It took over Auckland waterfront last August, attracting 14,000 visitors for one day of Champagne, cheese, croissants and pétanque. This year Le Renault French Festival is coming back even bigger, longer and better. The sizeable festival will be held across two venues from June 8-10, 2018, and organisers are predicting a whopping 35,000 for the encore.
Le French Village will serve as the daytime market, this year with 65 stalls and a venue twice as big offering everything from food to fashion and language lessons. Have your breakfast 'à la française' with coffee and a croissant, enjoy a glass of wine from the motherland while stocking up on bottles for home, discover the world's less tiring sport while downing a glass of traditional Pastis, soak up an ever-rotating collection of French short films, sit back and listen to local music, or crunch numbers at a French business conference — they really have it all covered.
The market will continue on Saturday night for the French fan zone — two giant screens will broadcast the All Blacks vs. XV de France match. The game will be followed by a French artist concert to continue the party.
After dark, One Night in France will be led by the biggest French banquet in New Zealand. Three long tables of 150 people — all donning the nation's colours of blue, red and white — will fill Shed 10 as three chefs whip-up a five-course feast, including one course entirely dedicated to cheese and a glass of bubbles on arrival.
Another new element to this year's rendezvous is a masterclasses in French wine and cheese pairing with an expert sommelier.