Paris is enchanting regardless of the season, but there’s no denying it feels a little more magical come autumn. As those falling leaves drift by your window, you might just wonder how best to spend the day. Sure, you could while away hours drinking chocolat chaud in a cosy cafe or stroll along boulevards bathed in November sun, but there’s just so much culture to soak up. Read on as we round up the best bits going on in the city this month.
see this: La Folie en Tête
art therapy: must-see exhibition La Folie en Tête. Photo: Masion Victor Hugo
Topping our list of new exhibitions this month is La Folie en Tête (Maisons de Victor Hugo, 16 Nov 2017 - 18 March 2018, €8). Art therapy might be all the rage today, but in the nineteenth century it was practically unheard of. Here, the collections of four psychiatric hospitals are compiled and presented chronologically. The works on show, often stored secretly by doctors, include drawings, paintings and embroidery: it’s a remarkable and at times haunting collection, that provides a fascinating glimpse of the vanguard of art brut.
hear this: Thundercat at the Élysée Montmartre
listen up: Thundercat to showcase their third album at Élysée Montmartre
Frequent Flying Lotus collaborator Thundercat’s third album, Drunk, was one of the year’s weirdest and most wonderful surprises. Featuring guest spots from the likes of Pharrell and Kendrick, as well as lounge-soul legends Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins, it was a genre-bending classic. Now, the bassist and his band are bringing their unique brand of space funk back to Europe. They’re at Élysée Montmartre on 21st November (€33): expect startling musicianship, lyrical weirdness and a wild night out.
watch this: Paris Independent Film Festival
P'tit Quinquin will steal the spotlight at Paris Independent Film Festival
November also marks the third edition of the Paris Independent Film Festival, a celebration of low-budget cinema that no movie-buff will want to miss. There are screenings at arthouse theatres across town: it’s a great chance to stumble upon the new big thing. If you’d rather stay indoors, you can’t do much better than P’tit Quinquin. The oddball, murder-mystery miniseries premiered at Cannes as a three-hour feature: whether you choose to watch it in parts or binge it all at once, it’s bizarre, compelling and painfully funny.
read this: Based on a True Story by Delphine de Vigan
it's a page-turner: De Vigan's Based on a True Story
Delphine de Vigan’s work has often straddled the line between memoir and fiction. Her latest novel Based on a True Story – which won the 2015 Prix Goncourt des Lycéens – is no different. De Vigan’s narrator is a Parisian novelist called Delphine: suffering from writer’s block, she meets a mysterious ghostwriter called L who slowly starts to take control of her life. It’s a metafictional masterpiece, a sinister, psychological thriller that builds and builds – and will no doubt keep you up until the wee hours.
drink this: Beaujolais Nouveau
south Burgundy grapes make the fruity seasonal Beaujolais Nouveau wine
It’s that time of year again. In France, the third Thursday of November can mean only one thing: Beaujolais Nouveau. This young wine, made of Gamay grapes from just south of Burgundy, was traditionally produced to celebrate the harvest. It’s light and fruity and pretty polarizing – a bit like the French version of marmite. But, whether you love it or hate it, you really should indulge in at least one glass.
get inspired by this: Christian Dior: Couturier du rêve
this latest exhibition celebrate's Christian Dior's enduring legacy
If you don’t want to spend the rest of November sat around drinking Beaujolais, get yourself down to Musée des Arts Décoratifs and check out Christian Dior: Couturier du rêve (until 7th Jan, €11) It’s 70 years since the advent of the designer’s eponymous fashion house: not only does the collection of extraordinary outfits, photographs and accessories on show celebrate Dior’s life, it provides powerful testament to his enduring legacy.
get loved up at the most romantic, cliché-free places in Paris.
discover the coolest place in the city.
or venture beyond the city one one of these fantastic day trips.