A Quiet Christmas at Château de Moissac

by ally redmond
chateau tablescape

Tout est calme en hiver (All is calm in winter), and Château de Moissac, a restored 17th-century castle near Aix-en-Provence, provides the ideal backdrop for a quiet Christmas spent with close friends and family.


chateau dining table

After the frenzied summer months, a calm sweeps over the South of France. With the tourists long dispersed, there’s a tangible slowing down –  a need to recharge the batteries and return to basics. 

The countryside is surprisingly joyful in l’hiver. As the temperatures drop, each day brings a new take on nature; the landscape changes, and with it, the color palette.

chateau bench with candelabra

Shorter days mean routines are dictated by the sun: rising with the early morning light and hibernating in the afternoon, as it begins to fade.

At Château de Moissac, the winter is gentle. There’s a simplicity found in passing the time both outdoors — bracing country walks with happy dogs, stopping to forage pine cones and foliage to decorate the dining tables — and in. A cozy throw, a roaring fire and a good book are sufficient for a contented evening. Elegant stone walls and hexagonal tomette floor tiling (modernized with underfloor heating), so cool in the height of été, adopt a warmer cloak at the year’s end. 

chateau living room

Take a video tour of Château de Moissac with our EIC, Sharon Santoni, here!

chateau garden

Exquisitely aged walls are the perfect canvas for antique candlesticks, chandeliers laden with crystals and wooden furniture — all lovingly reclaimed. Regal staircases lead up to expansive bedrooms, sparsely but elegantly decorated, while the banquet dining room table is watched over by discerning faces in oil paintings.  

A beautiful palette of colors — desert rose, ochre, sandstone, milk bottle, dusky green — creates a soothing envelope in which to do little but talk, read, feast, and finally, sleep… humble pleasures the holiday season was made for.

chateau fire

For the full feature, get your copy of our Nov/Dec 21 issue here!

Photography © Joanna Maclennan

This text originally appeared in the Nov/Dec 21 issue of My French Country Home Magazine

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