With the world the way it is, very few of us in Australia will get to experience a white Christmas this year. Some of us prefer it this way. But for our pals who hail from the Northern Hemisphere, seafood, cherries and cricket are a far cry from blankets of snow, mulled wine and winter solstice rituals. While it's no match for the real thing, there is a fleck of snow on the horizon. Organisers behind the popular Bastille Day festival are bringing a slice of Europe to Sydney Harbour with the promise of a French Christmas Markets.
Between December 17 to December 20, Circular Quay will be transformed into what we like to imagine as a wintery French village. At the forecourt in front of Customs House stalls will be slinging out glasses of mulled wine and champagne; with wine tastings available for those willing to take a trip to Loire Valley, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Cotes du Rhone. To mop up all that booze, vendors will serve foie gras, saucisson and buttery crepes.
In between carols and general merry-making the French Christmas Markets offer a last minute opportunity to tie up any loose ends of the Christmas gift variety. Find booths selling berets handmade in the South of France or jewellery handcrafted from sterling silver and rhodium.
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Of course, it wouldn't be a white Christmas without a sprinkling of snow. Expect snowfall machines for ambience, fairy lights and towering Christmas trees ripe for the plucking.
For those eager to plunge into this wintery French Christmas experience, the good news is that the event is free. So grab a scarf and some mittens and head to the harbour for some unadulterated Christmas spirit.