The Lou Messugo Blog - life in the south of France from a British/Australian TCK's perspective, bringing you French culture, travel on the Côte d'Azur and beyond, expat issues and a little bit of je ne sais quoi all mixed up with a hefty dose of photography.

Posted by on in Annual local events

A Vintage Christmas Market

le rouret christmas marketIt's Christmas market season and the Côte d'Azur has its fair share of them from the tacky to the sublime but last Sunday I reckon we found one of the best.  Our neighbouring village, Le Rouret, is only small but its market has been growing in popularity for a few years now and this year visitors numbers were estimated at 10,000.  With about 130 stalls, this can only be considered a massive success.  Whole roads were turned into one-way systems to allow parking spreading several kilometres but we were lucky (and knowledgeable) and got there early before these enormous crowds.  After days of rain we were treated to a perfect day of blue skies and bright sun.  

le rouret xmas market 9The premise for this market is bygone times which means dotted in amongst the homemade craft and fairtrade gift stalls we found artisans reproducing their wares in vintage style.  I spotted an ironmonger, stone-mason, distiller (for lavender essential oil) and a furniture decorator amongst others.  The ground was covered in straw and almost all the food stands were offering traditional produce including cheese, charcuterie, jams, chocolates, honey, olive oil and truffles.  The delicious smell of roasted chestnuts filled the air.  But this market is not only about the past, there were many things for children too, such as workshops in pottery, bread-making, masks and christmas card-making.  Nestled within a timeless manger of cows, sheep, rabbits, donkeys and geese was Père Noël's house sporting a healthy long queue of excited kids. Entertainment was provided by giant stiltmen wandering around, a wonderful old precursor to a jukebox and delightful automatons representing bucolic scenes.  The Marché de Noël in Le Rouret is warm, authentic, fun and far from "made in China", I particularly loved the pretty hand-made decorations of apples and oranges hanging on raffia threads and was happy there wasn't a cottonwool and tinsel-decked wooden chalet in sight.  It's a pity it's only on for one day a year.

le rouret xmas market 12

le rouret xmas market 13

le rouret xmas market 11

le rouret square

le rouret xmas market 2le rouret xmas market 6

le rouret xmas market 7

stiltmanle rouret xmas market 14

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  • Phoebe
    Phoebe mercredi, 11 février 2015

    Lovely article! And so atmopheric.....We have a summer house in Le Rouret but had missed than one....what a shame :( But thank you for your wonderful and sunny article :)

  • Guest
    Phoebe lundi, 16 février 2015

    Thank you Irene, I hope you spend Christmas in Le Rouret one day and get to this market yourself.

  • Guest lundi, 30 décembre 2013

    Gosh would love to be able to attend a fair like this I love vintage! Really nice pics.

  • Guest
    Phoebe lundi, 30 décembre 2013

    Thanks for popping by!

  • Guest
    Kelly dimanche, 29 décembre 2013

    Thank you for this article! It brings back fond summer memories of time spent exploring the hidden treasures of local farmer's markets. Wish I could visit your market one year. Love the pictures! What a special event!

  • Guest
    Phoebe lundi, 30 décembre 2013

    Thanks for commenting Kelly, I'm glad I brought back fond memories for you.

  • Rachela
    Rachela vendredi, 27 décembre 2013

    That looks fun! And a lot warmer than the ones in Germany!

  • Guest
    Phoebe lundi, 30 décembre 2013

    Sun and blue skies always help lift the spirit and make it feel warmer, but yes, I dare say it was warmer than in Germany!

  • Phoebe
    Phoebe lundi, 07 janvier 2013

    Mmm. It all looks very tempting. What a wonderful and different from the usual Christmas market. Did you spend a fortune

  • Guest
    Richard mercredi, 26 décembre 2012

    What a lovely market.

  • Guest
    Delia lundi, 10 décembre 2012

    What a lovely tradition, Phoebe! How amazing that the rain stopped and the sun got out just in time for the market, isn't it? You included some wonderful pictures too and I like how you managed to get a snapshot of the beautiful day and happy people enjoying it. I can almost feel the roasted chestnut smell :)

  • Guest
    Kim Hawkins dimanche, 09 décembre 2012

    Sounds like an amazing experience. I would have loved to have check out the distiller for lavender essential oils (one of my favorite scents) and the chocolates. I love dark chocolate in particular. The pictures you shared really highlight the moments. I wish I could have been there, yet your blogs makes me feel like I had a little part.

  • Guest
    Maria Richardson vendredi, 07 décembre 2012

    You are lucky to have such a fantastic traditional market on your doorstep. It sounds like it was real joy to explore all the different stalls and the fact that it attracts 10,000 people speaks volumes. Joyeux Noël!

  • Guest
    Ant jeudi, 06 décembre 2012

    Can't believe we missed it .. we drove through @ 17h .. next year!!:D

  • Guest
    Liz Rodriguez jeudi, 06 décembre 2012

    Excellent article Phoebe, sorry I couldn't make it to the Le Rouret Christmas Market, it looks wonderful and your photos really capture the spirit. Hopefully, à l'année prochaine?!!

  • Guest
    Phoebe lundi, 30 décembre 2013

    So Liz, did you make it this year?!!!

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