Tous au Restaurant, France, October 1st – 14th
The concept of Tous au Restaurant is to encourage us to get out and enjoy the ‘diversity, vitality and creativity’ of France’s restaurant scene, by offering a great bargain: book a table at a restaurant online and get two set menus for the price of one.
With participating restaurants including Michelin starred establishments all over France, if you’re looking for an excuse to treat yourself and a plus one to a meal out, look no further.
Jazz Entre Les Deux Tours, La Rochelle, October 3rd – 6th
The 20th edition of this annual jazz festival is dedicated to the memory of violinist Didier Lockwood, who passed away earlier this year.
Tickets are available online for jazz concerts at four venues throughout La Rochelle and nearby Saint-Xandre.
Photo: Dean Zobec/Flickr
Oktoberfest, Paris October 4th – 14th / Marseille October 25th – November 3rd
The traditional Bavarian beer festival is making two stops in France this October.
And there's no better place to enjoy sausages, pretzels, German folk music and, of course, Paulaner beer.
For the truly dedicated, lederhosen and dirndls are available to rent online. Tickets must be bought in advance.
Photo: digital cat/Flickr
Les Toqués du Cèpe, Mende (southern France), October 5th – 7th
The appearance of cep and girolle mushrooms on market stalls and restaurant menus throughout France is a sure (and delicious) sign that autumn is underway.
But if just frying a few porcinis up doesn’t make you feel like you’ve made the most of the season, why not indulge in all things mushroom at this themed festival in Mende? It features a food market, exhibition, tasting, cooking classes and foraging expeditions all based around the edible fungi.
La Nuit Blanche, Paris, October 6th – 7th
Paris’ all night art festival is back for 2018 with a focus on highlighting the city’s monuments and showcasing emerging talent in visual art as well as dance, theatre and music.
Public transport will run for free through the night, giving you plenty of time to experience art hidden throughout the city. If you’d rather focus in one area, try checking out the artistic ‘constellations’ around Invalides, La Villette, L’Ile Saint-Louis and Porte Dorée.
Nuit Blanche 2016. Photo: AFP
La 25e Heure du Livre, Le Mans, October 6th – 7th
Every year around 20,000 book lovers descend on Le Mans for Le 25e Heure du Livre literary fair. Entering its 40th year, the 2018 program includes debates, round tables and discussions with authors and publishing professionals.
There are also plenty of events for kids and a wide range of books on sale.
La Semaine du Goût, France, October 8th – 14th
Restaurants and food shops nationwide are taking part in this seven-day food education project.
If you want to engage your taste buds and learn more about the food you eat, producers, craftspeople and shop owners will be on hand in markets and shops to run workshops, provide information and answer your questions. Chefs and restaurants are also getting involved by offering unique seasonal menus that will introduce you to new flavours.
Check the map to see what’s on in your area.
Fête des Vendanges, Montmartre, October 10th – 14th
Over 150 events will be packed into the 18th arrondissement during the Fête des Vendages, which celebrates the arrival of the first wines of the season from Montmartre’s vineyard, Clos Montmartre. This year the festival is based on the theme of peace to commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War.
Some of the main events include a musical opening ceremony, the Décibels Vendanges music festival, Yarn Bombing street exhibit and, of course, tasting sessions at restaurants and wine bars.
Fete des Vendanges, Montmartre 2015. Photo: AFP
Festival Lumière, Lyon, October 13th – 21st
Festival Lumière is a globally renowned film festival for fans of classic cinema. Events include film screenings, movies in concert and retrospectives of some of the silver screen’s biggest stars.
Special guests for 2018 include director Alfonso Cuarón and actors Jane Fonda and Javier Bardem.
Festival des Courges, Lyon, October 20th – 21st
Proving there’s more to these autumnal veg than just Halloween carving, this years Festival du Courge in Lyon’s botanical gardens is based on pumpkins, squash and all the other gourds which feature in fairytales.
If Cinderella’s pumpkin coach alone doesn’t pique your interest there will a be host of gourd-based activities for adults and kids, such as tastings (including oils and jams), performances, games, story workshops, market stalls and a guess the weight competition.
Photo: Conseil Départemental des Yvelines/Flickr
La Fête du Piment, Espelette (south west France), October 27th & 28th
You can tell it's autumn when there are so many food related festivals and one place you won’t struggle to find spicy food in France is in Esplette during the Fête du Piment.
Join up to 20 000 visitors to celebrate the local chili pepper harvest and enjoy some Basque cuisine while you’re in town. Other attractions include concert, markets (where you can stock up on chilli peppers) and the blessing of the chilli peppers, which takes place at the end of a traditional Basque mass ceremony.