Christmas Shopping in France

‘Tis the season to be jolly, Fa La La La La, Le Shop, Shop, Shop!
Let’s face it. You cannot go to France and not shop. That would be almost criminal. Given the glamourous high fashion; delicious food and wine; and beautiful arts and crafts, most of us would leave France with an extra suitcase full of goodies!

If you’re heading over for your Christmas shopping spree, we’ve got here a few things you may not want to miss!

La Vallée Village, Paris

A mere 40 minutes from the heart of Paris (External link) , and only 5 minutes from Disney® Parks, La Vallee Village (External link) is where you will find 120 fashion and lifestyle boutique outlets offering a mix of high-street and high-end brands at up to 50% off. Until 31 Dec, should you include Paris in your rail booking, you will receive a VIP card (External link) offering an additional 10% off any six boutiques of your choice and a complimentary Shopping Express shuttle from Paris.

Olive Oil, Provence

We may love Provence for its perfumes, lavender fields and L’Occitane, but did you know they produce olive oil too? Indeed, the olive is an essential part of the Provence region, culture and cuisine. While it was the Greeks that introduced the olive tree to the region more than 8000 years ago, today, olive groves make up the Provence landscape as much as its vineyards. Marseille (External link) is the capital of Provence (External link) and is only 3hr 23min from Paris.

Foie gras, Dordogne

As quintessentially French as is champagne, so is foie gras. The region famed for this rich and buttery delight is Dordogne, where 79% of the world’s foie gras is made. A dish originating from Ancient Egypt when Egyptians discovered that ducks and geese would gorge themselves in preparation for their autumn migration, these nutritious livers fast became the ultimate delicacy. You can reach Dordogne Valley (External link) via Toulouse (External link) , 4hr 24min from Paris, or Bordeaux, just over 2hr from Paris.

Pear Cider, Normandy

Wines and champagne aside, France also has cider on its long list of hot exports. The regions of Normandy, Picardy and Brittany all produce some of world’s most popular brands of thirst quenchers. In Normandy (External link) , there’s even a museum (the only one in France) dedicated to this delicious sparkling beverage. Depending on the city you’re visiting, train journeys from Paris can go from 45mins to 3 hours.

Porcelain, Limoges

Known for producing plain faience earthenware since the 1730s, the manufacturing of hard-paste porcelain in Limoges began in 1770. The city is today still the premier manufacturing city of porcelain in France. Due to global economics, the once complex and detailed artwork on the porcelain pieces simplified significantly. If you’re a collector, you’d know to look at the condition of the pieces along with their artistically pleasing artwork. Limoges (External link) is 3hr 14mins from Paris.

For more travel inspiration and information on France Rail Passes and tickets, head to www.raileurope.com.au (External link) , where you can use the destination guide (External link) and interactive map to help with the trip planning.

Christmas in France