Fine wine and fun travel are a great combination for any holiday. For Brits wanting to take advantage of Covid restrictions easing, a trip via the Eurotunnel to a French food and drink festival has the makings of a delightful adventure.
The Eurotunnel connecting the countries makes short-haul flights unnecessary, and booking onto the Eurostar is far chicer anyway. You only need to turn up at St Pancras Station in London around 40 to 50 minutes before departure, and there are fewer restrictions around baggage too - so you can return with all the cheese you want.
Driving through Eurotunnel Le Shuttle from the Folkestone terminal is even quicker, and still more eco-friendly than flying.
“If your car is full of passengers, your carbon emissions will be reduced by up to 67 per cent compared to flying - even less if your car is electric,” a Eurotunnel spokesperson says.
“Eurotunnel Le Shuttle produces on average 2kg of CO2 per car per crossing, compared to 147kg of CO2 for a typical Dover-Calais ferry. That’s 73 times less.”
The underground crossing takes only 35 minutes, getting you closer to the motorway than a post-ferry trip too so you can set off on your gastronomic adventure even quicker. Here are the French foodie festivals worth planning a trip around as rounded up by Eurotunnel.
Taste of Paris
When: 12 to 15 May 2022
What: A four-day festival where you can sample some of the most delicious food in Paris in taster-sized portions, served by the chefs themselves at their pop-up restaurants. Whether Michelin-starred, trendsetters or the young stars of the future, the chefs will give you a gourmet experience to remember.
The Chablis Wine Festival, Burgundy
When: 22 and 23 October 2022
What: The Chablis Wine Festival is the spiritual home for wine lovers, professionals, connoisseurs and newcomers all over the world. You can witness the baptism of the new vintage, taste wines from some 40 different regional producers, and get lost among the vines.
Toulouse à Table
When: September 2022
What: In the famous city of Toulouse, you can visit the Toulouse à Table festival, and get stuck into the cuisine of South-West France. Aside from the famous Toulouse dishes that weigh down the tables (cassoulets or Toulouse sausages), there are plenty more new and delicious treats to discover. The festival is two weeks long, so you have plenty of time to pop in and feast on the best that Toulouse has to offer.
Bordeaux S.O Good
What: A three-day festival promoting the art of living, gourmet food and wine from South West France. Visitors have the unique opportunity to indulge in exquisite dishes prepared by prominent chefs. You can also browse through stands offering regional foods and wines at farmers’ and fish markets, enjoy luxurious night banquets and attend cooking demonstrations and lectures.
Inaugural Bordeaux Wine Week
When: 16 to 19 June 2022
What: The city of Bordeaux will also host Bordeaux Wine Week for the first time this year, combining events dedicated to French and international wines and spirits.
Fête du Ventre Festival, Rouen
When: October 2022
What: The Festival of the Stomach and the Festival of Norman gastronomy of Rouen have become the unmissable food events for the region. The first one takes place in the historic town centre around Place du Vieux Marché and Rue Rollon on the third weekend of October.
Locally farmed products which are the gastronomic heritage and pride and joy of the region are available to taste and put on sale. Apples, cheeses, ciders, meat, dairy products, jams and sweet treats all await you. Top chefs, artisans and local producers man the stalls which promote local Normandy specialities. These two days of celebration are an unmissable event for foodies and gourmets.
Festival of Gastronomy
When: September 2022
What: The Festival of Gastronomy also brings the city of Rouen to life. In 2011, following the inscription of the gastronomic meal of the French on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the Festival of Gastronomy was created: events, tastings, direct sales from the producer, workshops and demonstrations.
Les Etoiles de Mougins
When: June 2022
What: The village of Mougins in Alpes-Maritimes organises an international festival entirely dedicated to gastronomy. For three days, the streets and squares of the old village welcome a hundred or so French and foreign chefs who come to share their skills and passion with the public.
The Paris Chocolate Fair
When: October and November 2022
What: Chocolatiers, pastry chefs, confectioners and professionals from the chocolate industry, as well as producing countries, great chefs, designers and cocoa experts get together to show the public all the riches of the famous bean.