Bastille Day a.k.a. French National Day might be July 14, but that doesn’t mean celebrations cannot last all week long. And they do. Here’s everything you need to know to celebrate Bastille Day (err-week?) in Sydney.
Bonjour! Ça va? Yeah, that’s about the extent of our French, too. While we might not be a French nation, we can still very much appreciate a grand festival, particularly if it’s coupled with great French cuisine, and a rousing can-can number (remember Moulin Rouge?)
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we do make quite a big fuss over Bastille Day. Blame it on the presence of the Alliance Française de Sydney, or blame it on the weekend that leads up to the big day. Either way, you’ve got some patriotic French flag waving and fromage tasting to do this Bastille Day. No, seriously.
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Going to be in France for Bastille Day? Here are some tours to make the day that much more special
Bastille Day celebrations in Sydney
Clear the calendar, you’re going to be busy this week. What? Don’t believe us? You need to read on, then.
Bleu Blanc Rouge Festival
Failed French in high school? We’ll forgive you... this time. Translated, “Bleu Blanc Rouge” means “Blue White Red” and symbolises the French flag, which is made up of these three very colours.
This festival aims to celebrate Bastille Day the way the French do: with music, dance, food, friends, and family. Expect a food market, live concerts, openair cinema, French cabaret, French wine tasting, Swiss cooking masterclass sesh with Felix Halter, Saturday night dance party and more Frenchy French French goodness.
Bastille Day Party – The Free DJ Party
If there’s only one official event you attend this Bastille Day, make it the big Saturday night Bastille Day Party. Listen to DJ Nils spin Frenchy-chic tracks on the deck while you wander around Sydney’s French "village", French fodder in hand, and the celebrations of "le bal du 14 Juillet" on your mind, naturally.
Bastille Day Celebrations @ The Argyle
- When: 14 July 2016, 5pm-late
- Where: The Argyle, The Rocks
- Cost: $15 (inc. drink on arrival)
- For more information: Bastille Day Sydney
Each year, without fault, the number of attendees to The Argyle’s Bastille Day Celebration event grows. Last year, there were over 2,000 Francophiles knocking on its doors to witness the Can dancing, Champagne sipping, and crepe eating in action.
This year, who knows how many mariniere-wearing party hardy's will be attending, but with a program that includes French DJs, cheese, saucisson and crepe dishes, photo booth, French circus artists and cancan dancers. We suggest you book your ticket fast.
Bastille Cafe Ananas
- When: 14 and 17 July 2016
- Where: Cafe Ananas, 2 Phillip Street, Circular Quay
- Cost: Varies
- Find them online: Ananas
Spread over two days, Cafe Ananas is hosting an indulgent week of French fare. Kickin' off the celebrations on Thursday is a beautiful three-course feast with matching French wine and a fitting view of the Harbour.
On Sunday comes that relaxing long ladies brunch. Think a buffet of seafood, charcuterie and French delights. Naturally, a glass of Champagne comes with your meal and if you're still hungry by the end of it, additional a la carte dishes are available for purchase.
Hedge your bets and book both? We would say you can burn it all off the following week, but you really won’t have to, because you know what they say about French women. (Hint: they DON’T get fat.)
Bastille Day Dinner @ Claire’s Kitchen at Le Salon
A top rated French restaurant, according to Dimmi, Claire’s is a true testament to authentic French cuisine.
In a four-course degustation, this Oxford St institution is inviting you into its boudier to sump on faux foie gras lollipops, wild mushroom and goats cheese tarts, fillet of beef a la ficelle with pot au feu of vegetables and sauce verte and for dessert, creme caramel with macaron. There will also be accordian music and cancan dancers. Just ‘cos.
Bastille Day @ Le Pelican
- When: 14 July 2016
- Where: Shop 2, 411 Bourke St, Surry Hills
- Cost: $95pp
- Find them on Facebook: Le Pelican
Oh la la, Le Pelican is one popular Bastille Day party destination so you'd best book your spot early in order to avoid disappointment.
If the sheer number of punters aren’t enough to convince, how about a five-course feast of Jerusalem artichoke velouté, black truffle and crouton, roasted scallops, leek fondue & oyster butter, braised oxtail, celeriac, peppers and black truffle, fourme d’Ambert, banuyls and prunes and rhubarb soufflé. Which is all just fancy words for delicious.
Such decadence doesn’t happen every day, so opt to have it with wine. It’s how they’d do it in France. Promise.
Bastille Day fashion buys
French chic. It’s a thing. It’s fashionable, effortless, flattering, stylish, and sophisticated all in one. And it doesn’t now, nor does it ever, involve a beret. Here are our hot picks to wear on Bastille Day.
Bastille Day party decorations
It’s decided then. You’re staying at home and tapping into your inner Francophile with a So Frenchy So Chic soiree. You’ll need some things to get the party going and doing so in a way that the French won’t snoot at. Thank god you have us to steer you in the right party decoration direction, hey?
That’s right, we are tré awesome.
Buy the best French Champagnes
Don’t insult the French (and yourself), you’ve having real Champagne from France tonight. Here are our picks from most affordable to downright spoilt-yourself.
French cooking classes, high teas and drink packages
Are you hosting a party and need a little nudge in the right cooking or wine-buying direction (who doesn’t?). Maybe you’d prefer to skip the parties altogether and celebrate quietly over a French inspired high tea? Mademoiselle, take your seat, because you’ve come to the right place. Here are the best French cooking classes, French wine packs, and high teas in Sydney.
And on that note, may we just remind you…
So there you are – Bastille Day: sorted.
Now all you need to do is figure out how you’re going to deal with the Champagne hangover on a school-night. If only there were a book called French Women Don’t Get Drunk. Ha-ha. Yeah.