One of my favourite local Christmas markets is the one at Château Les Carrasses in Quarante, organised yearly on a Sunday in December. The setting is fairytale-like, with the elegant 19th-century wine Domaine as the backdrop. Even some of the self-catering residences and the magnificent conservatory transform into local artisan shops, selling unique products.
Every year, I try to go to the Marché de Noël in and around Château Les Carrasses if I get the chance. And last Sunday turned out to be an excellent day to do some Christmas shopping with friends. The weather was great, and the castle stood out magnificently against the deep blue, cloudless sky. Arriving in the main courtyard, the beautiful conservatory immediately drew my eye. Rumoured to be designed by Gustave Eiffel himself, it even serves as the logo for Château Les Carrasses.
As a somewhat curious person, I love that during the Christmas market it is possible to go inside places I usually wouldn’t get to see when visiting Château Les Carrasses. From inside, the conservatory looked even more stylish than I had imagined and highlighted the handcrafted products seductively. After buying some locally produced honey, my friends and I continued on our way to the former original buildings, which have been converted into self-catering residences. The beautifully designed holiday homes, blending modern comforts with original features, served as a tasteful backdrop for the displayed artefacts and homemade delicacies.
By this time, we had worked up an appetite. Luckily, Château Les Carrasses also hosts an excellent restaurant, and I had made a reservation for their delicious Marché de Noël lunch. For 25 euros, we enjoyed a starter, main course and dessert, choosing from two options for each course. It was also possible to get some easy fast food, like fries and sausages and crêpes. Meanwhile, the weather was surprisingly warm for a December day. Therefore, many people enjoyed their lunch outside. While sipping a glass of Les Carrasses’ own wine, I looked out over the infinity pool and the fantastic views over the surrounding landscape. Under the waving palm trees, I started to feel all Christmassy.