The doldrums of winter set in with the arrival of February but fortunately we can count on France to serve up some gastronomic delights to hold us over until the arrival of spring.
The month kicks off with a plethora of wine events in the Loire Valley that inspire Parisians to plan a weekend getaway to the countryside. La Dive Bouteille, which takes place on February 4th to 5th, is the largest natural wine tasting known to man and brings together hundreds of winemakers from France and around the world. If the idea of that many people makes you feel claustrophobic, try the more intimate “off” tastings that happen during the same weekend in nearby Angers.
Above: Stijn te Strake. Below: Nonki Azariah
If you can’t get away from Paris for the weekend, indulge in a similarly epicurean experience and head to the Salon du Fromage et des Produits Laitiers (February 25-28). The event will be attended by over 200 dairy producers presenting a range of cheeses, yogurts, creams, and other milk based delights. This year the United Kingdom will be featured as the guest of honor, with British dairy products taking center stage.
Cuisine and culture come together on February 8th when the English language bookstore WH Smith will welcome author David Lebovitz for a book signing and Q&A session and discussion about his newest book, L’Appart.
Above: Malick Sidibé, ‘Mselle Kadiatou Touré avec mes verres fumés’ and ‘Pendant les grandes chaleurs’, 1976 © Malick Sidibé. Below: David Goldblatt, ‘She told him- “You’ll be the driver and I’ll be the lady”, then they grabbed the car bumper and posed’, 1975 and ‘A man and a passing woman, Tladi’, 1972 © David Goldblatt/Courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris.
Mali Twist, an exhibit by photographer Malick Sidibé runs until February 25th at the Fondation Cartier. This first solo exhibition outside of Africa by the artist presents black and white photos by the “the eye of Bamako” as the artist is also known. Photography buffs will also love the retrospective of South-African photographer David Goldblatt at the Centre Pompidou.
Above: David Goldblatt, ‘Young man at home, White City, Jabavu, Soweto’, and ‘Shop assistant, Orlando West’, 1972. Below: David Goldblatt, ‘Patience Poni visiting her parents, Ruth and Jackson Poni, 1510A Emdeni South’ 1972 and ‘A plot-holder, his wife and their eldest son at lunch, Wheatlands, Randfontein’ 1962 © David Goldblatt/Courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris.
There are several musical events to choose from this month. Get cosy with 90s indie rock sweethearts Nada Surf at the Cabaret Sauvage or warm up by dancing to the infectious hits of anthem rockers MGMT. Hot off the release of her latest album, Joanne, Lady Gaga will be playing the Bercy Arena on February 20th.
Above: Lady Gaga. Below: Nada Surf / MGMT.
February brings us Chinese New Year, which is celebrated in Paris with a parade, concerts, and dancing. This month also boasts France’s biggest agricultural show with the Salon International de l’Agriculture highlighting artisans and other stars of agriculture from France and beyond. Go for the free samples of regional food and drink and stay to pet the cows and rabbits competing for Best in Show!
Above: 12019 10269 / Expect Best. Below: Salon International de l’Agriculture/ Studio End.
- For more of what’s on in Paris this February, head to the Paris Tourist Office.
- Looking to dine with a view or simply get some grocery shopping done? Check out the newly opened Printemps du Goût.
- If you’re not in Paris this month, you can still tune in to all things French with our list of the best French podcasts.