28 January 2019

A Christmas table


I'm posting this today because in France, the holiday season officially ends January 31st. Until then decorations and crèches de noël in churches can be left up, cartes de voeux sent out, galettes des rois consumed. Wishing shopkeepers and anyone else you run into a Bonne Année will be considered tout à fait normale and, as the month wanes, "It's still January!" ("C'est encore janvier!") might be added. Like now.

Christmas Day with its magnificent sit-down lunch is bigger than New Year's Day or even La Fête des Rois, January 6th. Celebrated mostly among family, it's an occasion to dust off that wedding gift or heirloom china, crystal, and silver, and when the pre-lunch apéritif, usually in the living room, is taken into account, it can easily run into five hours. At the end of the meal, a digestif (to help digestion, as its name implies) will also get its own glass.

Above: napkins folded comme il faut; several plates and glasses per setting for multiple courses, each requiring its own wine

See post: En famille

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  - L'art de la table dans la tradition française -

Where to find it:
Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen
Europe's biggest flea market
rue des Rosiers 93400 Saint-Ouen
[best Saturday or Sunday; try to avoid lunch time 12:30-2:30 p.m.]

Upscale antique shops for glassware, tableware, crystal, silver
 rue des Saints-Pères
[start at the river and zig-zag up the street until rue Jacob]

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