As I sip my hot tea and nibble on shortbread cookies, I am very grateful to be indoors on one of the many cold and rainy days of winter. A "mild" temperature of 40-50 F is still cold to someone who has lived the last 20+ years in Los Angeles :) I've learned to cope with the cold by wandering through the splendid "passages", from the Vivienne, to Choiseul. These were the "malls" of old Paris and they retain their charm today as unique shops and cafés still exist inside while global chains predominate everywhere else.
Last week I meandered through three passages that connect, starting with Passage Verdeau, extending to Les Panoramas, and Jouffroy.
The Hotel Chopin is tucked into the corner and although it definitely shows its age, the location is charming.
A marvelous little tea salon, Le Vallentin serves light bites and sweet treats in an elegant setting in the Passage Jouffroy.
Decorations for the holidays were simple, but added a colorful note.
Yes, people were eating ice cream cones when it was 40 F outside!
Stepping out into the cold between metro stops, there were some hearty souls playing music in the Marais. Another band a block away had a tuba but I couldn't get close enough for a picture with the throng of people and cameras!
Another way to spend a cold day is in one of the smaller less well known museums, like the Carnavalet, where permanent exhibitions are always free (along with a free coat/bag check).
This municipal museum was once two townhouses, but now you may enjoy the grounds and the collections without having to pay the heating bill :)