Lyon’s Christmas Market

A Christmas market appears in Lyon near the beginning of December. It is held in Place Carnot infront of Perrache train station.

The square is full of Christmas themed stalls. Most of the stalls are dedicated to food and drink, with a good mix of trade crafts and other bits as well. A small internationally themed cluster of stalls makes an appearance and is always fun; these stalls sell local treats from each represented country.

We have made a habit of going with the intention of treating ourselves to a food item from a stall. This year, partly in honour of our Belgium trip, we choose freshly cooked waffles. The waffles were on sticks, shaped like a Christmas tree, and had Nutella smeared on them.

Christmas decorations in the square
Christmas decorations in the square
The square Father Christmas figures returned this year.
The square Father Christmas figures returned this year.
A stall selling food and drink.
A stall selling food and drink.
A stall selling handcrafted goods
A stall selling handcrafted goods
Every French event requires a carousel.
Every French event requires a carousel.
Illuminated statue in Place Carnot in Lyon.
Illuminated statue in Place Carnot in Lyon.
Marshmallows. Our treat last year.
Marshmallows. Our treat last year.
Oven built on a pile of wood.
Oven built on a pile of wood.
Christmas decorations.
Christmas decorations.
Tree wrapped in lights.
Tree wrapped in lights.
A stall selling food and drink.
A stall selling food and drink.
A man cuts into nougat.
A man cuts into nougat.
A stall selling beers and hot wine.
A stall selling beers and hot wine.
Chocolate available for sale.
Chocolate available for sale.
A stall selling freshly cooked waffles.
A stall selling freshly cooked waffles.
Christmas decorations.
Christmas decorations.

Gingerbread

Every year, in December we make gingerbread snowflakes. It started  years ago when we received snowflake cookie cutters as a gift, and has now become our Christmas tradition. This year though, I hesitated.

Freshly-baked gingerbread snowflakes

Freshly-baked gingerbread snowflakes

I had already bought the ingredients. A task that saw me standing in the supermarket picking up one type of sugar, and then another, trying to figure out which one was most likely to resemble the soft brown sugar available in Australia. Last year, I used cassonade; it had the right flavour but was too granular. This year, I opted for vergeoise, which was the right consistency, but lacked the rich flavour of brown sugar.

With the ingredients in hand, I had second thoughts. Our kitchen is insanely cold at the moment, and the oven function on our combination microwave isn’t quite up to the job of baking.

Cutting out the dough with our snowflake cookie cutter

Cutting out the dough with our snowflake cookie cutter

But, the biscuits have become a tradition, and they really are delicious. So, I put my excuses aside, and made them anyway. I now have the pleasure of sipping my coffee, with gingerbread on the side, as I write this.

Feeling Festive

Growing up, the first weekend in December was when we put up the Christmas tree. This weekend still feels like the start of the festive season for me; our decorations are up, and the Christmas baking has begun.

This weekend, I made chocolate balls using my grandmother’s recipe. She has been making these for Christmas for as long as I can remember, and now that I’m so far away it’s comforting to have a little bit of my family Christmas traditions in our celebrations.

Chocolate balls

Chocolate balls

We also visited Lyon’s Christmas market at Perrache over the weekend. We wandered around, sampled the chocolate-covered marshmallows, admired the twinkling lights, and generally soaked up the festive atmosphere.

Chocolate covered marshmallows at the Christmas market

Chocolate covered marshmallows at the Christmas market

Christmas market in Lyon

Christmas market in Lyon