Christmas is nearly with us.  All the villages have put up illuminations and are holding various events and children’s activities. 

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Each village has a Christmas Market, with chestnuts, Christmas cakes, santons and decorations in addition to the usual produce.  Truffles are in season and each market has a stall selling black truffles at 800 euros/kg, truffle scented olive oil and tapenades.  Not much pleasant to say about aperitif wine infused with truffles.

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On Saturday we attended a carol service at the 12th century Romanesque church of Saint Sebastien in Goult where, in 2008, they discovered a 14th century fresco behind the altar. The few children present were surprisingly well-behaved; Saint Sebastien is the patron saint of cranky children.

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The carols were sung in a mixture of English, French and Provençal.  Afterwards everyone retired to the Cafe de la Poste for hot chocolate, kir and more singing.

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On Sunday the local Choeur Domitia gave a concert at the Catholic church of Cheval Blanc.  Works by Saint-Saens, Faure and Schubert were slightly at odds with the flashing Christmas star overhead and a brightly coloured flashing Christmas tree.

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There is a highly-regarded restaurant near here which does not have the astronomic prices of local Michelin-starred establishments.  We have booked for lunch on Christmas Day at l’Arome in Bonnieux.  The menu de Noel:

Amuse Bouche

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Saumon fumé maison sur sablé au Parmesan, crème au Wasabi

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Velouté de Foie Gras, Raviole de Cèpes et Huitres pochées, huile de Truffes

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Croustillant de Langoustines et Noix de Saint-Jacques planché, émincé de Poireaux et jus au Noilly Prat

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1/2 Pigeonneau rôti sur Toast , jus lié de ses Abats

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Fromage

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Palette de Desserts

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More wood has been delivered for the fire.  It is 100% chene (oak) which burns slowly.  Fast-burning woods to be avoided include pin (pine); chataignier (chestnut); and cerisier (cherry).   The house is decorated with Christmas lights, holly and mistletoe.

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Christmas shopping continues……………..