Sunday, 5 February 2012

La Fête du Citron, Menton ,France

A Carnival Float

Every year in  February, the town of Menton on the French Riveria hosts 'La Fête du Citron' during the period of Mardi Gras.   This year the Fête runs from the 17th of February to the 7th of March, it  attracts around 230,000 visitors and uses 145 tonnes of citrus fruits.

Attractions include a garden filled with  giant sculptures decorated with oranges and lemons, some of these can reach 10 metres high and are based around an annual theme.  When we went in 2010, the theme was '100 years of  cinema' and  scenes from various films were decorated entirely with citrus fruits, this year, the theme is the 'Regions of France'.

Another attraction is the 'corso' or carnival which takes place each Sunday afternoon and Thursday evening during the Fête.  The carnival floats are decorated with  citrus fruits and dancers and bands come from around the world to participate in this noisy and colourful event.

Scene from The Gladiator.

For the more horticulturally minded there is also an Orchid Festival and the citrus collection  of the Palais Carnolès to visit.  This pretty little town has streets lined with citrus trees and at this time of the year they are heavily laden with fruit.  Wherever you go, people set up stalls to sell their own fruits, marmelade and of course Limoncello - a lemon based liqueur .

Menton has a  few other attractions to recommend it.  The recently opened Museum Jean Cocteau which houses the collection of Severin Wunderman is worth visiting for its  dramatic architecture as well as the art housed inside.  There are also several notable mediterranean gardens,  including La Serre de la Madone created in 1924  by Major Lawrence Johnston  the owner of the famous Hidcote Manor gardens in England.

A Citrus King Kong

To round off this blog, I just  wanted to mention that I still have a few items left in my winter sale  - there are some good reductions plus free shipping in the UK on sale items.

A bientôt, Rebecca.