Winter wonderland

How is it already the middle of December!? It feels as if Thanksgiving was yesterday (oh wait, no, that was just my post about it) and already Christmas is upon us. My last day of work until the New Year rushed by today in a whirl of evaluations and holiday cheer, and before I knew it I found myself around a dinner table at one of my favorite restaurants with some of my favorite people, enjoying each other’s company before we all head off to celebrate the holidays in different corners of the world.

L'Epicerie, the tartine shop around the corner from my apartment

Les filles a l'Epicerie

The restaurant is called L’Epicerie. It is a place that is at once lively and fast-paced but also cozy, warm and inviting. It is chock-full of vintage tins, boxes and art and the paint is literally peeling off the walls (in a charming way). The servers are straight-forward and harried, but all seems to have a similarly kind sense of humor. Their speciality is tartines, and they do it well. A tartine is a thick slice of toasted bread, usually topped with varying cheeses, vegetables, fruits and jams. How can you go wrong with that?

Tartine with pumpkin purée, gorgonzola cheese, ham and tomato. Delicious!

My street, all lit up.

After dinner I took a little walk to enjoy the cool, refreshing air and soaked up some of Rennes’ bountiful holiday cheer before I leave for New York on Thursday to see my family (old and new!). Rennes is a great city for uplifting the holiday spirit. The shops are all promoting holiday goodies such as the Bûche de Noël and the streets are strewn with lights of varying shapes, sizes and colors.  The streets all seem to smell of some pastry which is begging you to devour it, and the holiday excitement in the air is tangible. Families rush from shop to shop in preparation of Santa’s arrival and everyone seems to be content. The streets are simply dancing with the energy of it all, making it hard to stay inside despite the cold.

There have also been several visits to the Marché de Noël for a warming cup of vin chaud (mulled wine) and a cornet de chi chi (churros, often served with nutella or melted chocolate). Though most of the vendors at this market are seriously overpriced, it’s nice to be able to just mosey around and soak in all of the bright colors and delicious smells.

My next post will be from New York. I may be a little less food-obsessed than usual and a little more baby obsessed (I’m going to meet my new nephew!).Until then…..Joyeuses Fêtes! Happy Holidays!

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