One of the best reasons to visit the French Riviera is the number of food-themed fairs and festivals that you can attend here year round – who said autumn and winter are slow seasons?
This month, gastronomy takes centre stage across the region with some great food and wine events to keep gastronomes yearning for more.
Here are Access Riviera’s Top Picks for where to find Foodie Heaven this November:
Until 14 November: The 25th Salon du Palais Gourmand, Hippodrome in Cagnes-sur-Mer
Head to the Hippodrome for a change from horse racing action – instead, you’ll find over 300 exhibitors showcasing products ranging from wines and liqueurs to seafood to cheeses and charcuterie goods.
From 17 November – Beaujolais Nouveau tasting on the French Riviera
Iconic and traditional, the third Thursday in November sees wine bars, bistros and restaurants open their doors to share the release of Beaujolais Nouveau. I particularly like Georges Dubouef Beaujolais Villages and the bottle labels are really eye-catching, fun and fruity – much like Beaujolais!
Here are a few local events for the 2016 Beaujolais Nouveau release:
17 November – La Petite Cave de St Paul has tastings of the Jean Paul Brun Beaujolais Nouveau
17 November – Barbaroux Golf, Hotel & Spa in Brignoles is hosting a Beaujolais Day menu for €26
17 November – Cave Rivoli in Nice has tastings from 6pm-10pm
17 November – The Wine Pier in Villefranche-sur-Mer has tastings from 6.30pm
17 November – From 6.30pm, head along to Blue Gin at Monte Carlo Bay for a Beaujolais evening
17 November – A Beaujolais evening will be hosted at Hotel Villa La Tour in Nice from 7pm. €15 gets you 3 glasses of wine, tapas and entry into a draw to win more wine. Reservations necessary via email (email@example.com) or phone direct +33 4 93 80 08 15
17 November – Vingt4 wine bar in Nice from 7pm
17 November – Casino Barriere de Ruhl in Nice at 7.30pm
19 November – Le Bistrot Provençal in Pegomas is hosting a menu for €38 including a bottle of Beaujolais for 2 people
Note: If you would like your Beaujolais event on the French Riviera included in this article, please send me an email with details to firstname.lastname@example.org
18-20 November: The 16th Salon Saveurs & Terroirs, Mandelieu La Napoule
Around 15,000 visitors descend on the town of Mandelieu La Napoule for the annual Salon Saveurs & Terroirs held at the Centre Expo Congrès.
With the show Patron being double Michelin star chef Stéphane Raimbault of L’Oasis, you can be certain of a high standard from the 100 exhibitors.
This year don’t miss:
- ‘Happy Hour’ from 6pm-9pm on 18 November where you can enjoy half-price tastings at participating stands
- Food Trucks
- Vincent Ferniot, a well known food journalist from culinary reviews screened on France 2 and 3 will be at the show on 19 November from 10am-5pm
19 November – Fête de la Châtaigne, Cagnes-sur-Mer
I remember the first time I came to France and went to a Chestnut Festival, the smell of roasting chestnuts on a crisp day combined with a glass of vin chaud was so appealing!
This festival celebrates the suppliers and traditions from the Haut-Pays towns of Isola, St-Etienne de Tinée, Roure and Valdeblore and they come down to Cagnes-sur-Mer for the day with their products and livestock!
Last year, I met some friendly suppliers and of course bought far too many goodies like mountain honey, cheese and jams homemade from autumn fruits.
As well as chestnut products of every type, they have mass cooking of polenta and daube which you can taste for around €4 a portion.
The Fête de la Châtaigne is family-friendly – with pony rides for kids, a sheep herding demonstration, mini farm and of course a free tasting of one tonne of chestnuts roasted in the town centre.
20 November – Fête de la Chataigne, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin
Organised by a local committee, Les Coqs Roquebrunois, this Chestnut Festival is held all day at Places Des Deux Frères and will have tastings of roasted chestnuts, vin chaud and Beaujolais.
25-28 November – The 21st Monte-Carlo Gastronomie, Chapiteau Fontvieille
The press release states ‘An invitation to indulgence’ and you’ll find it suitably apt at this excellent food trade show held in the huge big top tent at Fontvieille. It is the same colossal marquee that the annual Monte-Carlo Circus Festival is hosted in right between Cap d’Ail Port and Port Fontvieille, however you won’t find circus acts but around 100 high-quality food producers from France, Italy and other European countries.
(image: Monte-Carlo Gastronomie)
As well as delicious products to taste and try, there will be cooking demonstrations by international chefs and awards for exhibitors. Pop along to sample truffles, cheeses, cured meats, organic conserves, premium wines, spirits and liqueurs (e.g. Champagne, Armagnac), seafood, foie gras, chocolates and sweet goods.
There will be some highly regarded chefs there including Emmanuel Lehrer from Le Mas de Pierre in St Paul de Vence, Antonio Fochi, Maître d’Hôtel of the Meridien Beach Plaza Monte-Carlo and Joel Garault from the Vistamar Hotel Hermitage in Monaco.
Various associations will be in attendance such as the Association of Italian and French Maîtres d’Hôtel, the Monegasque Association of Sommeliers, the Monegasque Hotel Industry Association and the Slow Food Riviera Côte d’Azur Association.
I hope you get to attend one or many of these events – go with an empty belly and an open mind (and wallet!) to trying new flavours and products.