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April 30, 2009

J’Adore Spring

Spring is in the air, and there’s no place you’d rather be than Paris, walking down tree-lined boulevards where every orifice of the city oozes with style and culture and the smell of freshly baked goods fills the air as it drifts from some of the world’s best patisseries. Spring in Hong Kong conjures up slightly different images, namely unruly hair, mold appearing on things you never thought possible, and air infused with the scents of dai pai dongs serving up stewed innards from bubbling caldrons. Lucky for us, a little bit of Parisian chic is coming our way in the form of Le French May. Don a neck scarf, a Balmain blazer (or a good lookalike) and a tote big enough to hold your spring purchases, and step out on our own version of Boulevard Saint-Germain. . .

The fabulous festival that celebrates all things Francais is here to enchant us once again. On the must see list is The Seven Boards of Skill (Friday, May 15th and Saturday, May 16th, Hong Kong Cultural Centre), a stunning acrobatic ballet, which merges circus techniques and physical theatre with a visually complex ancient Chinese geometric puzzle. Nouvelle Vague meets Hightone (Saturday, May 9th, Queen Elizabeth Stadium), will be a reunion of two of the most prominent figures of the French contemporary music scene for a new wave and bossa nova extravaganza. Put your hands together for acclaimed guitarist Thibault Cauvin (Monday, June 1st, HKAPA Concert Hall) the winner of 13 international first prizes worldwide and unanimously recognized as “the ambassador of the new classical guitar”, who will undoubtedly have you humming his melodic inspirations the whole way home.

The exhibitions this year will ensure squeals of excitement from anyone with a love for fashion. Louis Vuitton: A Passion for Creation (Friday, May 22nd – Sunday, August 9th, Hong Kong Museum of Art) is a selection of paintings, photographs, and video installations by European, American and Chinese artists, which reflect an urban and energetic culture somewhere between dream and adventure. The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947-1957 (Saturday, May 30th – Monday, September 28th, Hong Kong Heritage Museum) will present over 100 dresses and accessories from that period drawn mainly from the Victoria and Albert Museum collections, alongside iconic photographs by renowned fashion photographers Cecil Beaton and Richard Avedon. The exhibition traces the world of couture through one of the most glamorous and remarkable decades in fashion history, which Christian Dior himself described as the “Golden Age” of fashion.

If it’s French food and wine that steals your heart, look no further than Le French GourMay. Especially for this event, Amber at the Landmark Mandarin will be hosting one of the finest three-star Michelin chefs from France, Christian Le Squer from the Pavilion Ledoyen to present a 10-course “Cuisine Bourgeoise” gastronomic dinner menu for three days only (May 18-20, 2132 0066, HK$1888). Embark on a culinary journey through French classic dishes and fine wines at La Brasserie, with a special menu prepared by Executive Chef, Didier Rochat (May 4 – 31, 2113 7925, HK$688). Learn your Chèvre from your Camembert at a cheese tasting hosted by world-famous artisan cheese expert Jean d’Alos at Classified The Cheese Room (May 22-23, 3 – 6 pm, 2525 3454).

Meal times will be made up of 10-course degustations, afternoons will be spent in the company of some of the finest couture gowns ever made and by night you’ll be soaking up culture from beautiful ballets to brazen bands. Maybe Hong Kong in the Spring isn’t so bad after all!

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