AN UNMISSABLE CHRISTMAS MARKET
Schilliger Garden Centre – Gland and Plan-les-Ouates
by Chené Koscielny
If you’ve been in Geneva for a few Christmases and you love this time of year like we do – you’ll definitely know about the traditional annual Christmas market at Schilliger Garden Centre in Gland.
Every year – for the past 30 years – the garden centre in Gland turns into a fairytale world, capturing the imagination of young and old. (Schilliger also has a centre in Plan-les-Ouates, which offers a cosy, smaller Christmas market).
UNIQUE AND ORIGINAL THEME – NOËL GOURMAND
The Christmas market has a different and original theme every year. This year’s focus is A GOURMET CHRISTMAS (Noël Gourmand) featuring a sweet wonderland inspired by edible treats such as chocolates, cupcakes, macarons, lollipops, succulent sweets and Hansel and Gretel’s gingerbread house. It’s a chance to rediscover all the delightful smells, tastes and sights from your childhood.
The idea is to encourage us to treat ourselves to somewhat more exuberant and guilty pleasures at this special time of year. And why not? Previous themes included Alice in Wonderland and the Circus.
A FAIRYTALE WORLD
Upon entering the centre, you are invited to explore the most inspiring displays of glittery, shiny, multi-coloured decorations, gifts, baubles and lights you’ll find anywhere outside of Lapland.
No detail is spared – from cuddly gold-dusted squirrels and shimmering deers to elves, angels, massive polar bears and even two very impressive life-sized animated brown bears – one of which is baking a cake!
You’ll find everything you need to decorate your home and festive table from trees to pretty lights (the Schilliger-designed Lucie brand) to wine glasses, crockery, table settings, serviettes, Christmas crackers and every little detail you didn’t even know you needed.
A MAGIC IDEA BECOMES REALITY
Sarah Hächler-Schilliger, granddaughter of founder Maurice, is the creative mind behind this year’s theme. It takes the Schilliger team 5,000 hours to set up the market.
Well done, Sarah and team – you’ve done a fabulous job!
This week we whiled away a good few hours marvelling at every exquisite detail and having a fabulous time.
OUR TOP PICKS AT THE SCHILLIGER CHRISTMAS MARKET IN GLAND
CHRISTMAS CRACKERS AND MINIATURE TREES
We love the miniature Christmas trees made from ornamental candy canes and macarons, the gigantic red velvet pears and apples and, of course, the Robin Reed Christmas crackers – we are a real sucker for Christmas crackers and their range is simply gorgeous – in gold, white, red and silver and in different sizes and price ranges.
SILENT NIGHT LIGHTS
We needed some electric Christmas lights – and we opted for the silent night lights – which slowly flicker rather than flash – they’re exclusive to Schilliger.
MINI CHRISTMAS VILLAGE
Make sure to spend a bit of time admiring the extensive mini Christmas village and cute little moving figurines in the toy section. Why not recreate your own at home – using the Lemax and Luville and Myvillage brandsm, available in all the Schilliger shops.
MULLED WINED AND TEA
After winding your way through the Christmas world, you end up in the flower market, where you can enjoy a warm tea or ‘vin chaud’ during the open Sundays in Gland (from 10 November to 15 December)
Be prepared to fall in love with Christmas all over again.Indulge yourself, Christmas is only once a year after all!
The Christmas market in Gland is open from October through to Christmas and is well worth a family outing from Geneva (about 35 minutes by car). You can also take a train and walk about 15 minutes from the station.
From 10 November until 15 December, the centre is open to the public on Sundays.
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