Since the Christmas spirit seems to be lacking in France, Tom and I decided to add some Christmas cheer to our weekend by heading out the Chateau de Breze near Saumur, France. There’s an abundance of castles where we live, but I’d never visited this particular one before — and what a beauty it was! The Christmas market had all kinds of things from wine and sweets to cool artisan gifts. It was a great day and even had us humming Christmas carols long after we left.
Chateau de Breze is a gorgeous place to visit and if you’re one for castles, this one is absolutely worth a trip.
The Christmas market was in the underground passages — always a chilly 12 C ( 53.6 F) — and featured everything from handmade jewelry to caramels to wooden toys and more. We arrived shortly after it opened for the day to avoid the crowds and it paid off. We almost had the place to ourselves and got to see all the wares firsthand without having to push through the crowds. I bought two of the best tasting pretzels I’ve ever had; Tom got some cookies and we were in heaven. Another highlight was tasting about 10 types of caramel toppings that can be put on crepes, ice cream or even steaks (the savory ones like caramel with pepper or curry. Sounds weird but it’s good!). We each got about 10 tiny spoons to sample everything, which wouldn’t have been possible with the afternoon crowds.
And then it was time to spend money… I love hair accessories since I’m lazy when it comes to styling my hair. Adding a fun clip or barrette is about the extent of my styling expertise. One of the most unique vendors that I couldn’t resist was a Japanese woman who did a bamboo hair art. I bought the stunning hair clip below. She doesn’t have a website, but if you are interested, she can be contacted at [email protected] Nice, right?
Then it was wine time. I couldn’t NOT check out the chateau’s wines. We bought two bottles — a versatile white that goes with all kinds of dishes and a white cremant, which resembles Champagne in that it’s bubbly. Delicious and 8 euros each! (which is more than I’ve spent in a long time on wine. Great wines can be really cheap, but hey, it’s the holidays…)
And a couple of more pics for you of the Chateau de Breze:
This room was nice and toasty and is where you can get la fouée, which is a delicious traditional bread that’s native to the area — specifically between Tours and Angers, France. It comes with a yummy filling such as goat cheese, escargot butter or foie gras and is eaten warm. At 3 euros each, you can get two.
Here’s the castle from down below looking up.