What's on in France - November 2018

What to do, where to go and what to see in France

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Salon du Chocolat, Paris Porte de Versailles, November 1 – 4

The humble cacao bean is elevated to gastronomical heights in this five day exhibition that brings over 700 chocolatey exhibitors from five continents to the French capital. Promoting guilt-free indulgence from producers and growers to chocolatiers, pastry chefs and confectioners, this year’s focus is on enhancing flavour while adopting a greener conscience. Patissiers will work towards aligning chocolate’s exquisite flavour with the health benefits of cacao as a ‘raw’ food.

Highlights include the final of the International World Chocolate Masters (look out for futuristic displays of confectionery on November 2), innovations in the world of patisserie, cooking demonstrations, ‘elle’ spaces celebrating women in the world of the chocolate industry as well as workshops for kids in the ‘chocosphere’ and a daily fashion show displaying outfits made from – you guessed it – chocolate.


Jazzdor à Strasbourg, November 9 – 23

Strasbourg’s seminal jazz festival brings the incredible diversity of the genre to

the city and the region. Catch top musicians from around the globe performing at fifteen different venues in this festival that has been woven into Strasbourg’s cultural fabric for over twenty years.

The 33rd edition of the festival boasts a stellar line up, featuring John Scofield, the David Murray Infinity Quartet and Parisian double bassist Claude Tchamitchian.


Documentary Film Month throughout France, November 1 – 30

During this month a whopping total of 3,300 documentary film screenings and events take place in all regions of France and around the world. Now in its 19th year, the documentary film festival sees more than 500 filmmakers tour France alongside their films, hosting speeches and debates. This year notable directors Christophe Loizillon, Georgi Lazarevski and Stéphane Mercurio will between them visit every region to discuss their work. An in-depth programme categorises showings by genre; visit

the site to find a screening in your area: www.moisdudoc.com

The Route du Rhum, Saint Malo, November 4

Rum is without a doubt Guadeloupe’s most famous export and this trans-Atlantic sailing race is a testament to the fact.

Gather with the crowds to watch a record number of 122 boats set sail from the Quai Saint Vincent and Quai Saint Louis, travelling a total of 3,542 miles to the French Caribbean island. 40 years on from the first Route du Rhum won by Mike Birch on a canary yellow trimaran, this acclaimed event takes place once every four years, so do not miss it.


Les Sarmentelles de Beaujeu, November 14 – 18

This year marks thirty years of celebrating the world’s favourite nouveau red and oenophiles will rejoice at round the clock dégustations of the season’s first Beaujolais.

The programme includes gastronomic tasting menus serving Beaujolais-infused dishes, musical performances, markets and tasting evenings in vaulted cellars accompanied, of course, by a glass of the good stuff.

Look out for the torch-lit parade and Prestige evening on Wednesday and the family day on Sunday.


Bordeaux S.O Good festival, November 16 – 18.

The Bordeaux area is, of course, famed for its wonderful array of fine wines. The foodie scene in this South West region is also thriving, benefiting from its proximity to the rich terroir of the Gers, fresh seafood along the coast and its speciality: the sponge-like canelé.

Inside the Grande Halle Gourmande of this gastronomic event, the region’s artisans, producers and winemakers display their goods, while balls and banquets take place inside the magnificent Palais de la Bourse.

Enjoy foodie-themed walking tours of the city and tastings of the typical éclades (mussels), cèpes and caviar d’Aquitaine.


Three Continents Film Festival, Nantes, November 20 – 27

Created in 1979 by world travellers Philippe et Alain Jalladeau, this renowned film festival brings stories from across Africa, Asia and Latin America to Nantes’ silver screens. Over 80 diverse film and documentary showings will delight curious cinema-goers in picture houses around the city. From Argentinian New Wave to Nigerian Bollywood and Taiwanese retrospectives, each film carries its own unique cultural identity.


Gastronomades, Angoulême, November 23 – 25

A weekend dedicated to the art of good eating awaits at this foodie festival. With a focus on farm to fork consuming, the freshest produce from Charente and Aquitaine are used in tastings, cooking lessons demos and displays of gastronomic cuisine.


Lighting of the Armagnac, Eauze, November 25 – December 3

Samuel Johnson’s words “he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy” ring true, if we consider that Dumas’ protagonist d’Artagnan hailed from France’s brandy-producing region. Known as the ‘flamme d’Armagnac’ this three month travelling celebration sees villages throughout Gascony ‘festoient’ the distilling of a new vintage.

For eight days, Eauze’s Château de Millet hosts the alembic (brandy still). There are visits to distilleries, tastings of France’s oldest brandy, gourmet Gascon dinners and plenty of brulôt – coffee served with brandy and spices.


Sunset Concerts in Botanical Gardens, Bordeaux, until November 30

Every night from Wednesday to Sunday until the end of November, the Bordelais head to the beautiful surrounds of Bordeaux’s botanical gardens for an evening of jazz, swing, blues or world music as the sun goes down. Hosted by the Caillou restaurant, these diverse musical evenings take place either on the terrace or in the club’s cosy interior.


Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: History of a town, Beaune, until February 9

Dotted around this lively town, the expo draws upon resources from its museums and archives to reflect on the evolution of Burgundy’s veritable wine capital. Visit the iconic Gothic hospital Musée de l’Hôtel-Dieu to explore the link between Beaune’s religious heritage and wine, head to the Musée des Beaux Arts to learn about Beaune’s ambitious future projects and take a peek at 15th century tapestries ‘de la Vie de la Vierge,’ while displays across the town’s districts (Blanches-Fleurs, Bretonnière, Saint-Jacques) focus more closely on their individual histories.


Japonismes 2018, Paris, until February 2019

Japan’s revered art scenes, both contemporary and traditional, have long seduced arts enthusiasts with minimal aesthetic and nature-inspired designs.

Now a little piece of Japan’s ikigai comes to Paris, as an extraordinary array of exhibitions and performances. Japanese film screenings, culinary events and kabuki (traditional Japanese theatre) form part of the eight-month gala that heralds 160 years of Franco-Japanese relations.


Paris Photo, Grand Palais, November 8 - 11

Since the inception of daguerreotype in the 19th century, France’s reputation as a photography pioneer finds no better expression than in this annual exhibition. The largest international exhibition showcasing solely the photographic medium, this year’s Paris Photo displays the work of 200 exhibitors from around the world.

Expect solo and duo shows in the galleries, large-format and installation works as well as films in the mk2 cinema room. A curated space ‘Curiosa’ explores photography relating the theme of gender and the erotic body while visitors can view JP Morgan Chase’s private photography collection. The jam-packed programme of events includes book launches, signing sessions, lectures and interactive talks with the artists. Look out for exhibitions at the Petit Palais, Jeu de Paume, Fondation Cartier and Palais de Tokyo.


Exhibition: Picasso and the Spanish Masters, Carrières de Lumières, Les Baux-de-Provence, until January 6

In a no less than spectacular combination of traditional art and digital media, a century of Spanish painting is projected onto the enormous walls of this former quarry. A moving musical score accompanies the art; walking through the limestone caves is an immersive sensory experience which enhances the sheer power of the artwork.

The spectator is truly enveloped in the world of the Spanish masters. Divided into two parts, the first celebrates Goya’s pastoral scenes, Rusiñol’s enchanted gardens and Sorolla, “master of light”. Picasso’s inestimable oeuvre takes over in the second half, displaying his Cubist, blue and rose periods. An ode to creativity and art’s emotional force.


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.