L’Aperitif – The French Happy Hour


Happy Weekend, Friends!

I know I’ve inundated you with travel diary posts this week, and while I have a few more from our time in Provence to share, I thought I’d break it up today with a little French weekend inspiration!

One of my favorite things about our trip was the aperitif hour. Sure I love meeting up for happy hour with friends when I can, but let me tell you, the French have got this down to an art. I’m quite convinced that all of France stops everything for this fabulous hour after work and before dinner!

So call up your girlfriends, plan a surprise for your guy or gal, or just do something nice for yourself this weekend and have an aperitif hour tonight or tomorrow!

So how exactly does one have an aperitif hour? While I’m no expert on this subject matter, here is everything I observed from my week in France.

First things first, a little music never hurts… The soundtracks from ‘A Good Year’ or ‘Midnight in Paris’ are great places to start. Or just look for french cafe music on Spotify and you’ll be good to go!


From there you begin with an opener.

Pastis (a licorice and herb flavored drink) usually diluted with water was on every table, and although interesting, was definitely not my drink of choice. You could also try a Kir – which is creme de cassis (black currant liqueur) with white wine on top. And if it’s warm out you could go for a chilled rosé or a Panache (beer and lemon soda).

If you don’t happen to have any of those on hand, any sort of wine or beer will do!:)

Then comes the hors d’oeuvres. I’m sure it varies a bit around the country, but we were usually served crostini and tapenade, fresh vegetables, and a little meat like salami or dried sausages.

One thing that never made an appearance was a cheese plate! In France the cheese course comes before dessert. But since rules were meant to be broken, I think adding a little cheese in won’t hurt anyone!:) If you’d like to stick with a traditional french cheese plate, we were served Emmentaler, Camembert, and blue cheese at most of the restaurants we tried.

And with that I will bid you adieu!


Have a great weekend and Bon appetit!

xo, Jenny

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  1. 10.2.15

    I am going to go back and read your old posts. We were supposed to go to Provence this year. Elderly parents, medical issues etc. prevented us from doing so. I will relish every word…

  2. 10.5.15

    Hi Jenny,
    i am new to your blog, and love your writing style. So funny — i just saw Midnight in Paris last night! Definitely the right vibe for creating that aperitif moment in life. I will be back soon to visit your blog! xx Nancy

    • 10.5.15

      Thanks so much, Nancy! Agreed! Makes me want to go to Paris just thinking about it! Xo

    • 4.28.16
      Samantha said:

      So when exactly is the l’aperiti hours? I don’t quite understand?
      By the way, love your blog!! so helpful