Forward thinking!

I am not sure that Christmas is loitering at the back of your mind just now; especially as the summer holidays are just upon us.  However, for those who are planning a Christmas break, what could be nicer than settling in front of a cosy log burner and enjoying the very different experience of French cuisine and traditions.

Quite often the main meal called "Reveillon' will be eaten Christmas Eve or early Christmas morning if people have attended a midnight church service.  It can include dishes like foie gras, oysters, lobster, roast goose and venison,  There will be a selection of cheeses and dessert will probably be a chocolate sponge log called a 'Buche de Noel.'  

Leading up to Christmas there are a number of 'Marche de Noel' in several of the towns and villages nearby.  Gifts and traditional local produce can be bought and you can buy hot roasted chestnuts cooked in the old fashioned way.

A highly recommended place to visit is the Puy de Fou, which runs from end of November until 23 December. The Christmas Mystery lasts 1 hour 20 minutes and includes magic, dance and music. There are many other attractions including a Shepherds' Choir and a 1900 Market Town.

For those of you feeling energetic a walk by the coast through the pine trees and around the golf course at nearby St Jean de Monts should shake off any excesses of delicious food, chocolates and wines.