Côte d'Azur & Provence
For many Americans, Thanksgiving is the preferred holiday of the year. When living abroad, the arrival of cool days and changing leaves bring out the nostalgia for pumpkin flavoured treats and a longing for feasting around a table with lots of friends and a giant roasted turkey. It’s a holiday that is ingrained in the American psyche and for this reason, wherever American ex-pats dwell, there is bound to be a Thanksgiving celebration.
The traditional dishes vary by region, and each person could argue their favourites but the main characters are golden turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Good hearty food mixed with free-flowing wine, good conversation and a theme of gratitude makes for a wonderful experience.
This year, the so-called turkey day falls on 28 November (the fourth Thursday of the month) and there are plenty of options to celebrate across the Côte d’Azur and Provence. Many bars and restaurants have special menus for the day, including the Hard Rock Café in Nice, the Stars’n’Bars in Monaco, La Serviette Blanche in Cannes and even MaNolan’s pubs.
International clubs also host their own parties, so if you are looking for a place to celebrate, start with an American club:
- The American Club of the Riviera hosts a lavish and elegant luncheon in the Salle Belle Epoque at the Hermitage in Monaco. www.americanclubriviera.com
- Monaco USA takes over the Star Deck on the top floor of Stars’n’Bars in Port Hercule. www.monacousa.org
- Democrats Abroad hosts an annual potluck dinner at the Holy Trinity Church Hall in Nice. They provide the turkey and entry is free as long as you bring a dish, but limited to 35 people. www.democratsabroad.org
- InterNations recently started hosting a Thanksgiving dinner in Cannes. www.internations.org
The Provence Post by Julie Mautner, an American living in Provence does a great job of rounding up Thanksgiving celebrations in Marseille and throughout Provence. Check her blog for details: www.theprovencepost.blogspot.com