Some of the best autumn events in France
18 September -1 October France Gourmet Week known as “Tous Au Restaurant”. All over France restaurants will offer a buy one meal, get one free menu. Search on the website for participating restaurants: tousaurestaurant
22-24 September Fete de la Gastronomie. Every corner of France will come alive with events to celebrate its UNESCO-listed ‘world intangible heritage’ status. From grand-scale concerts to local sing-a-longs, Michelin-star set menus to small village banquets, the country will celebrate one of its most popular claims to fame. economie.gouv.fr
16 and 17 September Journées Européennes du Patrimoine/European Heritage Days. Across France hundreds of historical buildings, famous monuments, Government sites and places of interest – some of which are normally closed to the public, open their doors and welcome in visitors. journeesdupatrimoine.culture.fr
It’ll be all white on the night
7 October Nuit Blanche Paris. See Paris in an entirely new light. From 7pm until 7am hundreds of museums, galleries, cinemas and even swimming pools open their doors for free for a night-time celebration of art and culture. Performances, light installations, concerts and exhibitions will be held across Paris, across the city and if you stay awake till dawn, many town halls provide breakfast! www.paris.fr
La Rochelle Rocks to the Rythm
30 September to 7 October. Jazz Entre les Deux Tours La Rochelle, Poitou-Charentes. The two famous towers that guard the old port of this most picturesque port town have given their name to this popular musical fete. International and local musicians play in venues around the city in a mix of free and paid concerts. www.jazzentrelesdeuxtours.fr
1 October Fete du Gateau Basque. Legend says that the famous Gâteau Basque has its origins in the village of Cambo-les-Bains in Pyrénées-Atlantiques so the village hosts the annual cake fest . Taste the pastry and learn to make the cake in this charming and authentic celebration. www.lafetedugateaubasque.com
14 October Retour des Alpages, Annecy, Rhône-Alpes. When Autumn returns, the cattle who spend the summer enjoying the alpine pastures are led back to the bottom of the valley for winter as its warmer than at the top. This transhumance is celebrated in the charming, historic city of Annecy every year on the second Saturday in October when cattle are paraded through the streets and there are artisans, craftspeople, local producers and traditional bands ready to herald and celebrate the changing of the seasons. www.lac-annecy.com
30 September to 1 October Fete de la Crevette in Honfleur. The lovely port town of Normandy celebrates the crevette grise each year with a festival. Expect to sing-a-long to sea shanties, eat plenty of shrimp and fish and cheer on the contestants in a shrimp peeling contest! www.ot-honfleur.fr
9 to 15 October La Semaine du Goût. Across France – a celebration of French cuisine and a chance to learn more about the food we eat. www.legout.com
Get fired up at a pepper festival
28 to 29 October Fête du Piment, Espelette, Pyrénées-Atlantiques. The piment d’Espelette pepper is celebrated in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques in a town called Espelette. There’s a blessing of the pepper harvest and a food market plus lots of restaurants serve special dishes in honour of the pepper of course. The festival dates back to the mid 1600’s and it’s a lot of fiery fun! www.espelette.fr
1 November National Holiday La Toussaint/All Saints’ Day. All over France pots of chrysanthemums are placed on graves as loved ones who have passed on are remembered.
11 November National Holiday Armistice 1918. Commemorative services will be held all over France in honour of those who lost their lives at war.
17 November Beaujolais Nouveau day. The new season’s wine arrives on the third Thursday of November each year, the festivities start at midnight on Wednesday for this serious drinking event. See what’s on in Beaujolais: Beaujolais Nouveau Fetes
Please note that events are subject to change – please verify details on the events websites.