After a rejuvenating summer vacation in France, it’s La Rentrée, “the return” to the classroom and to the office. September also means a flurry of exciting new cultural exhibits, restaurant openings and the like– as la rentrée is more like a new year, marking a fresh beginning. In Paris, there’s a buzz in the air that’s almost palpable. Here we’ve rounded up some of our top picks for the fall 2018. Anything we’ve missed? Please share your recommendations in the comments section below.
An extraordinary exhibit showcasing masterpieces by Itō Jakuchū, the iconic artist of Japan’s Edo period (1603-1867). This is a first in Europe. This set of thirty rolls entitled “Images of the Colorful Realm of Living Beings” (Dōshoku sai-e) is his most ambitious work– on exhibit at the Petit Palais from 15 September 2018 to 14 October 2018. Not to be missed.
A fascinating Caravaggio exhibit opens in September at the Musée Jacquemart-André. To quote the France Today arts correspondent, “Charting Caravaggio’s career from the early days apprenticing in Rome’s most prestigious workshops to his tumultuous relationships with his contemporaries, ‘Caravaggio’s Roman Period’ will offer a rare glimpse of the man behind the art.”
Design fanatics, this one’s for you. Taking place from September 6 – 15, this annual event brings more than 100 international designers to the French capital to show off their latest creations. Of course there’s the famous Maison&Objet Paris fair– but beyond that, there are pop-up events taking place all over the city. See the Facebook page for details.
You don’t have to be a spa junkie to appreciate the dazzling new spa unveiled over the summer at the Four Seasons Hotel George V. It required 18 months of work to create this masterpiece– excavating deep underground to construct the 55-foot swimming pool. Designer Pierre-Yves Rochon has combined both the classical and contemporary; think bold abstract paintings and intricate mosaics inspired by the Ancient World. Signature treatments include the Parisian Experience, an energizing deep-tissue massage, and Kobido, an exclusive facial massage that’s an ancestral tradition of the Imperial Court of Japan.
On the third weekend of September each year, monuments across France open their doors– free of charge. Many of these landmarks, like the Élysée Palace and City Hall, are usually closed to the public. Others organize special guided tours to illuminate their lesser known aspects; for example, in Paris you can visit the centuries-old Médicis aqueduct, explore the greenhouses of the Jardin du Luxembourg, take a behind-the-scenes tour of legendary department store Galeries Lafayette, or check out Montmartre’s historic water reservoir.
A new gastronomic hot spot has opened in the 7th arrondissement, bringing together a number of Michelin-starred chefs with fun, innovative dining concepts. For more information, read our dedicated article here.
The famous chef is making waves, literally, with a brand new gastronomic river cruise on the Seine. It’s 100 percent electric powered– meaning “clean, silent navigation through the heart of the city.” The lunch and dinner menus highlight fresh, seasonal produce in Ducasse’s celebrated style.
Jean-Michel Basquiat at the Fondation Louis Vuitton
The Frank Gehry-designed museum in the Bois de Boulogne will shine the spotlight on one of the most significant painters of the 20th century. The exhibit runs from October 3, 2018 – January 14, 2019.
“Welcome to Los Angeles Rive Gauche!” proclaims the legendary department store. “From September 1st to October 21st, come discover the creative turmoil of the unique City of Angels that inspired us for this exhibition. From Malibu beaches to Silver Lake shops, embrace the Californian lifestyle from “Sunrise” to “Sunlight” and eventually “Sunset”. You’ll find a number of cool fashion and even foods from Lalaland.
Calling all golf fans. France will host the prestigious Ryder Cup for the first time, on September 25-30 at the Golf National in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines outside Paris. This is the 42nd edition of the biennial men’s golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States.
Starting September 26, the Grand Palais will stage a blockbuster exhibit about the flourishing art scene in 18th century Venice, the beguiling city known as ‘La Serenissima’.
Since it opened in April, the Atelier des Lumières has been a smashing success. Housed inside a former foundry, the digital arts center provides a high-tech immersion into an artistic world. A new show called COLOURS X COLOURS, a collaborative work by artists Thomas Blanchard and Anthony Viscogliosi (AKA “Oilhack”), opens in September, taking visitors on a journey into the world of paint.
The renowned Left Bank hotel has reopened after a dramatic, four-year renovation. The bar is buzzing, as is the brasserie. Come check out the rejuvenated landmark, once the hang-out for the great and the good of Saint Germain.
Lead photo credit : Bords de Seine by Nicolas Winspeare/ Flickr