The glow of Hanukah and Christmas lights


In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus

The sky greys to ash. There’s a preternatural silence among the skeletal trees in the winter garden at La Creuzette. It starts to snow. Lamplights flicker in die failing light and the air fills with the scent of freshly felled pine trees. Shop windows are ablaze with Christmas decorations, and florists display bucket loads of holly, mistletoe, ivy and the invariable crimson and green poinsettias. This year, the first Hanukah candle is lit on 24 December. The La Creuzette team wishes our friends and clients a luminous and happy festive season.

Beguiling mushrooms straight from Alice in Wonderland burrow through the moist layers of pine needles and cones. It is the season to be jolly …

London, like Amsterdam and Paris, are sparkling this year. The launch of our book, The Story of a House, at the Northcote Gallery in Chelsea was a happy event with friends and family enjoying French champagne and ruby reds from the Bordeaux area and the Rhone valley.

In Amsterdam, the launch was at Zuid-Afrikahuis, with writer and foodie Eva Posthuma de Boer interviewing us about our book Die Storie van ’n Huis and our life in rural France. It was an exhilarating experience.

We took a road trip through France to England via the Eurotunnel and the English channel. From Amsterdam, we took a detour via Strasbourg for a final Christmas illumination. What a magical place it is. Strasbourg is the capital city of the Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Loraine region in northeastern France. The Gothic Strasbourg Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg) offers sweeping views of the Rhine river from its 142m tower.

What to expect for 2017?

We open the 2017 La Creuzette season with a five-star programme. The spring highlight is a real treasure hunt, composed around the world-famous antique and bric-a-brac market in the Loire Valley. The merchandise gets exhibited in the cool shadow of the imposing royal Château de Chambord. It is one of the most spectacular examples of French Renaissance architecture, blending traditional medieval forms with classical structures. One of the architectural highlights is the spectacular open double spiral staircase that is the centrepiece of the château. Also remarkable is the series of tapestries from the French National Heritage Collection.

The second bargain-hunting brocante on our agenda is located in the Allier region at the village Charroux en Bourbonnais. This stone hamlet ranks among the most beautiful villages in France. If you didn’t get the Baccarat vase, the set of Christofle butter knives or the vintage Vuitton satchel for Christmas, now is the time to find your treasures!

This event is one of the best of our French Lifestyle Holidays. The programme includes daily excursions to beguiling sites introducing you to the best our region has to offer. All you could wish for is included in a dream come true, including hands-on cooking sessions with a celebrated Michelin-accredited chef and selected wine and champagne tastings. Learn more about this experience here.