Sorry for the short notice on this one, folks. But there's a lovely art show and sale opening tonight so I thought I'd slip it in here quickly. The annual show is called ABBYAC and it's on view through September 7 in the gorgeous gardens of the Abbaye Saint-André (at the hilltop Fort Saint-André) in Villeneuve les Avignon, just across the Rhone from Avignon. Twenty-three artists will be showing sculpture, engravings, ceramics and installations. The vernissage (opening party) is tonight, from 6 pm to 9 pm, and everyone is welcome; most artists will be present. Entry tonight and for the duration of the show is 6€ for adults and free for kids under 8; reduced and family prices are available. The show remains on view every day from 10 am to 6 pm. There's parking on the hill so just drive on up...and don't miss the great views of Avignon. The site for the Abbaye (with directions) is here...and there's info in English here...and a bit more info on the show is here. This year's show is in partnership with Galerie 22 in Coustellet. Bon Weekend!
Besides ''Are you married to a Frenchman?" "When will the lavender bloom?" "Do you miss New York?" "How did you come to live in Provence?" "Do you ever go home to the US?" "Do you hang out with Peter Mayle?" and "How's your French?"... the question I'm asked most often is probably ''Is it hard to buy property in France?" The answers, by the way, are: no, late May or early June, sometimes, long story, yes, no, better every day...and sort of. If you're curious about that last one--buying real estate in France--Adrian Leeds can definitely help. She makes her living doing all sorts of things (tv shows, blogging, consulting, writing books, workshops) pertaining to the topic. She's not an advertiser on my blog (but should be!) and she's not a friend of mine (we've never met)...but I know and admire her work. And since she has a mini-conference coming up, I thought I'd share the info because so many people I hear from seem to be dreaming of--or actually planning--to buy in France. Adrian is the editor of Parler Paris and Parler Nice (which she calls nouvellettres), and the FrenchProperty Insider. Sheappears frequently on House Hunters International as an expert on French real estate...she's been on 19 episodes since 2006. Adrian and her team provide a wide range of services for buyers, sellers, owners and renters in France; you can read about what they do here. Adrian will present "Living and Investing in France--Nice and the Côte d'Azur" on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 from 6:30 pm to 9 pm. In her words: "You'll learn how to own a 'pied-à-terre' of your own on the Riviera, in Paris or in the countryside that you can enjoy when you want...or profitably rent
when you like...or just make a smart investment, plus ask me all of your
questions about owning property in France." Lots more info on the conference is here.
The Mini-Conference Details Tuesday, September 16, 2014 6:30 pm to 9 pm The Hotel Ellington, #25 Blvd. Dubouchage, 06000, Nice. 6:30 pm.: Cocktails and registration on the patio 7 pm: Presentation by Adrian Leeds 8 pm: Q & A 9 pm: Cocktails/Snacks on the patio: Wine/Beer/Soda 5€ Cocktails/Champagne 8€ Charcuterie or Cheese 8€ Entry fee: 35€ advance, 45€ at the door. Limited seating available. To book for the conference, click here. For general inquiries, email or call: email@example.com or +1 (877) 880 0265.
Provence produces nearly 80% of the world’s
lavender and the famously alluring flower blankets the countryside every
June and July. That’s when lavender perfumes the
breeze…lush rows stripe the countryside in soft-violet-to-inky-blue hues...and
traffic slows to an escargot’s pace as travelers leap from rented Renaults trying to snap the perfect photo. Harvesting
continues through September and is mostly mechanized although, in some areas,
lavender is still cut by hand and collected in cloth sacks slung over the back.
Today, about 20,000 acres of lavender flourishes here annually although most of
it is reserved for the making of cosmetics and perfumes (the
name comes from the Latin lavare: to wash). It’s hard to
find a farmhouse in Provence without at least one lavender bush...and if it weren’t for good old Lavandula, many
Provencal painters (and postcard makers!) might go broke. Toodling round the South of France you'll find lavender lurking everywhere: in sachets, in digestifs, in dishes savory and sweet. The best way to
experience the purple reign is out in the shimmering
fields…but alas you’re too late for that this year. Still, there are plenty of
ways to experience lavender this month, such as a visit to the Lavender Museum (Musée
de la Lavande) in the Luberon town of Coustellet. They do a great job of
explaining the process of lavender production with interesting exhibits and
good English info. It’s popular with tour groups, smells great inside, and offers
the ultimate “if they made it with lavender, we sell it” gift shop (€6, daily 9
to 7, thelavendermuseum.com, 04 90 76 91 23).
It’s just off D-900 toward Gordes.
You can also visit
lavender farms and distilleries both during the growing season and afterwards;
more on that appears below.
The main commercial
lavender-growing area is the triangle between Sault, Banon and Sederon, and
another prominent area spreads out on the other side of Mont Ventoux, north of
Nyons. The Tourist Offices in those areas will have info on which distilleries
and farms you can visit when...and they’ll give you a “Lavender Route” map.
But a really great way to celebrate lavender at harvest time is at a lavender
festival. The one in the village of Valreas has already come and
gone but two biggies are coming up, in the villages of Sault and Digne les
Bains. The village fathers graciously planned them
a week apart, so you can hit both. Here’s all the info.
SAULT LAVENDER FESTIVAL
The 29th annual Fete de la Lavande is August 15,
2014. Most activities happen at the Hippodrome du Defends and there’s shuttle
service from the village center.
begins with mass at 9:30 at l'Eglise Notre Dame de la Tour and the festival
opens officially at 10 am. Ongoing all day are a book fair, art exhibit and
sale, arts-and-crafts crafts show, pony rides, a lavender field in Centre
Ville, lavender ice cream and much more. Here’s the
rest of the schedule:
& 3:00 pm: Folkloric parade and exhibition of agricultural
ceremony for lavender championships.
Picnic. Open to the public; more info is here. Tickets are 21
euro per person and you can book ahead(04 90 64 01 21) or, if there’s space,
join in the day of.
Workshops and demos on everything you can do with lavender such as
essential oils, bouquets, etc.
The 93rd annual Foire de la Lavande, runs from
August 21 to 25, 2014. There will be 200 exhibitors, food and local products,
performances, an art exhibit, demos of the distilling process, a golf
tournament, a guided distillery visit, guided lavender walks, evening entertainment
and much more. All events are free and virtually all take place in the
village center, on the Place du General de Gaulle. The hours are 10 am to
8:30 pm daily. Local restaurants will b offering special menus for the duration
of the fest. For more info : 04, 92 31 05 20, firstname.lastname@example.org, foire-lavande.com.
CAN'T MAKE IT TO THE FESTIVALS?
Sault is considered the
epicenter of commercial lavender farming in Provence and their Tourist Office can provide great
lavender info. Some farms and distilleries around Sault that welcome the
public, depending on the day and the season, are:
*Les Lavandes du Gaec Champelle. A large farm with a pretty little shop ; they’ll happily offer you a tour if you reserve ahead, a couple days in
advance if possible. They don’t speak much English but they’ll do their
best. They have roughly 80 hectares of lavender/lavandin and cereals
(primarily wheat or épautre), which they wholesale throughout the region. The
farm as been organic for six-plus years. You’ll see huge hangers of
lavender and old machinery that’s still in use. (Located on the Route du
Ventoux outside Sault, 04 90 64 01 50, 06 82 53 95 34, email@example.com).
*Les Vallons de Lavandes. A farm and
distillery (with pretty chickens!) Here you’ll meet Sylvie Barjot, who runs the show with her mother,
father and daughter. The do distillery demos during harvest time, on a set
schedule, and guided 20-minute visits are sometimes available by appointment.
Or just drop in, smile nice and maybe someone will show you around.
My friend Angela wrote a very nice story about them here.
(04 90 64
14 83, firstname.lastname@example.org).
*La Ferme aux
Lavandes offers tours of their lavender farm and nursery in summer and also
has a "conservatory lavender garden’’ open from mid April to mid October. They
have tables and chairs if you want to bring a
picnic...and a boutique selling lavender-related products. (On the
Route du Mont Ventoux outside Sault, 04 90 64 00 24, 06 82 93 52
*Distillery Aroma'plantesis a
traditional lavender distillery in Sault (Ferme La Parente, Route du
Mont Ventoux, Sault, 04 90 64 04 02, email@example.com, distillerie-aromaplantes.com).
Earlier this summer, my friend William
Moore, owner of Provence Paradise in St. Remy,
began offering a regular Wednesday market tour and cooking class for his
guests….and it's been a huge success. Now he’s opened it up to others as
well: travelers, locals, anyone who loves the idea of a fun foodie day with new
friends. The program is called “Home from the Market... and Into the Kitchen.”
Provence Paradise is a "hamlet" of seven
self-catering rental homes, on an historic property with shared pool and
gardens. You can read what I wrote about it, a while back, by clicking here.
Every Wednesday, William’s terrific cook
Marie Losada takes a group to the big outdoor market in St. Remy, where they
gather ingredients for a splendid luncheon. Then everyone piles into a large
kitchen back at Provence Paradise and prepares the meal together, with Marie
guiding them. There’s learning, laughter and copious amounts of food made from
farm-fresh ingredients. It's safe to
assume that the wine-soaked lunch will go all day…and that you’ll need a
serious siesta afterwards! (There are soft drinks and juices for kids and
those who don’t drink.)
A typical meal might be a seafood and
avocado starter; followed by fish filet in a ratatouille sauce or chicken
Provencal over wild rice from the Camargue; a selection of local cheeses; and a
tart made with the fruit of the season. It really depends on what looks best in
The market tour, group cooking session and
lunch with local wines costs €50 for adults and €30 for kids age 8 to 18.
Please book at least five days ahead and let William know how many are in your
party; also let him know how to reach you (home or hotel number, cell number
and email, please). The party only happens if there are six participants and
the max group size is ten. For more info or to book: firstname.lastname@example.org or
07 82 66 63.
Photos: (1) A guest at a recent "Home from the Market..." cooking session at Provence Paradise. (2) A stall at the Wednesday market in St. Remy. (3, 4) Two of the dishes prepared during a recent ''Home from the Market..." session were a main course of free-range game hen with Provencal "smashed" potatoes and a dessert called "Belle Helène." The first course was an avocado soufflé with gambas and a cheese course came before dessert.
July 21, a new "boutique airline" calledLa Compagniebegan offering
business-class-only service between New York/Newark and Paris on a redesigned Boeing
757-200. They're currently flyingfour
to five weekly flights, with scheduled departures out of Paris Charles de
Gaulle at 5:50 pm, arriving in Newark at 8:30 pm, and out of Newark at 9:45 pm,
arriving in Paris at 11:15 am.
Flights are priced at $1,378 USD round-trip for travel through September 15, 2014. Book before August 30 and fly before September 15 and you can get two round-trip tickets for $2014 USD.
The interior offers 74
“lie-flat” seats in a 2 x 2 configuration throughout a single-aisle cabin. The plane holds 74 passengers, two pilots and
three flight attendants. La Compagnie was created in
October 2013 by L’Avion founder Frantz Yvelin with assistance from former
Swissair and Jet Airways COO Peter Luethi. The launch follows a fundraising
campaign that drew nearly €30 million from French and European investors –
one of the largest amounts raised in France during the calendar year. La
Compagnie expects to take delivery of its second Boeing 757-200 in December 2014.
In-flight menus are created by
Christophe Langree, the chef of the Hôtel Matignon in Paris, which
serves as the official residence of the Prime Minister of France. Other
features are amenity kits including Caudalie cosmetic products, free WiFi and a personal
Samsung tablet--uploaded with an assortment of books, magazines, music and
movies--for every seat. To get to Provence, you can take the high-speed TGV train from Charles de Gaulle. It's roughly three hours to Avignon, 3.5 hours to Aix and little bit longer to Marseille. You can see train schedules here.
For more info on La Compagnie or to reserve: call
(800)-218-8187 (from the US) or 08 92 23 02 40 (from France) or go to: lacompagnie.com
It took four
years and €429 million to complete …and finally the fabulous Peninsula Hotel will open in
Paris next week.
It’s the Hong
Kong-based company’s tenth hotel, joining properties in New York, Chicago,
Beverly Hills, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, Bangkok and Manila.
The first guests are set to arrive on August 1st.
Just steps from the Arc de Triomphe and the
Champs-Elysées, at 19 Avenue Kléber in the elegant 16th
arrondissement, The Peninsula Paris sits close to some of the world’s
most-famous monuments, museums and luxury shopping. It has 200 rooms including
34 suites, five of which have private rooftop gardens with spectacular views
over the city.
The building itself is a late-19th-century
classic French-style beauty. It first
opened in 1908 as one of Paris’ most famous “grands hotels” and, for 30
years, it hosted the rich and famous--along with leading lights in the arts,
literature and music--during the Belle Epoque and “Années Folles.”
In 1922, five of the greatest artists of the 20th
century-- James Joyce, Marcel Proust, Pablo Picasso, Sergei Diaghilev and Igor
Stravinsky—had dinner together here. Other historical highlights include George
Gershwin composing “An American in Paris” here in 1928 and the Paris Peace Accords, negotiated by Henry Kissinger and Le Duc
Tho--which brought the Vietnam War to a close--being signed here in 1973.
Following the wartime occupation of Paris, the hotel
was converted into UNESCO’s headquarters (in 1946), and 12 years later it
became the conference center for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The building has been meticulously restored by teams
of French master craftsmen, using techniques in use for hundreds of years.
Original elements long gone or badly damaged were recreated following extensive
research. Marble, stucco, mosaics, roof
and wall tiles, wood carvings, stone work, gold leafing, paintings and a myriad
of other elements have been lovingly preserved and painstakingly restored by
some of France’s most-revered family firms, known for their work on heritage
projects such as the Louvre and the Palace of Versailles.
The façade alone employed the talents of 20 skilled
stonemasons who restored the elaborate carved stone flowers, bows and ribbons.
Repairs were carried out where possible, carving missing portions by hand using
stone-dust paste. Where the bas-reliefs were severely damaged, the entire
section was replaced by new, hand-carved stone, using photos for reference.
Each flower cascade took a stonemason three weeks of work…12 hours of work
alone for each small bow.
Meanwhile wood-restoration experts individually numbered and removed each original wood panel in the Lobby and Le
Bar Kléber: 370 and 130 sections respectively. These were then sanded down,
repaired, restored and replaced.
A firm specializing in gilding and restoring handled
repairs, gold leafing and hand painting. Their previous commissions in Paris
have included the dome of Les Invalides and the Palace of Versailles, while in
the US their projects have included the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington
and the flame of the Statue of Liberty.
Three basement levels were excavated to create a 1800-square-foot
spa, a 20-meter swimming pool, fitness centre and parking for 57 cars.
The Avenue Kléber hotel entrance leads to the
traditionally grand Peninsula Lobby, with soaring curved ceilings, magnificent
drapery, marble floors and contemporary furnishings. In a second lobby—which greets guests arriving by car--a hand-blown Lasvit chandelier
creates a cascade of 800 crystal “leaves,” a subtle homage to the plane trees
lining Avenue Kléber.
With the smallest of them 35 square meters (312 square
feet), the guestrooms are among the largest in the city; the company says
they’re also the most technologically advanced in the world. Every room has a
marble bathroom, a self-contained dressing room, a walk-in closet, a seated
dressing table, a valet box for discreet pick-up and delivery of laundry,
dry-cleaning and polished shoes, a large electronic safe, internet radio, a
weather display panel and –wait for it!—a nail dryer. (Personally, I love the
Nespresso machines and the free local and international phone calls!)
Fully customized interactive digital bedside and desk
tablets are preset for guests in one of 11 languages, offering full control of
all in-room functions and access to restaurant menus, hotel services and TV
channels. In-room LED touch-screen wall panels feature valet call, weather
details, thermostat, language and privacy options.
In addition to 24-hour room service, the Peninsula
Paris has six dining venues: The Lobby,
LiLi (the Cantonese restaurant), La Terrasse Kléber, L’Oiseau Blanc (a rooftop
restaurant, bar and terrace), Le Lounge Kléber (an eight-seat cigar lounge) and
There are also function and banquet rooms, of course, including a traditional
Parisian-style ballroom-salon with a pre-function area for up to 120 people, and three rooms for smaller meetings and
Throughout the hotel, executive chef Jean-Edern
Hurstel says he’ll be using only the very best of French ingredients and a
“farm to table” approach to seasonal cuisine. Jean-Edern was born and raised in
Alsace and comes to the hotel from the Middle East, where he was working at the
Shangri-La Abu-Dhabi and, more recently, Boca Restaurant in Dubai.
Vichy-born chief sommelier Xavier Thuizat presides
over The Peninsula Paris’ extensive wine cellar while indulging his passion for
sourcing unique boutique wines from small producers throughout France.
Pastry chef Julien Alvarez hails originally from
Bergerac and has won a multitude of
awards, including a gold medal in the World Pâtisserie Championship in 2011.
And what about the famous Peninsula cars? Yep, they’re
here and at the ready: Continuing the company’s
long partnership (since 1970) with Rolls-Royce, a Rolls-Royce EWB
Phantom and a meticulously restored 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II are liveried,
together with two customized Peninsula Edition MINI Cooper Clubman
vehicles, in the signature Peninsula
green in front of the hotel. There’s also a fleet of 10 BMW 7 Series limousines for airport
transfers, sightseeing and trips around Paris.
The hotel’s general manager is Nicolas Béliard , who
has extensive experience throughout Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and the US. He
joined the company in 2009, at The Peninsula Hong Kong, and became GM of the
Peninsula Bangkok the following year.
Hotel manager Vincent Pimont also has years of luxury
hotel experience, in Paris, the US and
the Far East. He comes most recently from the Peninsula Beijing.
month specials begin at €750 per night, for a Superior room with full breakfast for two (usually
reserve, click here, go to Peninsula.comor call: 08 00 91 59 80 (in France) or 866 382 8388 (in the US).
Photos: (1) You've arrived! One of the two lobbies, with its hand-blown crystal "Dancing Leaves" chandelier. (2) The Peninsula all lit up and ready to party. (3) Rooftop restaurant views at L’Oiseau Blanc. (4, 5) Guestrooms and marble bathrooms are loaded with luxe amenities and tech. (6) Executive chef Jean-Edern Hurstel on the hunt for the best seasonal ingredients and products. (7) The hotel at 19 avenue Kléberopened in 1908 and was known for voluminous spaces, elegant events, beauty and glamour. (8, 9) Countless craftsmen using traditional methods did the meticulously restoration, guided by historic photos. (10) Inviting sweets are among the in-room amenities offered.
For the third
year, the "starchitect" winery Château La Coste, 10 minutes north of Aix, is presenting its summer outdoor film series. This year all four films celebrate the theme of gastronomy. Each evening before the
screening, a barbecue will be available along with salads, cheese and ice cream...accompanied by wines from the domain of course. On film days, the winery's restaurant will be open normal hours for lunch but for dinner there will be the special barbecue menu only.
If you're interested in wine, design, sculpture or architecture--or simply enjoy experiencing very unusual and beautiful places--a visit to La Coste is a must. This gorgeous 600-acre wine domaine has a large visitors center designed by world-famous architect Tadao Ando, plus numerous installations and buildings crafted by other luminaries such as Jean Nouvel and Frank Gehry. While the newest incarnation of Château la Coste is just a year old, there's been agriculture and winemaking here as far back as Roman times. On the property are cobbled Gallo-Roman pathways, dry stone walls, bridges, underground wells...and the vestiges of an intricate watering system currently undergoing restoration. Between the rows of vines, mixed in with the sandy limestone soil, workers have found fragments of amphores which the Romans used to transport their wine and varnished fragments of the cups from which they drank. Today the property is blanketed with forests of green and white oaks, meadows of almond trees and broad swaths of wildflowers, plus 250 acres of meticulously tended vines. A lovely Venetian villa in a rosy pink hue has stood here since 1682. It was in 2004 that the current owners decided to transform the domaine into a place where art, architecture, wine and the terrain would blend seamlessly. The idea had already been successful in the Basque city of Álava, headquarters of Vinos del Marqués de Riscal, where Frank Gehry was commissioned to build a hotel. Here in France, the Irish owners of Château La Coste expanded on that idea, inviting artists and architects from all over the world to visit, explore and find a place upon the estate that inspired them to create. Other artists with work on view include Alexander Calder, Michael Stipe, Louise Bourgeous, Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Serra, Paul Matisse and many others. The newest installation at Château La Coste is "Self Portrait: Cat Inside a Barrel" by Tracey Emin. Coming next is artwork by Lee Ufan. But the big news is that Château La Coste will soon begin construction on a hotel. The architect is Tangram Architects (Marseille); it will most likely have 16 villas and 29 rooms. Construction is expected to take two years. To see the major features of the property, plan for a two-hour stroll with some gravel and gentle hills. The property is open for self-guided visits year round (you'll be provided with a map) while guided visits in French and English are available by reservation. Visits to the Jean Nouvel-designed winery (the ''chai") are also available in both languages. Info and admission prices can be found on the website here. Ok so back to the movies. Here's the schedule:
July 26: Sideways (with French subtitles). August 2: Babette's Feast (French subtitles). August 9: The Scent of Green Papaya (French subtitles). August 16: La Femme du Boulanger (Original Version, in French).
Practical Info: *The barbecue is from 7 to 9 pm. *Films start at 9:30 pm. *Movie tickets are 8€ per person. *Reservations are recommended : call04 42 61 92 92 or email: email@example.com. To buy tickets online, click here. *Also recommended: Bring
a shawl for warmth as this is a fully open-air projection. If you come for the film only, you might want to bring a cushion or chair...or you'll be sitting on the grass. If you come for dinner first, you can use that chair for the movie. *In case of rain:Movies will be cancelled. Chateau La Coste 2750 Route de la Cride Le Puy Sainte Reparade, France 04 42 61 89 98 firstname.lastname@example.org chateau-la-coste.com GPS coordinates: on the website Facebook and Twitter
The 45th annual Recontres d'Arles, the fantastic international photo festival, will run July 7 to September 21, 2014 in Arles, with 50-plus exhibits and workshops. As in years past there will be panel discussions, lectures, book signings, open-air screenings, portfolio reviews, guided tours and more. Last year, almost 100,000 people attended.
Most but not all exhibits stay up until the end of the festival, on September 21st.
The exhibits, sometimes co-produced with French and/or foreign museums and institutions, are staged in various galleries, museums and purpose-built sites. Some sites (for example, a 12th-century chapel or 19th-century industrial buildings) are open to the public only during the festival.
The opening week (the week that many industry professionals attend) will feature a number of special events and the week's program is here.
A complete list of this year's exhibitions is here. The big names this year are David Bailey, Christian Lacroix, Lucien Clergue and Raymond Depardon. Use the left right arrows to see the various photographers and click for more info on that particular show. Over to the right, you'll see the venue, dates and single ticket price. A list of all the shows appears in the margin at left; they're divided into two categories: Originals and Parade.
Special evenings where one or more photographers project their work on a large screen, often accompanied by music, will be held on July 8 (Théâtre d' Arles, corner of Georges Clémenceau Blvd and Gambetta) and on July 9, 10 and 12 (Théâtre Antique). Separate tickets for these evenings are required and more info is here.
Friday July 11 is the annual "Nuit de L'Année" (Night of The Year). Work by various photographers will be projected on 14 screens on the Boulevard des Lices, from 10 pm to 3 am. It's a festive evening, free and open to all.
Tickets to all events may be purchased online or at seven ticket offices, which you can see here. Exhibit tickets may be purchased individually or in multi-day passes. Single tickets range from 3.50€ to 12€. A pass that gets you into all exhibits from July 7 to September 21 is 35€. One-day passes are 29€. A pass good for September 1st to 21st is 31€. Info on all passes is here.
Groups of 10 or more get special rates. For more info, call or email Han Xiao: 04.90.96.63.39 email@example.com
Please note that some shows/venues are not included in pass prices and must be paid for separately. Make sure to get a map to all exhibits when you stop by a ticket office. They should also have them at the Tourist Office.
During opening week, exhibiting photographers are often on hand to present and discuss their work. Pass holders can also enjoy free daily guided tours, between July 14 and September 21. These 90-minute tours will let you discover a range of exhibitions with a mediator-photographer as your guide. There's no need to reserve ahead...just show up, as long as you have a pass. More info can be found at the ticket offices but the best details I can get are:
* City Center Tour : 5 pm, on even days. Meeting point : Garden of the Espace Van Gogh Tours run until and including August 31 (which where I come from is not an even day but...) * Bureau Des Lices Tour : 5 pm, on odd days, on August 21st and every day after September 1st. Meeting point : Garden of the Espace Van Gogh. * Parc des Ateliers Tour : 11am. Meeting point : Chaudronnerie entrance. Info on workshops can be seen here. There are two categories: summer and weekend. Click on the links in the left hand margin to see them. A free Rencontres app can be downloaded here. To see the press kit in English, click here. The full Rencontres website in English is here. If you can't find the word ''Exhibitions," it may be hidden behind the word ''photographie" in the logo at the top left. Click the big purple-and-orange Parade square instead. The festival office/headquarters is located at 34, rue du Docteur Fanton in Arles and remains open throughout the fest. Photos: *Mick Jagger, 1964, by David Bailey (Show #1). *Alberth Lukassen, an Inuit hunter in northern Greenland, by Ciril Jazbec (Show #12). *Double Impact from the series Wild Style, 2013, by Mazaccio & Drowilal (Show #8). *Sunbathing, from the Album series by Vik Muniz, 2014 (Show #2). *Juliette Binoche by Patrick Swirc. The un-numbered exhibit is called "Don't Move" and it's at the Abbaye de Montmajour, not in Arles. *Jérôme le Banner, 2011 by Vincent Perez (Show #19). *From the show "Deadline"by Will Steacy, 2009 (Show #13).
In the heart of the Southern Rhône wine region, the 3rd annual Gigondas Sur Table will be Monday July 21. This year, five top Provencal chefs will serve tasting portions of their dishes--appetizers to desserts--and 40 local winemakers will be pouring. The cheese course will be provided by one of the top purveyors in the region, Claudine Vigier, who has the title Meilleure Fromagère de France. It all happens on the village square (Place Gabrielle Andeol) in Gigondas, from 7 pm to around 11 pm. Tickets are 35€ per person, 10€ for kids under 12, and reservations are essential. To book: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 04 90 37 79 60. To see the press kit in French, which lists the chefs and winemakers participating, click here. For general info on Gigondas and its wines, click here or facebook.com/gigondas.rhonevalley or find them on Twitter: @Gigondaswines.
The ninth edition of the bi-annual Bordeaux Wine Festival (or
Fete le Vin) takes place this week, from Thursday, June 26 to Sunday,
June 29. More than 500,000 people—and 800 to 1000 winemakers--are expected to
attend and tickets are still available.
Featuring wines from the 80 appellations of Bordeaux
and the Aquitaine, the Fete le Vin is considered one of the world's premier
wine tourism events. Most of the action takes place on the quays of the Garonne
River, in the historic heart of the city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The economic impact for the city is estimated at 20€ million.
has a total vineyard area of over 120,000 hectares, making it
the largest wine growing area in France. Grapevines were introduced here by the Romans, probably in the mid-1st century, and wine production has been continuous in
the region ever since.
This year's festival highlights the 50th anniversary of the twinning of
Bordeaux and its sister city in the US, Los Angeles. Yep, Los Angeles is the
guest of honor!
For me that's especially exciting as one of my greatest old chef pals, John Sedlar, is
coming to cook. John is a widely known expert in Latin American and Modern Southwest cuisines, whose latest
restaurant Rivera, has been a smash
hit in LA for the six years it’s been open.
This fall, he’ll launch Eloisa in Santa Fe, named for
his beloved grandmother Eloisa Martinez Rivera, who--along with his mother and aunts--taught John to cook at home in Abiquiú, New Mexico. John's aunt Jerry was Georgia O'Keeffe's personal chef in Abiquiú for 15 years.
John is the only American chef invited to cook at
Bordeaux. And boy, will he cook: he'll be presiding over an extraordinary
buffet of events throughout the weekend. These include: a welcome reception hosted by
the consul general of the US in Bordeaux, the honorable Thomas Wolf; one course of a seated luncheon in the
Bordeaux City Hall for 150 guests; a “revisiting the hamburger” cooking demo
with chef Christophe Giradot
(he’s making ahi tuna burgers with
Korean kimchi); Los Angeles-inspired hors d’oeuvres and cocktails for
execs of Air France; a cooking demo highlighting the products of
Aquitaine; four consecutive nights of a pop-up restaurant in collaboration with
chef Francois Adamski of the
Michelin-starred restaurant Le
Gabriele (he’s serving Baja ceviche and squab mole); and the main course of
a gala dinner for 350 guests at the Palais de la Bourse. He’ll also present a
“deconstructed tequila tasting.”
To help, John is bringing two of his chefs, one media
assistant and one agronomist..."because we had three aeroponic towers
shipped in advance to grow my Meso-American micro herbs,” he explains. “We're
collaborating with the Ecole Horticulture in Bordeaux and then gifting the
aeroponic towers to the school."
John also shipped other supplies ahead--his
distinctive plates, taco fry baskets—and he’s traveling to Bordeaux this week with
chile pastes, tortillas, corn husks and other ingredients from which he’ll whip
up plate after plate of his signature cuisine.
All told, a contingent of more than 50 people are
flying in from LA to celebrate the event.
The heart of the festival will be a 2 km-long "wine road" where visitors with a Tasting Pass can discover countless
wines and vintages. To chat up winegrowers and merchants, they'll head for the ten
Appellation Pavilions and Vintage Pavilions.
As in years past, lots of activities and special events planned are planned.
There will be special Wine Festival menus in restaurants, the showing of art by
200 artists, some of them from California, a cinema devoted to classic
Hollywood films and the Jardin des Arts, where street artists will be
customizing giant bottles.
The Bordeaux Wine School
will offer several introductory training courses every day. The 1855 Passport
lets visitors to take part in Master Classes on great classified growths in the
prestigious salons of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
In conjunction, the Bordeaux Wine Festival will host the Bordeaux
Music Festival, featuring four concerts in four days (tickets 30€)
plus a sound and light show entitled "Rendez-vous à Bordeaux"
and fireworks every evening on the quays.
And last but not least, those who purchase the festival's Vineyard Pass are
invited to visit and taste in exquisite châteaux. Different theme tours will
depart everyday from the festival.
Ticket options include:
*Tasting Pass (15€ if purchased beforehand, 20€ at the event): 13 tickets +
glass + glass holder + " transport ticket + advantages
*Vineyard pass (60 to 145€)
*1855 Passport (65-150€)
For all the info, click here
(bordeaux-fete-le-vin.com). To see a video from last year’s Fete, click here. For general
Bordeaux info, you can call +33(0)5 56 00 66 00 or go to
Photos: (1) A festival shout out on a gorgeous old facade. (2) Los Angeles-based chef John Sedlar is the only American invited to cook--and he'll be cooking up a storm. (3) Most of the action takes place on the quays of the Garonne River, in the historic heart of the city. (4) There are also gala meals in gorgeous salons. (5, 6) The festival at dusk...and lit up by nightly fireworks. (7) This year's logo.