One of my favourite events in Melbourne is the Paris to Provence festival. You see, I have a slight addiction to anything French Provincial and this event is on my ‘to do’ list every year. The food (OMG! the food!), homewares, clothing, wine, the atmosphere… it is fantastique!
For the 3rd year running, Melbourne’s Como House and Garden will be home to the highly anticipated French festival, Paris to Provence. This November, indulge in the smells, tastes and textures of everything that embodies France as you are drawn into the idyllic pop up French village at South Yarra’s historic house.
Taking place over three mesmerising days, Paris to Provence begins on Friday, 23 November with a French soiree. Lose yourself in the pretty, white marquees and lavish entertainment – you may find yourself transported to Montmatre for the evening. This event will be followed by a weekend of entertainment and unique stalls to enjoy. On Saturday, 24 and Sunday, 25 November, be taken back to the picturesque setting of a French provincial village where your taste buds will be excited and the 2.5 tonne Dutch street organ will have you on your feet.
Building on the success of previous years, this year’s event is set to be is bigger and better than ever. Pamper yourself over the weekend as you step into the luxurious L’Occitane marquee, showcasing the latest in beauty and luxury that will undoubtedly have you glowing like a Parisian twilight. Hear author, Jane Webster speak about her wonderful life in France and latest book, French Ties on Saturday and Sunday in the Grand Ballroom.
Melbourne is the home to some of Australia’s best food and wine and this year’s Paris to Provence event will showcase the very best of the French bistro, patisserie and restaurant culture. Last year saw a range of chefs, including Philippe Mouchel from P M 24 and Pierrick Boyer from Le Petit Gateau captivating audiences with a range of delightful cooking demonstrations. Both of these marvellous and charismatic chefs will be back this year by popular demand. Chez Olivier of Greville Street, Prahran will take over the vacant café and courtyard with a French style rotisserie and incredible French theme.
Gabriel Gate of SBS’ Taste le Tour will host a number of events over the weekend including cooking demonstrations and a presentation on the Friday evening entitled The Amazing French Gastronomy. The Amazing French Gastronomy will be an intimate event with a maximum of 50 people in the Grand Ballroom and will delve into his experiences with Taste le Tour. Guests will enjoy a charcuterie and cheese platter and one lucky attendee will win a trip to France.
Find entertainment for the whole family with French property seminars, wine tastings, chocolate appreciation classes, live music, cultural demonstrations, magic shows, an open-air market, a restored vintage Citroen and all the French food your heart could possibly desire. Petit Atelier will take over the Pavillion and host free 40 minute art classes for children throughout the weekend and L’Ecole Francaise de Melbourne (French school of Melbourne) will hold traditional French children’s games on the centre north lawn.
Both founders of the festival, Laura Rancie and Samantha Triaca, have a strong desire to showcase all that France has to offer. From the vast beauty, to traditional culture, to the culinary food and famous fashion of France, Paris to Provence represents something special to both of them and now they are sharing it with the entire community.
In the lead up to the French Festival, francophones & francophiles alike can win prizes by accessing the official Melbourne French Festival Facebook page. Over the course of the event weekend there will be an array of prizes on offer including four overseas trips to France and French speaking destinations, with many of the stallholders also contributing to the prize pool.
To avoid queues, pre-paid tickets are available or purchase at the door. Platinum La Tour Eiffel ticket includes unlimited festival entry, Friday night cocktail party, access after dark to the Chez Olivier courtyard with canapés, private magic show and mimes (limited to 70 people). Someone on this magically evening will win a trip to Tahiti.
Competition closes 5PM Friday 16th November.