These days there’s really no better way to get into the Christmas spirit, than to pay a visit to some of Europe’s greatest Christmas Markets – and none even comes close to the Festive cheer of Ghent’s. Early in December a convoy of nine Aston Martin vehicles, piloted by customers and their partners from Aston Martin Cheltenham and Reading, set their sights on the enchanting centre of Ghent, for the annual Gentse Winterfeesten.
The trip started in the historic and luxurious environs of Cliveden House, built in 1666 by the 2nd Duke of Buckingham, as a gift to his mistress. Enriched with antique furniture and period features, it has stayed true to its roots whilst also providing a luxurious setting to rest, meet and play. Our remarkable cavalcade of DB11’s, Vantages, DBS Superleggeras and more parked right outside the house on a frosty festive morning to fuel up on hot drinks, bacon rolls and pastries, before setting off for the Eurotunnel.
Fully sated, the Aston Martin Cheltenham and Aston Martin Reading customers followed the winding, leafy lanes of Berkshire away from Cliveden House, destined for Folkestone. Into France, our customers stretched the legs of their finely tuned British supercars on the Autoroute, tracking the coast eastwards, before heading south into Ghent’s historic centre.
In Ghent, our guests settled into the luxurious Pillows Grand Hotel Reylof, a Louis XIV-style townhouse mere steps away from all that Ghent has to offer. Its restaurant is justly renowned, and guests enjoyed evenings of wonderful food from some of Europe’s finest chefs.
But, clearly, the guests hadn’t driven all this way just for the food. On the second day, it was time to head to the Gentse Winterfeesten, complete with 150 wooden stalls set among firs and pines, selling everything from food and drink to gifts and authentic craft artefacts. Fully stocked up on Christmas presents for themselves and their loved ones, the guests settled in for another night at Pillows Grand Hotel Reylof, before squeezing all their gifts into the boots of their cars the following morning and… driving home for Christmas.