Basking in a warm golden glow, the Burgundy vineyards look truly spectacular in autumn. There is a great buzz around the villages at this time of year, as the grape harvest gets underway and excitement builds for the Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction in November. The cool, crisp days are also a perfect time to tuck into Burgundy’s hearty cuisine such as boeuf bourguignon, washed down with a good bottle of local red wine. Burn off the extra calories by discovering Burgundy’s Renaissance châteaux and fortified villages or walking though its sun-dappled vineyards.
To me, Provence conjures up images of lively market stalls brimming with sun-swollen fruit, clinking chilled glasses of rosé and strolling through quiet flower-strewn cobblestone streets. Such a picture-perfect image is best realised in the autumn months, when the tourists leave and a bounty of harvested fruit and veg and cooler temperatures falls on this part of France.
Paris is magical at any time of the year but in autumn, when la rentrée begins and the height of the tourist season ends, the French capital really comes into its own. Besides the dwindling queues and the jam-packed cultural calendar (October is the month of Nuit Blanche and the Montmartre wine festival) the best things about Paris in autumn are sweet and simple. Just grab a cup of chocolat chaud and stroll along the leaf-covered banks of the Seine to see what we mean.
A trip to Brittany’s wind-whipped coastline in autumn is guaranteed to blow off the cobwebs. Foraging for mushrooms and chestnuts is among the season’s greatest pleasures in this corner in France, as is catching up with friends over a cup of sweet cidre from the apple harvest.