On 1 March the UK media were invited to an exclusive preview of Atout France’s new pan-European #Feel campaign for 2017, which was launched on 13 March.

With the help of the advertising agency Grey, Atout France has designed creative concepts for the campaign showcasing the key thematic attractions of a French holiday: nature and the outdoors, fine food and wine, sports and activities, culture and history, city breaks and the seaside.

The campaign’s distinguishing feature is its focus on the senses and experiences. Whether it’s the sound of folk music bands in Brittany, the taste of an elegant Loire Valley wine, the sound of the waves on the Normandy coast or the sight of world-renowned art in galleries across the country, France offers so much diversity – and so many sensory experiences for the visitor. The media preview used the five senses as a visual structure, presenting each participating brand or destination under a sensory category and encouraged the media to see, hear, smell, touch and taste the riches France has to offer.

The impetus behind the #Feel campaign was to strip the country back to basics and remind travellers why they first fell in love with it.Our production partners Fullcircle installed some evocative theming to bring these sensory concepts to life in the perfect blank canvas setting of the venue.

Alongside this exciting launch, the French Travel Media Awards were presented to the media during the dinner; following a voting selection from 170 entries via the france.fr’s 102,000 UK fans.

Compered by stand-up comedian Sean Collins, the evening was attended by more than 70 print and online journalists, as well as representatives from 10 French partners – Occitanie Pyrenees Mediterranean, Toulouse, Aude & Carcassonne, Marseille, Normandy, Pays de la Loire, Auvergne, France Montagnes and Cultural France.

The ceremony saw eight awards presented, with categories including City Breaks, Sport and Activity, Wine and Gastronomy and Social Media.

From energetic ski and city adventures to soaking up the sun en famille, and from the romance of Paris to the warmth of the Riviera, the different lifestyles and destinations of France were celebrated by an inspirational variety of articles at the London event.

A shortlist of between four and six articles per category was selected from the record number of entries, before being posted on the france.fr Facebook page where fans were invited to read the articles and vote for their favourites.

Guests were welcomed with a drinks reception, where they were treated to a selection of canapés including charred sirloin of beef with fondant, samphire pesto and sour cream, baked prawn soufflé, ratatouille frittata and eggs benedict made with quail’s egg, spinach and hollandaise.

Guests were then seated for a delectable three-course meal by our in-house catering team Create Food and Party Design, with highlights including tomato and burrata with sweet cured and confit heritage tomatoes, aerated barbecue sauce, five onion mayonnaise and crispy shallots, a duo of chicken, comprised of spatchcock terrine, butter poached breast with creamed spinach, salted grape, sweet corn succotash and brown butter sauce and a citrus lemon tart, cultured yoghurt meringue with pressed raspberry coulis for dessert.

Photography courtesy of Atout France with credit to Eleonore de Bonneval.

Find out more about events at South Bank venue OXO2 here, or get in touch to arrange a site visit.