If the foodie life is the only life for you – and you’re a huge fan of wine and cheese – then you might want to take a look at this list of food festivals in France! Home of Brie, Camembert and Roquefort, cheese is only the tip of the French gastronomy iceberg. There are so many opportunities for foodie indulgence across the channel that we just had to make this list of our very favourites. Amazing food festivals, big and small, are happening all over France year-round. They’re the perfect events to incorporate into your stay at one of our luxury French chateaux, no matter which region you choose to stay in.
Fête de la Gastronomie (The French Cuisine Festival)
When? September 24th-25th 2022
Where? Different locations all over France
Who will love this? Fans of French cuisine
Each year since UNESCO declared France’s gastronomy to be a part of “humanity’s intangible cultural heritage”, the French government has held a nation-wide celebration of the country’s many flavours. During one weekend you’ll encounter everything from workshops, winery tours and product tastings to markets, foodie outings and chefs demonstrations.
French people travel all over the country to sample regional delicacies and restaurant chefs will often create special menus to highlight the best local produce. There are also many opportunities to learn about French cooking, as well as the art of wine-paring. For foodies, it is the perfect time to make a visit to France!
Salon du Chocolat (The Chocolate Fair), Paris
When? October 28th-November 1st 2022
Who will love this? Chocolate addicts
This is one for Chocolate addicts! There are plenty of highlights to the Parisian winter season. But one of the very best is Salon du Chocolat, at which over 700 chocolatiers, pastry chefs and confectioners from more than 60 countries gather at Porte de Versailles to put on a grand exhibition of the worlds greatest bean. Visitors at the chocolate fair get to taste and experience some of the best chocolate innovations in the world, go here for more info about how to order this kind of cake.
A ticket will also get you access to professional and fun workshops, tasting sessions and cooking demonstrations. As part of the Salon, there is even a fashion parade with dresses all made of – you guessed it – chocolate. At the end of the fair, the best chocolatiers of the year receive the prestigious Chocolate Award.
Les Habits de Lumière, Epernay
When? December 9th-11th 2022
Who will love this? Champagne connoisseurs
Fancy a glass of champagne? It is an endlessly charming place, and the perfect host to Les Habits de Lumière – dedicated to celebrating the bubbly heritage of the region. The festivities include cooking demonstrations, workshops, cellar tours and champagne tastings, but these are also complemented with musical entertainment, fireworks and a big parade on Avenue de Champagne!
For its short duration, the festival truly lights up the city while making sure that the “Champagne way of life” is thoroughly celebrated. On the last day of the event, there is a special tea party for children to enjoy while parents and anyone else takes the opportunity to revel in a final taste of bubbly, sweet treats and local cheeses. Let’ just say that Les Habits is a sparkly weekend all around.
Fête de la Truffle (The Truffle Festival), Sarlat-la-Canéda
When? January 15th-16th 2022
Who will love this? High-end foodies
Foodies, assemble! As you might have expected, the Truffle Festival of Sarlat is a long weekend in mid-January entirely dedicated to the emblematic black Perigord truffle of the region – a true delicacy if ever there was one. The fête hosts a myriad of activities along the lines of truffle identification workshops and truffle-hunting demonstrations, and there is a big market where growers sell the very best of local produce and products.
At many of the restaurants in town, you’ll be able to try samples of truffle and foie-gras croustous, and local chefs will often host demonstrations and group cooking classes. These are perfect for those wanting to learn how to create their very own truffle-based dishes with the goods they’ve purchased at the fair. Alongside the festival, culinary students and apprentices will also be competing for the prestigious Jean Rougié Award for truffle-cooking.
La Percée du Vin Jaune Wine Festival
When? April 2nd-3rd 2022
Where? Different village every year (Cramans in ’22)
Who will love this? Wine fans, obviously
La Percée du Vin Jaune is an annual two-day festival, which celebrates a very special type of local wine, vin jaune (“yellow wine”). A little-known speciality, vin jaune is a white wine which has matured in oak casks after fermentation.
When you enter the festival with your ticket, you receive ten tasting tickets and a tasting class. You then walk around the village where winegrowers have opened their cellars to the public and will happily fill your glass and chat with you about their unique product. Music is always playing in the streets and lots of food vendors open up shop, so aside from vin jaune, you can taste many other local specialities. There are also some exiting contests for growers taking place in the friendly and welcoming festival-atmosphere.
La Trace du Fromage (The Cheese Trail), Aveyron
When? March 13th 2022
Who will love this? Cheese enthusiasts
La Trace du Fromage is a quintessentially French celebration of both the country’s most famed export – cheese – and the natural beauty of Aveyron’s countryside. One single Sunday anyone can take part in this organised hike making its way through the heart of the beautiful Aubrac area. On the way, you’ll be introduced to hospitable producers of local food who are happy to let you try their wares.
You’ll probably end up having many samplings of the area’s famous Laguiole cheese and of aligot, a regional classic made of mashed potatoes blended with melted cheese. Another favourite from the trail is the warming mulled wines. When the hike is completed, a two-course dinner will be served in the village of Aubrac to end a long day of exploration. There are three versions of the trail you can choose from, ranging from quite relaxed walking to a more intense hike.
Fête de la Fraise (The Strawberry Festival), Limousin
When? May 8th 2022
Who will love this? Anyone with a sweet tooth
Do you have a sweet tooth but love some fresh fruits at the same time? In the pretty Limousin town of Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne, the juicy and delicious French strawberry is celebrated for one day each year. For this decadent event, several markets are set up in the centre of town for visitors to indulge in every form of Strawberry imaginable, and musicians roam the streets creating that wholesome atmosphere we love so much about festivals.
Strawberry-themed workshops are held by local chefs, and all kinds of sweet red treats are on offer. Kids can both indulge in the sweetness and play in the junior-areas. The highlight of the day is usually the making of the giant tart when all the bakers and patissiers in town get together and create an 8-metre wide tart filled with 800 kilograms of fresh berries. The same afternoon every visitor at the festival is offered a slice to finish off the day on a sweet note.
Besides food festivals in France, you’ll find ample cultural events to enjoy wherever you choose to visit – local markets are in abundance in the various villages and towns, too! But, if you want to add one of these events to your 2022 calendar, be sure to check out our full range of French holiday homes to start planning your next French foodie holiday.
Looking for a full list of villas to rent this year? Check out our villa holidays page here.