do you do? You organise a private coach or mini bus hire to go to France with you and all your friends, family, workmates, neighbours – basically, anyone you can get hold of! Don’t worry, it won’t be difficult convincing them to join you, just tell them about the amazing variety, prices and choice available for Christmas shopping across the Channel.
Bargains in France
The bargains in France start as soon as you hit Gallic soil. Around the ferry terminals you will find many outlets catering to British customers. Good value wine and spirits, food and many other items are all waiting to be carried away at huge reductions. Those wanting to augment their Christmas dinner table provisions would do well to check out the sumptuous food aisles at the French Supermarkets. Famously serious about their food, the French supermarkets stock hundreds of cheeses, patés, amazing seafood, poultry and game, as well as gorgeously chocolatey Buche de Noel (Yule Log) and exquisite patisserie.
French Christmas Markets
If you need Christmas presents that are not edible, you had better head to one of France’s fab Christmas markets. Many of these Christmas Markets take place in Northern France, the biggest of these in Amiens. Ask the driver of your mini bus hire or coach to head north from the ferry port to Amiens where a picture perfect scene of Alpine chalets and seasonal festivities awaits. The centre of this ancient town is pedestrianised for the market, so wandering around and seeking out the perfect gifts for loved ones is easy.
Interesting gifts produced in the Picardy region are widely on sale at the market which twinkles with Christmas lights. For someone really special you can select from locally designed and produced organic clothing or exquisite fine crystal. Tasty foodie items are always on the menu in France and Amiens Christmas Market is no exception. Amiens Macaroons, Beauvais chocolate tuiles, marrons glacé and other delicious fare all jostle for attention in beautifully presented stalls. To really get you into the spirit of Christmas, there are carol singers and festive performances taking place throughout the build-up to the big day.
Lille Christmas Market
If you’d like to try a different Christmas market in France, why not head for Lille? Festivities take place in Place Rikhour, right in the heart of this vibrant Northern town. With over eighty chalets presenting stalls, all strung with festive lights and glittering decorations, it really makes for a magical scene. Unusual gifts and arts and crafts items can be found at this market, as well as lots of interesting French cuisine gifts. With carol singing and children’s activities to encourage a festive mood, Lille Christmas market is an unforgettable experience. You can be sure it won’t just be the mulled wine giving you a warm feeling at this atmospheric and friendly market.
Christmas in Paris
Paris is a destination that always delivers. The City of Light is known as a romantic place to go, and yes, this is true. It is also known as a great place to go Christmas shopping! Romance and shopping? And chocolates?? What’s not to like??
The department stores in Paris are lavishly decorated and stocked high with gorgeous goods. The twinkling lights along the River Seine lend the whole city a magical air that just makes you want to buy everybody you know something really exquisite and stylish. If you have a credit card that can take the strain, then Paris is the place for cadeaux of the best quality. Names like Chanel, Hermes and Louis Vuitton resonate with style and you will see such boutiques lining the boulevards of this great city. Walking out of one of these high-end establishments without something simply gorgeous, is difficult, but can be a tad pricey.
If you don’t trust yourself in the chic shops, head for the Christmas Markets where price tags are likely to be far less stratospheric. The Champs Elysées, Saint Germain des Pres in the 6th Arrondissement and St Sulpice are all good hunting grounds. If at first you don’t find what you need, there are other interesting markets that take place around Paris including Montparnasse, the Place de la Nation and the Gare de l’est.
Wrap up your festive shopping with a trip to France where the Christmas markets and chic boutiques are stacked with ideas. I’m dreaming of a French Christmas…are you?
Image credits: lendog64 and House of Hall