Thalias Hospitality

Le Réveillon de Noël


In France, the main Christmas meal is a gracious and arranged affair held on Christmas Eve. The meal is a splendid feast of the finest foods accompanied by great wines and will stretch on until after midnight.

According to the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs: Many of today’s Christmas traditions originated in the Middle East and were introduced to France by the Romans. Reims was the site of the first French Christmas celebration when (in 508) Clovis and his 3,000 warriors were baptized on Christmas Day.

Charlemagne received the crown from the hands of Pope Leo III on Christmas Day in 800. In 1100, Godefroy de Bouillon’s successor, his brother Baudouin, was crowned in the basilica of Saint Mary of Bethlehem. Later, King Jean-le-Bon founded the Order of the Star in honor of the manger; it remained in existence until 1352. In 1389, French crowds shouted Noël! Noël! in welcoming Queen Isabeau of Bavaria to the capital.

Thus Christmas gradually became both a religious and secular celebration. Christmas in France is a family holiday, a religious celebration, and an occasion for merry-making.

The first tree in France was said to have been presented as ‘the holy tree of Christmas’ in the city of Strasbourg in 1605. It was decorated with artificial colored roses, apples, sugar, and painted hosts, and symbolized the apple tree in the garden of Eden.

Another custom is that of the nativity scene and the manger, (la crèche) which are believed to have originated in the 12th century, in the form of liturgical drama. The popular manger was introduced in Avignon by Saint Francis of Assisi between 1316 and 1334, and after the revolution, it was popular to display a crèche or ‘nativity’ in homes for Christmas.

Christmas fairs are a popular and colorful tradition in France and the most famous Christmas market in Europe is held annually in Strasbourg, the capital of Alsace, and dates back to 1570. For five weeks this historic city on the border of France and Germany becomes the “Christmas capital of Europe” and turns into one giant magical decoration.

The history of the Fair actually began in the 14th century when it was called St. Nicholas Fair. In 1570, under pressure from the Reformation, the name of the Catholic saint was replaced with the name of the Christ child. Since then, the Fair has been called Christkindelsmärik.

The twelve squares of Strasbourg host hundreds of festively decorated wooden chalets. Souvenirs and local delicacies, Christmas decorations, handicrafts, and other festive utensils are all sold here and it is a wonderful opportunity to taste traditional Alsatian cuisine, much of it cooked right there in the streets.

Twelve Christmas markets are open all across the city: Christkindelsmärik itself on Broglie Square and other Christmas markets on the Cathedral, Castle, and Crow squares. The Gutenberg Square hosts a Swiss village; the Station Square is an arts and crafts market. All the streets hold small themed artisanal fairs. The Kleber square is very festive thanks to its elegantly decorated fir tree brought straight from the mountains. Every year a particular country is invited to be an honorary guest at the Strasbourg Fair. Craftsmen, chefs, and winemakers thus introduce the visitors to the customs of their country. A special cultural program includes film projections, dancing, and folk music performances.

Before the 18th century, le réveillon de Noël was divided into two meals: people ate a light supper before midnight Christmas Mass, and then indulged in a “fat” supper at 3 am that would last for hours.

Réveillon, as the name suggests is a decadent affair, and the finest dishes and wines will be served: after an aperitivo of Champagne friends and family will enjoy oysters, smoked salmon, lobster, foie gras, and possibly caviar all accompanied by an appropriate white wine, perhaps a Chablis Grand Cru.

For soup, there’s velouté de châtaignes, a creamy chestnut soup made with winter vegetables, whose name means “velvet.” This will be followed by the traditional Christmas Turkey, with chestnuts and a superb stuffing and a cured, Christmas ham may also be served. Of course, there will be a glorious selection of cheese and the option of salads.

It’s not a true Réveillon without a visually stunning and delicious Yule log and Marrons glacés, (candied chestnuts), macarons, Pain d’épices, or gingerbread may also find its way onto the table.

You May Also Like

April Heat Brings Juicy Treat

April is here and that means it’s Mango Season! This is a great chance to try famous Khmer mangos which are known for their sweet taste and juiciness. The mango harvest season is typically during March to April and from October to November. Mango trees have been cultivated in Cambodia thousands of years ago. It is a popular fruit usually eaten green or ripe with salt and chilli as a snack, shredded in a salad or with fish, and ripen with sticky rice as a dessert in Khmer cuisine. Eat it green, try them ripe, these stone fruits are packed…

10 Gift Ideas For Mother’s Day (May 8th)

Although it’s a Western holiday, Mother’s Day is becoming widely celebrated among families in Cambodia on May 8. Remember, there are all types of mothers, so looking for a good gift for Mother’s Day can feel stressful. While there are many popular ideas on what to get her, here are some ideas and places to check out in Phnom Penh. Exquisite Cambodian Cuisine You can’t go wrong with treating your Mum at Malis and charm her by the romantic place, a superb garden oasis with its lush vegetation around the fish pond. Malis is the perfect place for an unforgettable Cambodian feast in the…

L’Art sur la Table : part 1

The Ancien Regime French cuisine has been regarded for its unique qualities and flavours since the earliest days of the Ancien Regime, with the written works of celebrated chefs as far back as Guillaume ‘Taillevent’ Tirel, (Le Viandier, 13th century) through to the 17th-century works of chefs such as François Pierre de la Varenne, (Le Cuisinier François, 1651) and François Massialot, (Le Cuisinier Roïal et Bourgeois, 1691). The latter being at a time when we start to see French cuisine really emerge, abandoning middle eastern spices and Italian sauces to define itself with local ingredients, fresh herbs, and new, lighter…

Khéma’s Wine and Dine is back!

Thursday nights are for… Wine & Dine at Khéma. Gather up with your best friends and indulge in our signature Wine & Dine featuring unlimited servings of our favourite wines, All-You-Can-Eat cheese, cold cuts and much more from our generous counter for only $25 net special deal (until end of March instead of $29.90 net person). Every Thursday from 6PM to 8PM Book your favorite Khéma now

Malis & the Goddess of Flowers

From great devotion comes great art Wandering through the halls and pathways of Angkor Wat, taking in the overwhelming magnificence and minute detail of the statues, sculptures, reliefs, and friezes of the largest religious structure on earth; close examination demonstrates that remarkably, almost every surface is treated and carved with narrative or decorative details. Angkor wat was designed and built in such a way so as to be in harmony with the universe, planned according to the rising sun and moon, symbolizing recurrent time sequences. The central axis aligns with the planets, connecting the structure to the cosmos so that…

The wait is over and we are delighted to welcome you back to Malis

We are thrilled to inform you we are now open for dine-in services seven days a week offering breakfast, lunch, happy hour, and dinner. Guests can now enjoy one of their favourite breakfasts in a cool, tranquil environment and at unbeatable value. Cambodia’s Kuy Teav, noodle soup, is famed for its rich, delicious and nourishing properties and our chefs have gone to town so they can offer you a wide range of flavours to choose from, including our signature Kuy Teav with Pork and Prawn, as well as Beef, Pork, Fish Balls, Crispy Mee with Minced Beef, and Braised Pork…
Back to top