A French Christmas #2: Christmas Day itself!

I have just had my first sleep in on Christmas, ever.

This new Christmas tradition can definitely become a permanent one!

Although it wasn’t a festive morning of jumping on my parents with a little sack of presents, it was a lovely morning. We got up, showered, and were soon out of the door to go to lunch with Léa’s mum’s side of the family. And without a doubt, all three of us were attired in gloriously dorky Christmas Jumpers:


It was a surprise to drive out of the city and to find that we were going to a restaurant for food. After a few wrong turns, one whole circle of a roundabout, we arrived at this beautiful looking building surrounded by vineyards.


Inside it was traditional old wooden beams and concrete walls with stone fireplaces and tall wine racks. We were sat at a long table for about thirteen people and kissed many cheeks before we found our seats. Many French people in the restaurant were apparently noting that Lisa and I were both definitely not French and my blonde hair and garish jumper immediately identified me as an English girl!

And now, the second feast of Christmas commenced. 

the set menu for the day! 

It took about four hours, and a few glasses of wine, to finish the entire thing! Lisa managed to eat more than me but my word, we were so full. 

In order to stretch our limbs and give our stomachs a rest, Léa suggested we go for a walk around Downtown Nantes. It didn’t take long to go back into the city… possibly because Lisa and I started multiple games of eye-spy all the way in. We were rather good at it. I was amazed at the city centre. The massive castle loomed above us, surrounded by picturesque cobbled streets, and a grand Cathedral looming in the background. [Fun fact: Nantes Cathedral is the tallest Cathedral in France (not the Notre Dame) – told by Léa’s Dad] Being Christmas day, nothing was open. So we wandered around the city streets, sightseeing and listening to the pop music playing by the fake ice rink. 

At 7:30pm there was a Christmas Light Show on the front of the Cathedral so we sat in the only place open – an Irish Pub called Giggs – and chatted until Léa’s Dad and youngest sister arrived at about 7 o’clock. Slight mishap though… the show didn’t start until 8pm! So we once again played eye-spy to pass the time, throwing in a few games of 20 questions too. In no time, and after buying cups of mulled wine, the show started. 

No camera will catch the beauty of the colours, but it was very vibrant and beautiful

Nantes Cathedral [photo cred to Lisa]
Once it finished, we headed for the car and home, ready to crash on the sofa for a cosy Christmas evening. We exchanged Christmas gifts, put on Love Actually and also managed to Skype the wonderful Michael in Montréal for a good chat. 

It all makes me think of the timeless movie ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and Clarence the Angel saying:

“Remember, George: no man is a failure without friends”


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