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What’s on in France - November 2019

Our pick of what to do, where to go and what to see in France. This month: mustard and chocolate, wine and cider, herrings and hot air balloons festivals…

International Gastronomy Fair, Dijon, October 31 - November 11

This fair brings together nearly 600 exhibitors with stalls spanning over 15 different sectors, from food and drink to furniture and handicrafts.

Each year the fair focuses on the products of a particular country, with this year’s choice being India. In a beautifully decorated pavilion you can discover traditional Indian artistry such as silk carpets from Kashmir, Pashmina shawls, statues in bronze, wood and marble and silk paintings.

As for the food, a whole array of teas, spices, beers, wines and rum will be on display, as well as a possibility to sample some of the culinary specialities of India such as curries, rice and naan bread.

There will be traditional Bollywood dancing performances and in the afternoon you can enjoy drinks and pastries in the Lakshmi tea room.


Salon du Chocolat, Paris, October 30 - November 3

Salon du Chocolat is the world’s largest event dedicated to chocolate and cocoa.  

It brings together over 500 participants from around the globe, with the biggest names in chocolate and pastry all under one roof for five days.

It boasts events for the whole family. It will feature a demo stage with a line-up of top-class chefs, a chocolate fashion show, prestigious competitions, exhibits and chocolate sculptures, live performances, pastry workshops, tastings, and a children’s play area to name just a few.


Jazz sur la Ville, Marseille, November 5 - December 7

This jazz festival features 60 events taking place in 35 different venues throughout Marseille and its surroundings.

Over 200 musicians take part in the festival, including young performers new to jazz, as well as musicians who have considerably more experience.

In addition to the concerts, there will be jazz exhibitions, conferences and masterclasses.


Salon des Vins et des Produits de Terroir, Sévrier, November 8 - 10

Since 1998, Annecy Lake Lions Club has organised an annual wine and produce fair in Sévrier, Haute-Savoie.  

Stallholders come from everywhere to present their best wine and food.

More than 4,000 visitors come to see the fair and you can rest assured that you will find something to satisfy your taste buds, with 98 eclectic stalls to browse.

The fair was created to help the community, with the club’s proceeds going towards a variety of different causes from local youth clubs, theatre competitions and disability-adapted sports equipment to helping an orphanage and school for the blind in Lithuania or homeless children in Rwanda.


Le Goût du Large, Port-en-Bessin-Huppain, November 9 - 10

The first-ranking fishing port in Basse-Normandie for scallops, Port-en-Bessin-Huppain organises a festival every year to proudly celebrate the industry.  

The event attracts nearly 50,000 visitors over two days, with the whole town getting involved: fishermen’s wives create delicious scallop and seafood recipes to sample, fishing net menders demonstrate their craft and guides give talks on how to fish for scallops.

Especially for the occasion, the professional fish market is open to the public.

European maritime songs, street performances, special menus in restaurants and old sailing boats in the harbour are also on the wide-ranging programme.


Fête du Cidre, Sap-en-Auge, Orne, November 9 - 11

Located at a cider museum, this festival brings the history of the drink to life.

Because the museum was a former cider production site, many of the old-fashioned production items have been preserved and are used at the festival today.

There is a demonstration of how cider is distilled and other events on the programme include a market of local produce, demonstrations from craftsmen, exhibitions, performances and activities specially for children such as pony rides and cow milking.


International Festival of Animal and Nature Photography, Montier-en-Der, Haute-Marne, November 14 - 17

The Festival of Animal and Nature Photography started over 21 years ago when a group of friends combined their passion for photography and wildlife by organising an exhibition showcasing the BBC Wildlife Magazine “Wildlife Photographer of the Year”.

One year later the exhibition turned into a festival celebrating all nature and animal photography.

It has quickly become a must-attend event for both amateur and professional snappers as well as nature lovers and the general public.


Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction, Beaune, November 15 - 17

The Hospices de Beaune wine auction is one of the most famous charity auctions in the world, with a history dating back more than 500 years.

The wine made from local vines, which today span 60 hectares, has been annually auctioned off on the third Sunday of November since 1859.

Proceeds from the auction are donated to the year’s charity of choice as well as to preserve the original Hospices de Beaune building, one of the finest examples of 15th century architecture in France.

As well as the wine tastings and the auction, some of the activities on offer include street performances, a folklore parade and a half-marathon through the streets and vineyards of Beaune.


This is England, Rouen, November 20 - 24

Through a selection of short films, the festival offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in the richness of British cinema.   

The programme aims to present both promising first films and the latest works by well-known filmmakers.

With a unique and competitive selection, This is England entrusts a jury of professionals with the task of rewarding the best films among an eclectic group of fiction, animation and documentary films.

There are also concert evenings, daily screenings dedicated to showing films made by school students from all over the region and numerous meetings between filmmakers and audiences.


Les Sarmentelles de Beaujeu, Beaujeu, November 20 - 24

Every year at midnight on the third Thursday of November the famous red wine Beaujolais Nouveau is released, just weeks after the grapes have been harvested. Known across France as ‘Beaujolais Nouveau Day’, parties are held to celebrate the first wine of the season.

There are over 120 related festivals in the Beaujolais region alone, but the most famous is Les Sarmentelles in Beaujeu, the capital of the Beaujolais region.

The festival features wine tasting, live music and dancing, a torch-lit parade, fireworks and a tasting competition featuring all 12 Beaujolais wine varieties.


C’est Pas Classique, Nice, November 29 - December 1

In a classical music festival with a twist, this autumn series of concerts features some of the most modern classical music artists.

Free to members of the public, the concerts will be hosted in the Acropolis in Nice city centre.

Big names in classical and world music, young talents and many other classical music ensembles will play across the weekend in more than 60 concerts.


Rassemblement international de montgolfières, Le-Puy-en-Velay, November 8 - 10

In November 1783, Pilâtre de Rozier and the Marquis d’Arlandes took off on the world’s first manned hot air balloon flight.

Since the bicentenary of this flight, Le-Puy-en-Velay has celebrated by holding an international hot air balloon festival. 

On the second weekend of November, the sky will be filled with colours as crews come from all over the world to fly their hot air balloons.

You can watch the balloons fly as well as purchase a ticket to fly in one yourself.

The event is organised by the association Montgolfière en Velay which is the one to determine the best places to take off according to the weather one hour before departure.

The trip in the air lasts approximately 45 minutes to one hour.


Fête du Hareng Roi, Etaples, November 9 - 10

The king herring festival takes place in Etaples in Pas-de-Calais.  

Etaples is an important fishing port and the festival celebrates the time when men arrived home from long fishing trips.

The town is well-known for its herrings which have fed generations of fishermen and residents, and have always been part of its economy and traditions.     

Grilled, marinated or smoked herring can, of course, be enjoyed at the festival, with more than 3 tonnes – around 18,000 pieces – of herring to be tasted over the weekend alone. 

Another essential part of the festivities are the performances that take place during each meal, with a host of different folk bands performing sea shanties.

This friendly fishing festival is associated with a festive village where traditional games, old and new crafts, gastronomy, maritime culture and heritage are celebrated.

Simultaneously, museums such as the marine museum and the sea fishing discovery centre hold their open days on the same weekend. Many other exhibitions also take place everywhere around the town.

For the youngest, there will be some storytelling sessions and several shows on the theme of the sea.

Every year the event attracts around 10,000 to 15,000 people.


The Connexion works with local tourist offices for the information on this page. Due to possible last-minute changes to programmes and event timing we recommend that you always check with individual organisers before making a trip.

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