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The Six Nations Championship and the Leiden Collection in Paris this February.

25 January 2017

February in Paris marks the arrival of Valentine’s Day, and while the City of Love will become host to a plethora of events that encapsulate the romance of the city, there are a variety of other things to see and do. Rugby fans will be excited by the return of the Six Nations Championship, and for your cultural fix, the Louvre is home to an exhibition dedicated to Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age.

The Six Nations Championship

4th February - 18th March

Stade de FranceInformation & Tickets

The return of the Six Nation’s Championship is met with much enthusiasm across Europe, and rugby fans will be eagerly spectating as the six nations: France, England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy, compete to be crowned champions for 2017.

After a disappointing campaign in 2016, France will be hoping for a better performance in this year’s championship and they play their first game of the tournament on 4th February against England, when les Bleus travel to Twickenham in the aptly named ‘Le Crunch’ fixture. Their first home game is on 12th February against Scotland, where France will be seeking to avenge last year’s humiliating defeat. The only other game to be played at Stade de France is on 18th March, when they take on Wales on the pivotal last day of the tournament.

Tickets for both the Scotland and Wales games are still available and a visit to the Stade de France, with its capacity of just over 80,000, places you in the midst of the unforgettable atmosphere generated by home games. However, do not fear if you don’t manage to acquire a ticket, Paris during the Six Nations offers a variety of venues to enjoy the game, whether it be with rugby fans, or in less exuberant surroundings.

If you’re looking for a traditional fan experience, the majority of rugby enthusiasts congregate at Rue Princesse. Notable vicinities of the road include dedicated rugby bar, The Eden Park Pub and Little Temple Bar, an Irish bar famed for its Dublin hospitality. English fans tend to congregate at The Frog & Rosbif on Rue Saint Denis, one of a chain of English pubs in the French capital, designed in a style reminiscent of traditional English taverns. Scottish fans too have a selection of ex-pat bars, with The Highlander on Rue de Nevers, celebrated for its extensive collection of Scottish whisky the most popular. If you wish to diverge in a more local ambiance however, Au Metro is the perfect venue to mingle with les Bleus supporters in a more tranquil environment; with the brasserie renowned for their inviting menu of traditional French favourites, just as much as their warm hospitality.

Whether you’re in the heart of the action at Stade de France, with dedicated enthusiasts on Rue Princesse, or in one of the cities many celebrated brasseries or bistros, the Six Nations in Paris can be enjoyed in a number of ways; and a five-star stay at Hotel de Vigny with its opulent surroundings and convenient central location places you on the doorstep to all of the rugby enthused bonhomie that will sweep over the city this February and March.

Masterpieces from the Leiden Collection: The Age of Rembrandt

22nd February - 22nd May

The LouvreInformation & Tickets

For those looking for an alternative to the rugby, look no further than The Louvre, which is exhibiting an assemblage of masterpieces by celebrated Dutch artists from the Leiden Collection, as part of its season dedicated to the Dutch Golden Age of painting.

The collection, which has been accumulated since 1993 by American philanthropist Thomas Kaplan and his wife, Daphne Recanati Kaplan, in its entirety is the largest private collection of works by Rembrandt, featuring more than 250 paintings and drawings by the Dutch master; as well as a number of works by several generations of his pupils. The selection of works that will be on display at The Louvre are being exhibited at a major international museum for the first time, and will feature some thirty of the most revered paintings and drawings of the Golden Age, by artists from the Leiden region of the Netherlands. The collection will showcase ten works by Rembrandt, including a piece recently attributed to the artist, as well as what is arguably the highlight of the exhibition; his formidable ‘Minerva’ - a large format piece which was part of a series of strong women and mythological goddesses, completed by the artist in 1635. Other notable features of the exhibition are works from fellow prominent Golden Age painters, Jan Steen, Gerrit Dou, Jan Lievens and Frans van Mieris.

Overall, the ‘Masterpieces from the Leiden Collection: The Age of Rembrandt’ exhibition offers an unrivalled insight into some of the most valued works of the Golden Age of Dutch painting. Depicting the various specialities synonymous with Dutch art, the event also serves as a reminder to the fact that Dutch painting, though typified as a gritty deployment of detailed realism, in a largely bourgeois entity; contains more elements than it is perhaps credited for, drawing on a mixed repertoire to deliver the masterpieces that compile the Leiden Collection.

The Leiden Collection takes over the Sully Rooms of The Louvre’s Sully Wing until 22nd May, with admission costing €15, but why not take advantage of our Museum Package? As well as a five-star stay at Hotel de Vigny, the package also offers free admission to The Louvre, a one day Paris Metro pass per person and a complimentary buffet breakfast for two.

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