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Le Diplomate and Salt & Sundry gift guide 11/15/17. Photo Credit: Nicholas Karlin www.nicholaskarlin.com


Downtown Holiday Market the 2018 Downtown Holiday Market.  Celebrating its fourteenth year, this event boasts one of the most spectacular outdoor shopping environments in the region.  This year the Downtown Holiday Market (DHM) will operate for 31 consecutive days and will have 4-weekend dates.  It will open Friday, November 23, and will run continuously through Sunday, December 23.  Hours will be from Noon to 8 pm each day. Located on the F Street sidewalk in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery between 7th & 9th Streets, NW. Bringing a unique and festive shopping “village” to the heart of Downtown DC, the market features more than 150 regional artisans, crafters and boutique businesses of ethnically produced goods.


Bûche de Noël at Le Diplomate– Throughout France, the stunningly decorated Bûche de Noël graces the holiday table every year. As a child, Le Diplomate’s Parisian-born pastry chef, Fabrice Bendano recalls the holiday confection being one of his favorite Christmas time traditions, and he is excited to honor it with the release of his 2018 Bûche de Noël varieties. Flavors include Buche Champagne Citron Framboise (Champagne-Citron and Raspberry Confit) Soft lemon-Champagne mousse with a center of fresh raspberry confit is deliciously surrounded by an almond sponge cake, then decorated with a raspberry glaze, meringues, gold leaves, and fresh berries. Buche Foret Noire (Dark Chocolate Mousse and Morello Cherry) Layers of dark chocolate sponge cake and a marmalade of Morello cherries envelop a center of cloudlike kirsch and sour cherry mousse.  A hand-carved chocolate fan, gold leaves, and mushroom meringues sit atop a chocolate glaze in Chef Bendano’s French version of the Black Forest cake. Le Diplomate’s Bûche de Noël serves 4-6  and is $40. Bûche de Noël may be ordered 48 hours in advance and picked-up between 12/17-12/25.  Orders may be placed by calling the restaurant at 202.332.3333. The Bûche de Noël will also be available by the slice in the restaurant.

LE CAFÉ DESCARTES – Christmas Logs are Here!! It’s time to place your orders for their famous Bûche de Noël holiday Christmas logs. They have three wonderful flavors this year in three size options. Click here to order


Bethesda Row Holiday Celebration – Get into the holiday spirit at Bethesda Row where you can shop the season’s best deals from the area’s best retailers, support a good cause, snap a pic, and treat yourself to all the delights of the holiday season. The fun begins this weekend with the URBNMarket Holiday Pop-Up on Bethesda Lane (Nov. 17 & Nov. 18, 11am-4pm) where you can get all your holiday shopping done before Thanksgiving!

Shirlington Light Up The Village – The Village at Shirlington, one of the DC-area’s first shopping centers, kicks off the holiday season with its 2018 Light Up the Village Holiday Celebration. The festivities start at 6:00 pm with a holiday performance by the children’s ensemble of Billy Elliot by the Signature Theatre. Then, at 6:30 pm, the tree lighting in the outdoor plaza, emceed by NBC4’s David Culver, will inspire magic and wonder for all. After the tree is lit, attendees are encouraged to stop in for pictures with Santa at Hardwood Artisans and enjoy a performance by the Bishop O’Connell High School Choir. From horse and carriage rides (with monetary or non-perishable food item donations to Arlington Food Assistance Center) starting at 6:40pm, to a snowman photo board station, face painting, balloon twisting, strolling carol entertainment, to live musical performances and retail specials and promotions, the Light Up the Village Holiday Celebration is a can’t miss celebration for the entire family.
Top of the Skate on Top of the Gate  – This winter season, guests and locals are once again invited to enjoy the magical winter wonderland that transforms the iconic hotel’s rooftop bar, Top of the Gate, into a skating rink and cozy winter lounge. This one-of-a-kind synthetic ice rink offers an unforgettably unique experience with unparalleled 360-degree views of the nation’s capital, as well as a special F&B menu with seasonal offerings and treats such as: Hotel Pretzels, Sausage & Peppers, Apple Cider Doughnuts, S’mores, Spiked Hot Chocolate, Kentucky Apple Cider, Mulled Wine, Mango Moscow Mule, etc. Hours of operation are Wednesday – Friday, 5:00-10:00 p.m., and Saturday/Sunday, 1:00-10:00 p.m. Skate rentals are ($20) for adults and ($10) for children 12 and under 
The Washington Harbour Ice Rink  Annually, mid-November until March the Washington Harbour Ice Rink an outdoor ice skating venue opens. Skate alongside the Potomac River and enjoy a hot beverage from one of the rink-side restaurants. Whether you’re new to skating, brushing up, or wanting to take your skating to the next level, you’ll love their Learn to Skate classes!
Light Yards  – Making its first appearance in Washington, DC, The Pool will invite visitors to hop, skip, and jump across 106 interactive circular pads of light, roughly 3 feet in diameter and 2.5 inches tall. As multiple visitors play in The Pool, their movements will come together to create a giant canvas of shifting and fading colors in mesmerizing patterns. Since 2012, The Pool has traveled to more than 40 major installations worldwide and clocked millions of user steps You will be invited to pose with five giant, neon-colored wings and white halos as a reminder that everybody counts and deserves love. 
Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery – The customary Christmas Cake of New Orleans is back in DC by popular demand! The Creole Kringle Cake [$36] is a delectable Danish-style cake, made fresh with flaky "shugah"-tossed Croissant Dough, Praline Crunch, Creole Cream Cheese filling and finished with a warm Praline Glaze and roasted Pecans[serves 12-16]. Give the gift of something sweet this season with Bayou Bakery's Candy Corner featuring celebrity chef and New Orleans native David Guas'  favorite, authentic locally inspired confection - the Praline. This season's "it" box is customized with a New Orleans streetcar scene and filled with a trio of pralines - Traditional, Chocolate, and Chicory Coffee. Available to purchase in-store throughout the holiday season for just $10 - the custom packaged pralines are the perfect stocking stuffer! To order and for more information on Creole, Kringle Cake visit Bayou Bakery online here

Buttercream Bakeshop –They are serving up sensational seasonal desserts and vibrant “do-it-yourself” Cake Kits. The thoughtfully curated cake kit includes a 4-inch Funfetti Cake with two luscious layers of Vanilla Buttercream frosting, a piping bag of Buttercream with a tip for easy application, brightly colored Sprinkles, Edible Pearls, a Macaron, a chocolatey Oreo Gem, and a cake topper. Or, leave the baking to cake-mavens Tiffany MacIsaac and Alex Mudry-Till for show-stopping designs like the All I Want for Christmas...is This Cake  - a playful tribute to the queen of Christmas herself, Mariah Carey [serves 22-24]. Other standout sweets are the whimsical, Gilded Chocolate Oreos and assorted Holiday Macarons – including Reindeer and Christmas Trees. To order and for more information visit Buttercream Bakeshop's Holiday Store here.
Fairmont Hotel – the Ugly Holiday Sweater Happy Hour has returned. On weeknights, anyone who shows up in an ugly holiday sweater between 5 and 7 pm, from Wednesday, December 5th through Friday, December 23rd, will be given a free cocktail. Additional happy hour specials will also be available including bar bites and signature cocktails in the hotels festively decorated lobby. Share photos from the lobby bar in your ugly holiday sweater on social media, using hashtag #fairmontwashington, and you will be entered to win overnight stays and dinners.