I am writing this blog on St. David’s Day, a time of the year where there is a palpable sense of renewal. It is not merely the quality of the light and how the evenings are longer but also the changes in the flora and the fauna. The summer feels somewhat closer and this year marks a major birthday celebration at the Chateau – more of which anon. At the present time we are considering themes  for the great day (any suggestions welcome) and La  Fête du Citron provides one inspiration. Sadly the coronavirus has resulted in the curtailment of this year’s display, but by 2021 it is hoped that the  Fête will be restored to its full glory.

As the name would suggest, the town of Menton near the Monaco border stages an annual festival in honour of the lemon, with various Gardens of Lights, parades and, most intriguingly of all ‘exhibitions of “Citrus Patterns”. Back in 1895, local hoteliers proposed staging a parade as a way of enlivening the winter, an idea that proved highly popular. Thirty-three years later the proprietor of the Hôtel Riviera arranged a display of flowers and citrus fruits in his garden. By 1935 the Fete was eagerly anticipated by thousands of visitors to Menton – and, as you can see, the various lemon edifices are quite spell-binding – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L88t_Er1m5U

Naturally, any guest of the Chateau is welcome to attempt such masterpieces in the grounds. However, we should warn you that placing an order for 120,000 tonnes of lemons at the nearest
marchand de legumes will probably result in your instant unpopularity and/or your forcible eviction from the premise. There is the further issue that the tidying up process might be somewhat protracted. Instead, why not stage a less elaborate but no less enjoyable interpretation of the theme for this year’s Fete – “Bollywood”. All that is required is a jug of citron pressé and the ineffably groovy 1965 number Jaan Pehchan Ho on the CD player. Take it away! – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnBbjc5hmho