Le French May 2016

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May 1-Jun 30
 

It’s that time of year again. Le French May is here and that means a raft of Gallic events, experiences and entertainment. It’s just started and runs until the end of June, so you have plenty of time to enjoy the themed events across town. Here’s our Time Out team’s roundup of what’s hot…

Every May, we celebrate all things Gallic. Le French May started in 1993 and it has matured into one of the largest French arts festivals in Asia. It’s all about bringing the spirit of the country to our doorsteps. From visual arts exhibitions, classical gigs, dance shows and multi-arts performances to food events, special themed menus, movie showings and fashion fests, there’s something for everyone and this year’s programme is as impressive as ever. It’s just kicked off, and runs until June 30 – so, slip on your beret and tuck your baguette under your arm as we take you through the highlights.

LE FRENCH GOURMAY

This section of Le French May has taken on a life all of its own in recent years. Now in its eighth year, it all seems bigger and better, with more than 110 restaurants getting in on the act alongside a special market, wine tasting events and other foody activities being whipped up this year. Le French GourMay showcases the country’s Alsace region, which lies next to the German border. Restaurants across the city are presenting tailor-made menus and wine pairings from Alsace to celebrate the occasion alongside some great culinary events. Here’re our picks…

Voyage Art, Musique et Vin
This afternoon and evening event combines the joy of appreciating art with indulging your other senses. It’s essentially a music and wine tasting event at Art One gallery in the HKCEC. Pad through the space while sampling more than 80 top varieties of wine. Each ticket includes a complimentary Lucaris glass. Merci bien! $200. Sat May 7, midday-7pm. Art One, M/F, HKCEC, 1 Harbour Rd, Wan Chai, 2110 1376; artone-hk.com.

Tasting Alsace Wines
This fun tasting session with the experts from Sommelier at Home is for wine lovers of all levels who love to learn. Participants get to play games and sample three different vintages from Alsace. $498. Fri May 13, 7pm-8.30pm & Sat May 14, 3pm-4.30pm. The Wine Lab, Room A, 15/F, Kingsun Computer Ind Bldg, 40 Shek Pai Wan Rd, Aberdeen, 5661 1012; sommelierathome.hk.

French Traditional Market
With a sea breeze and a historical building as a backdrop, there really is no better setting for a French market than Stanley waterfront. Feast your eyes on Gallic dishes up for sale, as well as seafood, vegetables, pâtés, cheeses and wines. Special vendors are showcasing the best of Alsatian delicacies, including beers and wine. Not only that, there’s a ‘Pichoun Corner’ full of fun activities just for les enfants. Parfait! Free. May 14-15, 11am-6pm. Murray Hse, Stanley; frenchgourmay.com.

Heather and March cooking classes
Cooking classes taught by master-chef Vincent Leroux are being held mid-May by Heather and March. Besides teaching how to make recipes from Alsace, there’s also a demonstration of how to present a meal. $2,000. May 19-20, 1pm-5pm. Kitchen Infinity Island South Galleria, 19/F, One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Rd, Wong Chuk Hang, 2116 0839; heatherandmarch.com.

SPECIAL MENUS

More than 110 restaurants in Hong Kong and Macau are taking part in Le French GourMay. Here are a few eateries which are changing  their menus to showcase the best that Alsace has to offer…

Seasons by Olivier E
Featuring a four-course set dinner, Seasons is a must-visit, particularly as the chefs are highlighting Alsace’s unique blend of delicate flavours. Enjoy signature foie gras, as well as tasty sauerkraut paired with riesling and gewürztraminer wines. $888. Shop 308, 3/F, Lee Gardens Two, 28 Yun Ping Rd, Causeway Bay, 2505 6228; seasonsbyolivier.com.

Café Renaissance
Apart from its scrumptious buffet, Café Renaissance is featuring an array of gourmet treats from Alsace. Sample delectable items such as the choucroute platter of sauerkraut, hearty sausages, pork belly, pork hock and potatoes, and the thin crust ‘flammeküeche’ pizza. Finish off with an apple, plum and berry tart that’s iconic to the region. $588. M/F, Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel, 1 Harbour Rd, Wan Chai, 2802 8888; marriott.com.

Aux Beaux Arts
The three-course Alsatian dinner at Aux Beaux Arts features foie gras terrine with raspberries, as well as choucroute, blood sausage and pig’s trotter croquettes served with riesling sauce. Last but not least is the gewürztraminer white wine ice cream. Head to our sister SAR to sample what rural France has to offer. MGM Grand Macau, Avenida Dr Sun Yat Sen, Macau, +853 8802 2319; mgmmacau.com.

La Table de Patrick
Patrick Goubier is loved in Hong Kong. And he’s preparing a treat for Le French GourMay. His four-course meal includes escargots on red cabbage confit, a home-smoked foie gras and black pudding parcel and braised pork cheek with riesling sauce. Love France. Love Goubier. $598. 6/F, Cheung Hing Commercial Bldg, 37-43 Cochrane St, Central, 2541 1401; chezpatrick.hk.

THE BEST OF LE REST

Theatre lovers, film buffs and gallery goers rejoice. It’s time to fall in love with all things Gallic. Here’s our top picks for arts and culture during Le French May...

Mozart in Love
As the opening concert for Le French May, this performance shows Mozart in a remarkable light. France’s rising stars, soprano Sabine Devieilhe, conductor Raphaël Pichon and the Ensemble Pygmalion, steal the show, with a mix of classic and reinterpreted pieces. Tickets start from $220. May 5. Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall, 5 Edinburgh Plc, Central; lcsd.gov.hk.

The Blue Moment
French photographer Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze holds his first solo exhibition in the city. The whimsical series of images feature Hong Kong summers at dusk, portraying a poetic side of the city, as day meets night and the last light is about to fade. There’s also some of his previous highly celebrated work on display. The artist is also releasing a photo book, published by Asia One, of the series. Free. May 7-Jun 25. Blue Lotus Gallery, 1606 Chai Wan Industrial City, Phase 1, 60 Wing Tai St, Chai Wan; bluelotus-gallery.com.

Dream of Another World
This unique selection of 20 films dissects the intriguing distinctions between reality and ideals. From compelling features with the best French actors to thoughtful and intricate animation pictures, this collection of works challenges the boundaries of film production and brings fresh ideas to the big screen. Tickets start from $85. May 10-31. Various cinemas; frenchmay.com.

French Day at Happy Valley Racecourse
Hong Kong’s Wednesday races are being given a little je ne sais quoi this month. The France Galop horseracing organisation, the Hong Kong Jockey Club and Le French May are all joining forces to hold the Le French May trophy and the France Galop Cup. To top it all off there’s authentic wine and food on offer, as well as some ace French performance art. $10. May 11, 7pm. Happy Valley Racecourse, Happy Valley; hkjc.com.

Extrêmités
Unlike most circus performances, Cirque Inextrêmiste host a show without fancy props, visual effects or even clowns for that matter. What you can expect instead are breathtaking balancing acts, gravity defying stunts and awe-inspiring moves. The three-man show is more intense than most Hollywood action flicks! A definite must-see.Tickets start from $100. May 20-21, 8pm. Kwai Tsing Theatre, 12 Hing Ning Rd, Kwai Chung; urbtix.hk.

Cinderella
Everyone knows the story. A girl, a fairy godmother, a charming prince and a glass slipper. The classic tale of Cinderella is being revived in this neo-classical performance by the Malandain Ballet Biarritz from France. Contemporary choreographer Thierry Malandain has created a personal version of the story, with a modern set to accompany the narrative. Tickets start from $120. Jun 1-2, 7.30pm. Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui; urbtix.hk.

Le French May x Cine Fan Once Upon A Film
Take part in Le French May’s first collaboration with the Hong Kong Cine Fan Programme as you travel back in time through tales of myths and supernatural beings. The series of films includes great works by talented French directors.Tickets start from $65. Jun 4-26. Hong Kong Film Archive and The Grand Cinema; cinefan.com.hk.

Les Pêcheurs de Perles – The Met Live in HD 2015-2016
Director Penny Woolcock brings Bizet’s beautiful opera back to the stage for the first time in a century. Soprano Diana Damrau and tenor Matthew Polenzani deliver an unforgettable story of romance, betrayal and revenge. Don’t miss the screening of this performance. $210.  Jun 25, 6pm. Bethanie The Academy’s Landmark Heritage Campus, 139 Pokfulam Rd, Pok Fu Lam; themetinhongkong.info.

Edgar Degas: Figures in Motion
The sculptures created by Degas were never the highlight of his career during his lifetime and they remained a mystery until after his death. This exhibition sheds light on a unique collection of 74 bronze figures, which primarily depict ballet dancers of the Paris Opéra. The sculptures have only been on show twice before. Go see them. Free. Until Nov 16, 12pm-9pm. MGM Art Space, MGM Grand Macau, Avenida Dr Sun Yat Sen, Macau; mgmmacau.com.

Le French May Until Jun 30; frenchmay.com.

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