Christmas is a-creeping quickly, quietly round the corner – and bringing with it, all manner of lovely bazaars with which to whet your appetite and stock the space under your Christmas tree with all kinds of beautiful things.
Personally, my favourite kind of shopping, eating and making merry is done when I know there is a bigger picture being painted, one which benefits others beyond buyer and seller – charity bazaars are my bag, baby.
So along comes Le Marche de Noel next week, to be held on Nov 24, and this colourful market is going to be marked – in ink – on my calendar.
In its sixth year now, the bazaar will see all proceeds donated to Make-A-Wish Malaysia and A-Heart-For-A-Heart. Make-A-Wish Malaysia is a wish-granting organisation. If that sounds a bit magical – well, it is. It seeks to fulfil the wishes of critically ill children, many of them battling for their lives.
A-Heart-For-A-Heart is a Gleneagles charity initiative to support children with congenital heart disease, who need financial support.
“Le Marche de Noel grew from a group of French women who were each involved in the sales and marketing of fashion and decorative items,” says Patricia Nivet, one of the organisers of Le March de Noel.
“They began organising shopping parties and noticed that the French expatriate community lacked an authentic French Christmas bazaar – and so it started from there.”
One of the original organisers was Florence Lambert, founder of the Gadis Manis fashion label; she had long supported children’s associations, and so the charity aspect became a part of the bazaar from the beginning.
While the French touch remains unmistakeable, the vendors at the bazaar are as diverse and colourful as the season itself.
While previous incarnations have all been held at Carcosa, the bazaar will be held at the Glasshouse in Seputeh this year.
A gorgeous construction of steel, glass, brick and wood, the Glass-house is a giant terrarium, full of natural light.
Over 70 vendors will be spread throughout, and of course the F&B focus will be predominantly – but not wholly – French. There will be booths by artisanal foods supplier Gourmandines, French chef Nathalie Grenier’s My Table d’Hotes and Nathalie’s Gourmet Studio from chef Nathalie Arbefeuille.
Look out also for the sweet hand-made creations of Chocolate Concierge and Leen’s Wild Organic Royal Virgin Honey; the latter is sourced by the local Orang Asli.
A large selection of home decor, fashion and beauty items – among others – will also be available, ranging from ceramics and decorative items from Vietnam at the Babel East stall to the exotic oils and fragrances of Asian potions.
Social enterprise The Batik Boutique will have its hand-printed batik items on offer and Saffron and Rose will have its organic skincare at the ready. For mantras you can wear, look out for Mantrabands.
There’s plenty for kids, too, with Chun Petite Demoiselle, Little Riders and Doudou et Compagnie just some of the booths set up to dress them.
Entrance to the bazaar is RM25 (pre-sale) or RM30 (at the door).
The bazaar will run from 9.30am to 4pm; from 8pm, a rollicking Christmas Cocktail Party will take centrestage, with jazz singer Sandra Wolf headlining and the French DJ Jean Christophe on the decks.
A free flow of wine and cocktails will complement the European cheeses like the French Comte and Spanish Manchego and halal charcuterie, as well as Asian and European canapes.
Sponsors for the food include Vietnamese restaurant Sao Nam, French stalwart French Feast, contemporary restaurant and bakery Huckleberry, and gourmet supplier Classic Fine Foods.
A silent auction will feature items like a Club Med stay, bottles of Dom Perignon, a helicopter tour of KL, and guests will be eligible for a lucky draw with prizes worth RM25,000.
“Last year, we raised RM210, 000 which was equally split between both associations. We are aiming to raise about RM200,000 again this year,” says Nivet.
Pre-sale tickets for the bazaar are available from myBatik in Ampang, Osare Design at Bangsar Shopping Center, and at Nathalie Gourmet Studio and Asian Potions in Publika.
Tickets for the Christmas party are only available for purchase before Nov 22, for a minimum donation of RM180. Call Fanny at 012-630 8244.
For more contact info, check out the Facebook page: LeMarchedeNoel