Monday, December 24, 2012

Tour of Christmas market and festive shop displays


Who would think it's Christmas Eve day here, what with sunny skies and 12 degree C temperatures in Annecy and surrounding area? I hope you are enjoying your day and preparing for a night with loved ones. My hubby is flying tonight, alas, but he'll be home tomorrow afternoon, so in honour of Christmas Eve, I thought I'd show you around the holiday market that's been in the old town since early December and runs until the first week of January.


The market has stalls whose vendors sell everything from gourmet goodies and handmade artisanal goods to cheap jewellery and local food. Don't let the quietness of the market today fool you. I snapped these around lunchtime, which in France is between 12-2p.m., sometimes even to 2:30, and every one was in the restaurants eating (the restos promptly close after 2, so getting a meal, let alone a snack, is next to impossible until dinner starts at 7 or 8).


This morning, after saying bye-bye to hubby, I went to the butcher to pick up the turkey we had ordered on Saturday. We're not huge meat-eaters (a sin in France), but it's custom for us both to have turkey for Christmas. The food shops were packed. As you may already know, the French take their food, and wine, very seriously. Shops are normally closed Sunday and Monday, but they were open yesterday and are open today not so much that people can run around and buy gifts - no, I'd say the main purpose is so people can buy the food they need for their holiday dinners, which traditionally are celebrated on Christmas Eve in France.


Yesterday while buying wine for our dinner tomorrow night, I said to the gent in the wine shop across the way, in French of course, that I wanted a red to go with the turkey (**dinde** in French), and also a white. When he asked what the white was to go with, I almost said in French, ``Nothing, it's to get pissed.`` But the French wouldn`t understand the concept of a person drinking wine around meal-time without food, so I caved and answered cheese, maybe the turkey too. Sometimes it is **plus facile** to pretend you have fully internalized the French ethic!


Back to the market. SPOILER ALERT: Hubby, if you are reading this, stop right now or one of your pressies will NOT be a surprise (hey, you keep telling me you prefer surprises)!! Yesterday I was thrilled to find, at the stall to the right in this pic, a women (the blond-haired one) from Quebec City in Canada selling ... Canadian beer!!! Yay! Perfect man pressie as hubby loved sampling Canuck beers when he visited. She's there until the 30th so hubby can stock up if he so chooses.


Apologies for the blur in the centre of this and several pics to follow. I took these the other day with hubby and, like an idiot, somehow managed to do what I do every time I use his camera: smudge a finger print right in the centre of the viewer!


I wanted to show you a few of the shops and restos/bars on our street as they are decked out so beautifully for the holidays. Lots of natural greenery and such. This is where we buy our jams.


One of our fave restos, literally a 5-second crawl from ours. Inside the decor is bohemian-chalet-chic, very cosy and welcoming, and the menu is good considering it's in the old town - not so very touristy that it`s utterly boring (fondue upon fondue in the old town is the norm - and can get tired quickly), yet not so wholly French that I can't eat the food (sorry, foie gras isn't my thing, nor are frog's legs).


A touristy shop but I just loved the greenery on the old arches. Parts of the old town were around in the 12th century, but these arches appeared in the 18th century, if memory serves.


Even the rubby-dub bar, where all the old gents go to get hosed (well, the drinks are cheap so we spent some time on the patio in the summer too) is all decked out.


This isn`t very Christmasy-looking, but I had to snap a pic of this wee patio as it looks so pretty and inviting.


Look - even the blue candle holder matches the cushions! The inside looks very cozy, and the menu good, so hubby and I will have to try it in the New Year.


I was going to make myself some squash soup tonight, but souvlaki is calling me, and this Greek place in the old town (for all I know, the only Greek place in Annecy) is open tonight. I used to live in Greek Town in Toronto, and boy do I miss the `hood, not to mention the food. With its blue awning, the place looks exactly like the restos I`m accustomed to in T.O.


I must dash out to buy some artisan-made chocolate for hubby`s stocking before the shops close (hopefully the crowds will have abated by now. My theory is the French are all at home just starting their cooking at this hour). But before I do here`s a peep at a vintage goodie, a gorg multi-hued velvet purse with neat structural shape, courtesy of Etsy, that I found in my box this morning. It`s under the tree and can be a pressie to me, from me. I don`t mind at all that it`s a little beat up and bought it knowing this. Perfection isn`t important to the Grunge Queen, but coolness, colour, texture and items that are just plain different are!

I may add a post-script photo or two when I return as Annecy at Christmas, at dusk, is pure magic. In the meantime, I hope you and yours have the loveliest of holiday seasons, whatever your tradition.

21 comments:

  1. it looks beautiful, sounds like you've got the same mild weather as us. I'd prefer some cold and frost weather instead. The market and the restaurants look really fantastic. xx

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    1. Clare, mild and rainy, by the sounds of it! But luckily we`ve had sun for the past few days. Have a very Merry Christmas! xoxo

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  2. Kelly,
    You are one lucky girl. The pictures are just beautiful and sooo
    warm looking. It's -8 Celsius and windy but we do have a dusting of snow for Santa and his reindeer. I love all the cozy shops and Canadian beer what a shocker. Love the line about the white wine, I had a great laugh over that.
    Wishing you and your husband a very merry Christmas and all the best in 2013.

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    1. I know, I truly am living the life. It is great, though, especially at this time of year, I miss my fam (first time ever I haven`t gone home to the folks` place). But then again, I have hubby. I`m glad you have a wee bit of snow even though it`s warm - it always feels more Christmasy that way, doesn`t it. Happy holidays to you and yours! xoxo

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  3. Oh wow, that purse is gorgeous! I can totally see you carrying it with many of your outfits. I love gifts to ourselves, they can be the absolute best! And hey, we don't always have to wait until Christmas to get it either. ;)
    Your neighborhood looks so fun and has a cozy appeal to it too.
    I think you need to head down to that old timer bar and get you some liquor on while you hubby is flying home.

    Merry Christmas!

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    1. Thanks Joni - the bag IS gorg, but like so many vintage purses, it`s very small and therefore not so practical.

      The last time hubby and I were in that bar, quite some time ago, we had one of the old drunk guys demand we buy him a drink - he could hardly walk, let alone talk. You hear them about 10 or 11 at night, practically right under our window, going home, I suppose, in a very loud way! Those old drunk guys sure add some colour to the `hood!

      Merry Christmas to you and yours! xoxo

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  4. Annecy not only looks, but thanks to your compelling narrative, sounds wonderful, too. The market, shops and restaurants are decorated beautifully in that low key way that all European nations save the Brits seem to do so well.
    I love your Xmas present to you and wish Mr Grunge Queen a safe flight home so you can spend a fabulous first French Xmas together.
    Happy Xmas, Kelly! xxxxxx

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    1. Haha, well, it can get tacky looking in America as well! Thanks, Vix sweetie, I am looking forward to our first wee Christmas together. I hope you and Jon and kitties have a super fab holiday time and am so looking forward to hearing of your Goa adventures! xoxo

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  5. I adore velvet handbags and you found a beauty!

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    1. It`s really different, isn`t it (somehow I can`t get the question mark to, well, mark). I have a definite thing about velvet. Velvet purses, velvet (90s) dresses. My old pad in Toronto had three velvet chairs and one retro Krohler love seat in bottle greeen - sigh, that loveseat was hard to leave behind.

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  6. Thank you so much for posting this lovely little tour of your beautiful town! The photos are beautiful and inviting... And making me wish I was there! :) Merry Christmas!!!

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    1. You would love photographing it, there`s no shortage of beautiful landscapes and such. It`s a lovely little town, and small enough that you can enjoy it by walking everywhere (in fact, it`s best to avoid driving as the streets are crazy!). Merry Christmas to you and yours, Wendy!

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  7. I love the colors of the bag! Looks like a mobile mosaic.
    About food: my mom's employers gave her (and all the other workers) wine bottles for Christmas, and I don't think we will be drinking these with anything... I always thought of it as a very hedonistic thing to drink wine without anything (not that we have wine all the time! costs money.) So I think it's weird that people ask about what you're gonna eat it with... now take a seat, they gave us glasses to go with red and white wines, and others for normal drinks. One pack of HUUUUGE glasses for either red or white wines and one of normal-sized glasses for the other color of wine. I didn't even know wines had to be dr- hmm, degusted in special glasses! (call me a fake french :))
    Do they have a Bière de Noël at this market? Apparently Christmas markets stands looks pretty similar all over the country... except Annecy's winter decorations are a lot prettier and reminds more of nature than Strasbourg's. Annecy is really a beautiful city, I'll have to find the same patio if I ever visit it and eat at their restaurant!

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    1. Yes! I think of the bag as a stained glass piece of art! Yes, wine aficionados do get hung up on the type of glass you use, but I don`t bother with that, either. It`s interesting to note the differences between cultures - and I have to be sensitive to the fact that you`re from France and that my observations may not pan out across the country! I didn`t see Biere de Noel at the market - what is it (question mark) not working). There is lots of vin chaud, though. Happy Christmas!

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    2. It's a beer that you can get only around Christmas! Sadly my mom drank her without letting me taste it :( Next Christmas maybe... Belated happy christmas!

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  8. Thank you for sharing the gorgeousness of Annecy and the Christmas market.

    Merry Xmas to you dear Grunge and to your hubby too!

    And the kitty must not forget the kitty! :)

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    1. Merry Christmas to you and yours as well! HopemSanta was good to you. :)

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  9. Loved your tour of the Christmas market! Have been following your blof for almost a year now. Best of wishes for the holidays and new year.

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    1. Wow, we'll thank you for leaving a comment and letting me know you exist - that is a thrill to know you've been reading along for almost a year - and boy, what a year it's been! Glad you enjoyed the tour and all the best to you and yours for the New Year! :)

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  10. This was the perfect holiday for me this morning. I thoroughly enjoyed it!! I've been to France once, Cannes for a music convention. Somehow I know I haven't really "seen" France. Your bag is utterly gorgeous, too.

    Have a wonderful, relaxing day!!

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    1. Jean, so glad you enjoyed it! I have only driven along the Riviera but I want to see more one day. It looks gorgeous. A very happy holidays to you and yours! :)

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