The official advent countdown to Christmas is on, and we have our chocolate-filled calendars half eaten with our thoughts firmly fixed on the seasonal celebrations to come.
As part of our December plans we always like to squeeze in a festive mini-break, whether it be in the UK or slightly further afield for some alternative Christmas shopping, traditions, food – and, of course, drink!
On our getaway radar this year is France, as it offers a complete change of scenery and is easy, affordable and quick to get to with flights, ferries and trains all travel options.
For you brides-to-be a French festive jaunt could also double-up as an opportunity to scope out the country as a possible location if you’re considering a destination wedding, or it could be an ideal minimoon location to check out if you’re delaying your main honeymoon until later in 2018/19. And as one of the most romantic places in the world, a trip here could be the perfect celebration for the newly-engaged among you, or perfect downtime for those of you that have been caught up in the craze of wedding planning for much of the year.
So, if like us, you’re tempted – what area will you pick, where will you stay and what will you do? Well, as this is a Christmas trip we’d want a grand yet cosy setting where we can envisage ourselves curled up with a glass of something mulled or sparkling, we’d also like it to be peaceful and picturesque though close enough to a city, so we can experience the seasonal culture of the country. One such place that ticks all these boxes is Château Bouffémont – a stunning French chateau, large enough that you could extend the invite to friends or family and have yourself a very merry Christmas at this incredible abode.
For those enchanted by the thought of its perfectly manicured grounds sprinkled with snow and who can almost hear the crackling sound of the lit fireplace from here; this dream chateau is available for a two-night Festive Season Break Package enabling you to enjoy exclusive – yes, exclusive – use of the Château Bouffémont and its grounds, together with an assortment of winter activities for you and your chosen Christmas squad.
You can make yourselves right at home, enjoying drinks by the fire, festive films and games in the lounge and fine food at the dining table. Though the French culinary traditions maybe different to those in the UK, they still like to go all out at this most wonderful time of the year. For example, in France, Christmas Eve is the day when the biggest festive meal is enjoyed in most households, with oysters and/or foie gras on the menu, followed by turkey, often with chestnut stuffing and cheese, and finally dessert of fancy log ice cream or sponge and chocolate.
And when it comes to venturing out, Château Bouffémont is situated just 30 kilometres from the centre of Paris, meaning you can schedule a trip to the ‘city of lights’ into your itinerary – what could be more Christmassy than that?! You can marvel at the jaw-droppingly beautiful illuminations, immerse yourself in the festive markets, admire the stunning festive window displays at the Galeries Lafayette department store during some serious shopping, get your skates on at the ice rink outside the Hotel de Ville, or head to Place de la Concorde for a sight of the spectacular Big Wheel. And if that wasn’t enough, you can find out more about what’s planned for the festive period in Paris at the official website of the French capital’s Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Sounds even better than a scene from The Holiday right? So, we say dig out the passports, get your nearest and dearest that you’d want to spend a magical mini-break with involved, and get booking. We’ll see you on the other side of the English Channel!