While Paris has seen colder winters, the gloomy grey skies that threaten to rain make the perfect excuse for cosying up indoors. In between steaming mugs of chocolat chaud don’t miss out on these five things to do this month.
1. Remember your foodie roots at the Salon de l’Agriculture
Cheeses at Salon de l’Agriculture
Maybe not quite the most glamorous event you will attend in Paris, this giant farmers’ fair, now in its 53rd year, is becoming one of the capital’s top events as interest in farm-to-table cuisine catches on among Parisians who want to learn about how to source the best produce possible. As well as learning about farming and getting to stroke a few cows and lambs (4,000 animals were present last year), there are also a number of events, tastings and workshops taking place among the farmyard frenzy. A whopping 700,000 people attended the fair last year so book early. From 27th February until 6th March 2016. www.en.salon-agriculture.com
Related: 2016: A greener Paris takes shape
2. Celebrate Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year at Peninsula hotels
For a little more upmarket fun, book a table at one of the French capital’s top-scoring Chinese restaurants. The Chinese rooted Peninsula and Shangri-La hotels are organising various events involving Chinese dragons as well as special lavish New Year menus for the occasion. Other restaurants to check out include Family Li in the 8th district for some imperial Chinese-meets-French cuisine or for something truly off-the-radar go to Soluxe59 inside Alfred Nobel’s former home. This year, Chinese New Year takes place on 8th February 2016.
3. Stroll the covered passageways of Paris
Passage des Panoramas by Fausto Mazza
There is nothing like visiting Paris’s covered passages to keep out of the rain and travel back in time, all the way to the 1800s. Built as shopping arcades, just 17 of these passages have survived Baron Haussmann’s urban revolution in 1850-1870 when they were replaced by grands magasins (department stores). The most beautiful of these passages is the Passage des Panoramas in the 2nd district of Paris, which is lined by surviving stamp shops as well as top-notch eateries, restaurants and bars like the whimsical Caffè Stern. Another passage we like is the Galerie Véro-Dodat where Christian Louboutin has opened an elaborate nail parlour.
Related: What to pack for Paris in Winter
4. Listen to the sounds of the winter
Sons d’Hiver festival
Celebrate the best of jazz and world music at the 25th edition of the Sons d’Hiver festival in the Val-de-Marne just on the outskirts of Paris. Said to be one of the best music events by die-hard jazz fans, this year’s edition celebrates the genre with Mulatu Astatke, and the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble as well as Dee Alexander Trio and many more high-profile performers. Until 21st February 2016 www.sonsdhiver.org
Related: Paris' best winter wine bars
5. Last chance to see Yves Saint Laurent’s personal art collection
'Living for Art' Painting Henri Rousseau 'Charmeuse de serpents' exposition
The Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent has put together a stand-out exhibition showcasing the personal art collections of the famous French designer (1936-2008) and Jacques Doucet (1853-1929). The aim is to show the parallels between the two like-minded couturiers who were also extremely keen art collectors and great appreciators of beauty. The exhibition includes works by Braque to Modigliani, and Duchamp to Matisse. ‘Living for Art’ until 14th February 2016 www.fondation-pb-ysl.net