We give the lowdown on what to do this month in France
Be among the first over the threshold of the Musée Picasso in Paris, which will re-open on 25 October – the birthday of the artist, who died in 1973. Around 5,000 of his works fill the five-floor national museum in the Hôtel Salé, one of the finest 17th-century mansions in the Marais district. The refurbishment, which took five years at a cost of €52 million, has almost tripled the exhibition space, as well as improving access so more people can visit at any one time (tel: (Fr) 1 42 71 25 21, www.museepicassoparis.fr).
Prepare for a sleepless night if your trip to Paris coincides with Nuit Blanche – the free dusk-until-dawn arts festival starting at 7pm on Saturday, 4 October. The capital will be packed with cutting-edge cultural events, including concerts, art exhibitions and light installations. Restaurants, bars and the métro are opening late, so it’s a once-in-a-year chance to experience Paris in a different light (www.paris.fr).
Film stars, directors and 30,000 festival-goers will pour into the seaside town of Dinard in Brittany when its annual British film festival rolls out the red carpet from 8 to 12 October. Screenings take place across five venues, with tickets, each €5.50, going on sale 30 minutes before showings, or 45 minutes for films competing for the Golden Hitchcock award. Early birds can attend free pre-festival screenings in late September and early October (www.festivaldufilm-dinard.com).
Celebrate grape harvest in the Mediterranean fishing town of Banyuls-sur-Mer, which is famous for its fortified dessert wines. The Fête des Vendanges from 8 to 12 October will see the harvest delivered to the beachside in traditional Catalan boats, where the crowds help to pick the vines, crush the grapes and, of course, taste the wine. It’s not all viticulture; bands, a beachside barbecue and a vendanges ball add to the festive atmosphere (tel: (Fr) 4 68 88 31 58, www.banyuls-sur-mer.com).