Monday, December 19, 2011

Aix-en-Provence Christmas Markets

Only one week 'til Christmas! Less if you're in Australia as it's already tomorrow there.


We ventured out last weekend to the Christmas markets in Aix-en-Provence.


As always, the lights are just magical.


The kids also got to enjoy a carnival ride or two.


Not to mention the man with some apparatus to make giant bubbles.


Very pretty.


I enjoyed the spiced wine and these lovely light garlands for sale in one of the market stalls.


The santon display was enchanting - it's a big Provençal Christmas tradition to create a little crèche/nativity scene in your home with these guys. They sell the individual mangers, figures and every kind of animal you can think of. Not to mention bridges, water wheels, little ladies selling calissons, even rows of lavender with harvesting workers (not sure how many of those were around when Jesus was born).


The santon scene on the Cours Mirabeau is quite large and enclosed behind perspex (there would be thousands of euros worth of santons in there). I wish I could've shown you a picture of the whole thing, but there were people standing three deep in front of it, so a bit difficult to photograph (there were also a lot of little nose prints on the perspex by this stage).

Turning water wheel complete with real water.

Finding little baby Jesus was a bit like Where's Wally, but I finally located the Holy Family.

Pay no attention to the Lord Jesus being welcomed by folks in 18th century dress.

Once we'd had our fill of gingerbread and pretzels it was time to head home, pausing to check out the nearly full moon.


And marvel at the disco ball. I love disco balls.


What else has been going on this week? The kids have finished school for the calendar year.

I made some progress on Christmas gifts, finishing this covered journal for our lovely babysitter (using Ros from Bloom's great tutorial again).


Then I had to make a matching drawstring bag because Eva's were just so cute.


Drawstring bag pattern can be found here at Jeni's blog In Color Order


The lovely Susan, who blogs at PatchworkNplay sent me some gorgeous Christmas decorations:

They look very French, non? Thank you so much Susan.

I also went out to dinner one night with some girlfriends and ate these awesome profiteroles for dessert. I thought I should tell you.


Today we went to the annual Truffle Festival at Rognes. There were heaps of people, it was cold, I ate lots and that's all.

Just kidding, those pictures will be up next. Hope your last week isn't too hectic!


  1. J'ai le plaisir! Your photos, as usual, are stunning! But the one of the full moon!!!!! It took my breath away! It looks like something out of a Hollywood movie set! ( Post that to flick'r please!! ) And the santon display...what a joy! Thank you again for bringing Christmas in Provence alive! Wish I was there!

  2. ...well it depends what truffles you mean...mushrooms or chocolates! :) these photos are magical! I did find it funny that there were people in 18th century clothing getting in on the welcoming Jesus! :) Happy Christmas xx

  3. Have a wonderful, lovely French Christmas and revel in the differences! Gorgeous photos - almost as good as being there, so thank you.
    BTW Do you know about the lovely carousel on the foreshore at Geelong? ( It is much the same era as your Aix-En-Provence - and was restored in Castlemaine, some of it in my back shed.
    Anyway, have that wonderful Christmas and all the best for 2012, too. Hugs from Oz, Jasmine

  4. That looks lovely, as having only ever seen Aix in the summer, I can't quite imagine it winterised! Chuckling at the idea of the 'Where's Wally?' Jesus hunt mind you...

  5. Um excuse me, what about us lovelies in NZ? Are we not first in line after Antarctica? Yes, well. Anyway I did enjoy all those gorg photos of France. Such pretty lights and that nativity scene is so beautiful even if some of the clothes are not. Bit funny really. Lovely gifts you received too. Have a jolly good Christmas and I hope your children have a wonderful time. Such fun! XXX

    Sarah Red Gingham

  6. Oh my, just look at those gorgeous lights. What a wonderful night you must have had. Why is it that Europeans do the whole Christmas thing so beautifully? Perhaps it's the weather, cold, snowy and it's dark.
    Those profriteroles look divine...and where was this restaurant? Somewhere I could visit in late May? Please tell me yes!! :)
    Have a wonderful Christmas,
    Anne xx

  7. Your pictures make the best of the Cours Mirabeau! Have you been to the Foire au Santon on la Rotonde?
    And you have been great with your gifts,
    I wish I were as good!

  8. I'm bummed I'm not going to make it to Aix anytime soon, but your pictures were a close second.
    And can I just say... I love that you love disco balls! x

  9. I should have gone to the Truffle festival in Rognes, but I was too cold. I'll go to the one in Pelissanne in's inside :)

  10. Looks like a magical trip out at night! thanks for sharing and

    *M*E*R*R*Y* *C*H*R*I*S*T*M*A*S*!*

  11. Beautiful Kirsty. Looking good, glad you were able to finally find baby Jesus.
    Disco balls - humming Staying Alive!
    You just had to pop the photo of the profiterole in didn't you!

  12. Aren't those lights just amazing! And the covered book and bag you have made are so pretty. Is it just me or are these days before Christmas the best bit, less pressure and more fun!

  13. What a lovely, lovely post, so full of beautiful things. I see that I was in Aix at the wrong time of the year!

  14. Love the "santons"....
    Bonjour from Sendai in Japan !

  15. Bonjour Kirsty,I came across your blog as someone mentioned to me your lantern tutorial and I realised we have a complete life swap lol ! I am a provence girl married to an Aussie and living in Australia and when I read your blog and look at your pictures I just feel soooooo home sick! ;)Bonne semaine!x

  16. Fabulous photography! The profiteroles look good enough to eat! Which is, I suspect, exactly what you did with them. :0)
    Merry Christmas from a new follower in North Vancouver, BC, Canada

  17. Beautiful magical photos of the markets. Totally jealous especially since everyone is rugged up for winter and it looks like it will be 37ish here for Christmas day :(

  18. Beautiful market pictures! It looks like such an idyllic place to be, just the right thing for Christmastime! And I love the notebook and bag set! Such lovely fabrics! :-)


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