Not dreaming of a white Christmas …

… but we are remembering one

Our first visit to France was in 2009 and we arrived in Paris in the second week of December. The first three days were sunny but more and more chilly. Then, on our fourth morning, we woke to find snow falling outside our hotel window.

Morning snow from our hotel window

Morning snow from our hotel window

As you might imagine, we Aussies were quite excited. After breakfast – orange juice, croissants, coffee, you know how it goes in France – we made our way to Musee Rodin. The garden scenes were breathtaking.

Thinking of a white Christmas?

Thinking of a white Christmas?

From the Musee Rodin

From the Musee Rodin towards Montparnasse

At the end of that week, we joined a coach tour of France. Our first day took across the snow-laden countryside of Burgundy towards the foothills of the Alps.

Ice wine on the vine

Ice wine on the vine

The second day of the tour took us further south, arriving at Aix-en-Provence in the afternoon. In the main street, we found a frozen fountain cascade. Seriously cold!

Fountain frozen in time, Aix-en-Provence

Fountain frozen in time, Aix-en-Provence

The tour then took us to the Mediterranean coast, with two nights in each of Nice and Marseilles. (We even saw some snow in shaded gullies on the outskirts of Nice!) Then we made our way to Avignon, where we spent Christmas Eve. The night market at Avignon was the prettiest we saw in France.

Market, Christmas Eve, Avignon

Market, Christmas Eve, Avignon

In the local Hotel de Ville (town hall) there was a display of santons, the traditional nativity figurines. Visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santon_(figurine) for more information.

Display of Santons, Avignon

Display of Santons, Avignon

Our kitchen santon

Our kitchen santon

It is also traditional for each town hall to feature a table set for a Christmas meal and laden with various treats.

French Christmas dinner table, Hotel de Ville, Avignon

French Christmas dinner table, Hotel de Ville, Avignon

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About rmgtravelsandfood

Maggie and I are both in our early 60s and live in Melbourne, Australia. This blog is devoted to our shared passions for travel and fine dining at home. As cooks, we are skilful and adventurous within a framework of mainly traditional ingredients and techniques, and we aim to prepare nutritious food that looks good and tastes delicious. Our evolving repertoire is influenced by both our travels and Melbourne's vibrant food culture. While we are young enough, our priority travel destinations are overseas, although we do spend a few weekends each year exploring south-eastern Australia. As travellers, we are most comfortable with a combination of organised and independent touring. Our first overseas journey together was to Italy in the northern autumn of 2008. We later travelled in France (2009), Spain (2011), Singapore and Cambodia (2012/13). All trips from 2014 onwards are documented in this blog.
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