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MY ADVENT CALENDAR: 24 DAYS TO CHRISTMAS, 24 GIFTS MADE IN REGION SUD!

The magic of Christmas kicks off on December 1st with the must-have advent calendar for kids – and eternal kids! All the family will love this DIY calendar complete with our selection of little surprises Made in Région Sud, including sweet treats, beauty products and craftwork you can find online and at the region’s workshops and studios.

6 special gourmet days

The spirit of Christmas in a wrapper…

We’re opening the festivities with THE must-have local candy: the calisson. At the Roy René confectionery, located a stone’s throw from Aix-en-Provence town centre , this sweet delicacy with its subtle taste of Provence almonds and iconic shape is the queen of the shop window! And what about our nougat speciality dating back to Roman times? Originally made with honey and walnuts, the contemporary recipe uses Provence almonds. At Nougat Jonquier in the Var area, you can savour various versions: black, white, tender or crunchy… Last but not least comes one of France’s oldest candies: the colourful little berlingot of Carpentras. Savour its unique and intense flavour – a subtle blend of fruit and essential oils – courtesy of La Confiserie du Mont Ventoux.

 

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… or a box or jar!

Digne-les-Bains knows everything there is to know about biscuits! A fabulous choice of flavours awaits you at La Boîte à Biscuitslavender, almond and honey from Provence – all made exclusively with local artisan ingredients. Let’s stay in the Alpes de Haute Provence for a visit to Miellerie Chailan and its delicious honey made in the strictest tradition. You’ll find liquid and creamy honeys here, plus royal jelly and honey essential oils: a genuine art form. Last but not least, the famous chocolate maker Chocolaterie Puyricard promises a gourmet Christmas to remember: treat your loved ones to a little pouch of dark chocolate pralines coated with a crunchy ganache, or some bite-size heart-shaped lollipops, all made with fresh, natural ingredients.

 

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5 days of wellbeing

A touch of winter pampering

Beauty and wellbeing fans are bound to love L’Occitane en Provence. All their cosmetics, comfortingly-scented little hand creams and treatments honour nature’s riches and use over 200 botanical ingredients including peony, cherry blossom and everlasting, plus a plethora of other natural goodies. If you’re seeking soap, grab some timeless Savon de Marseille from a traditional manufacturer such as the Maison du Savon de Marseille. Sold in cubes or slices, you’ll find this must-have in every Région Sud home, whether in the bathroom or placed at the bottom of the bed to avoid night cramps – an old trick handed down from our grandmothers! Still on the soap theme, opt for an ultra-relaxing hammam soap bar or richly-fragrant mini soap from Maître Savonitto – you’ll find his little boutique in the village of Seillans.

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Bedecked in finery!

Christmas is coming early this year thanks to the region’s typical jewellery. A famous leather sandal maker based in Saint-Tropez, the brand K.Jacques now boasts two ranges of leather bracelets – Naja and Mamba – perfect for adorning your wrists. Simply wrap them round twice and tie them like a little belt. One-colour, fluorescent, snake or leopard, there’s something here for every taste. In Queyras, you’ll find original blue string bracelets crowned with a delicate little rose in laser-cut wood – a delightful blend of trends and local traditions courtesy of artisans from the Château-Ville-Vieille cooperative!

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6 days steeped in colours and scents

The magic of flowers…

A famous Grasse-base perfumer, Maison Fragonard has launched a limited-edition candle for Christmas, designed by Aurélia Fronty and scented with the house’s iconic Belle de Nuit fragrance, associating fruit, flowers and a touch of musk… We love it! In Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, you’ll find a range of heady lavender wand creations by Elsa Lenthal. In love with this artisan tradition originating from the Alpilles, Elsa offers a range of pretty wands tied with a ribbon – a genuine ode to traditional know-how. Also on the plant theme, the association Couleur Garance has set down its bags in the beautiful Luberon. In tribute to the ancient local madder industry that brought the village to fame and fortune, the association produces a beginner’s dye kit introducing craft fans to this ancient art.

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… all the better to pamper you with!

Many ancient secrets nestle among the region’s tall mountain peaks… The Queyras area offers us a little foretaste with its flower waters made with wild mountain plants. You can use the waters as you would essential oils, but they’re even easier as there are no particular contraindications. Each has its own special properties: for example, choose yarrow (achillée millefeuille) if you want to tone your skin. Flowers are also our faithful ally in pollen form. At Apiland in the village of Rousset you’ll find flower pollen you can eat: 2 teaspoons a day for a genuine cocktail of wellness. Last but not least, let’s shine the spotlight on our legendary little blue-toned bloom: lavender! Celebrated in particular at the Musée de la Lavande and by Aroma’Plantes, you’ll find it in every shape and form whether aromatherapy, cosmetics, or hard or liquid soap: you’d almost think summer had returned!

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7 days in fruity mode

Candied fruit and sweet jellies

The almond is one of the top stars of our Christmas celebrations and Perl’amandes has come up with dozens of ways of honouring it, with 100%-natural marzipan, spreads for aperitif time, energy products and, of course, organic almond paste – everyone’s favourite. The perfect choice for both gourmets and sports fans, the Confiseur Maffren is an almond expert too, with products paying homage to the beautiful Southern Alps and their gourmet riches. Transformed into little hand-made subjects or even moulded into vegetable shapes, their assortments are both colourful and delicious. The local fruit also comes in candied form too: Confiserie Florian in Nice promises to tickle the tastebuds with its irresistible candied chestnuts – a must for an authentic local Christmas! The sweet and gentle assortments by Maison du Fruit Confit promise connoisseurs plenty of sugary shivers too.

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Crushed, ground or stewed… from breakfast through to dinner!

As you probably know, we eat olives with everything. We love marrying them with traditional recipes, while olive oil is used to enhance every dish. On the Côte d’Azur, perfumed olive oils are used to lend culinary creations a genuinely-inimitable taste. The proof of the pudding? A mini bottle of extra-virgin oil scented with a touch of Menton lemon… Le Moulin du Haut Jasson is an expert too: olive grower Olivier Roux and his wife Chantal will amaze you with their incredible choice of aromatic oils, including an organic range. Last but not least, Maison Herbin promises a great start to the day with its artisan jams from Menton, made with carefully-selected fruits, cooked traditionally and potted with tender loving care… So what will it be: red berry, citrus or exotic?

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Make your own calendar with our DIY tutorial

The shopping is done, time to wrap it up!

To make your Made in Région Sud advent calendar you’ll need:

  • A round basket
  • A pair of scissors, a stick of glue, a ruler and a pencil
  • Brown paper envelopes (various sizes)
  • Ribbon and string
  • Numbered stickers and a few Christmas decorations

It’s as simple as pie: just put your little gifts randomly in the envelopes, number them with the stickers and tie up each parcel with string and ribbon. Place them all in the basket and look forward to the mini treasure hunt every morning!

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