We love Christmas Eve, for us it’s the essence of Christmas.
In France Christmas Eve is celebrated much like Christmas Day here, and in Brittany our family will attend la Messe de Minuit in the village church where Pascal and I married. Pascal’s family traditionally enjoy Christmas Dinner -le Réveillon on Christmas Eve – it’s a very special occasion, sharing French delicacies and presents with friends and family into the early hours of Christmas morning. My family enjoy a special supper on Christmas Eve but cook their Christmas Dinner and open presents on Christmas Day; with of course lengthy telephone calls from us here in Suffolk to share good wishes.
Père Noël will visit bringing little gifts for our nieces and nephews. In France children put their shoes, not stockings in front of the fire for Pere Noel to fill; and as a bit of fun we fill each other’s shoes with a token, but as Christmas Day is a working day for us, we wait to open presents with good friends in the evening.
Christmas Day at Maison Bleue starts with a very festive team Brunch, like a family we always eat together every day
Pascal and I give an individual Christmas hamper full of French delicacies, fine food and wine to everyone, it’s a real pleasure to say a little thank you; and we are very proud of our exceptional team.
It’s an enchanting day as customers arrive from midday always full of good cheer. Christmas greetings are shared between tables, enjoying the delight of their festive get-together and catching up with extended families.
We take great pride in being part of their special day and Pascal starts planning the Festive and Christmas Menus in September, selecting a varied fayre including a nod to French and English traditions.
As patrons of locally sourced quality ingredients this year’s Festive Menu includes Breckland venison with balsamic vinegar, roasted pear, beetroot, honey and parsnip with local Hall Farm potatoes; and for desert: Apple Pain d’ Epices with apple marmalade, apple spiced bread, mascarpone and Christmas pudding ice cream.
In the evening Pascal and I join very dear friends and our godchildren enjoying all that makes a traditional festive English Christmas, from Suffolk Turkey to Christmas carols and charades. It’s a really enjoyable evening and we love spoiling the children and joining in with their fun and games.
New Year celebrations with our family in Brittany
We are open until New Year’s Day then close for our Christmas holiday, re- opening on 26 January
Pascal and I travel to France to celebrate with our families. It’s a chance to relax and we always take a little of Suffolk with us as family gifts.
This year we will be taking Green King IPA, a traditional English Christmas Pudding, Christmas Crackers (a novelty in France) and books including “Almost French” by Sarah Turnbull – a candid memoir about French culture, customs and an unusual perspective on being a stranger in a strange land.” I was given this by a friend in Bury and found it really entertaining! Pascal will be giving “The Essence of French Cooking” by Michel Roux senior from the Waterside Inn and for our proud parents a copy of “The Suffolk Cook Book” of course!
“ Joyeux Noël and Happy New Year from us all at Maison Bleue”
Celebrate the seasons at Maison Bleue award winning Modern French Cuisine, Churchgate Street, Bury St Edmunds: 01284 760623