Experience all things French in Sydney in July

I will never forget my brief visit to Paris.  I knew it was beautiful – I had heard about the city’s grandeur, the people’s style and finesse, the food, the art. I knew what to expect.  I told myself Paris was that iconic that there would be no way I would be surprised when I finally got there.

Totally wrong.  Everything from the streets, the atmosphere, the buildings and yes, of course, the people, blew me away.  There was something so completely foreign and beautiful about France and it has never left my mind. Four people offered to help me with my bags (because I stupidly took the Metro from Charles de Gaulle to my teeny tiny hotel, and had to lug it up the stairs at my stop when I discovered the lift was broken), and I was greeted warmly wherever I went.  French people are friendly! I saw a woman in a fur coat and heels walking the snowy streets with her dog.  She looked impeccable.  I felt like a loser in my all-purpose winter jacket.

It was January when I visited, so although it was colder than winters I was used to, I was still able to walk the streets comfortably. I discovered vintage stores in the Marais, window shopped at the Galleries Lafayette and lost my $hit when I found the Café des 2 Moulins from the film, Amélie in Montmartre. I did lots of other cool stuff too, like eat everything in sight, visit the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay.  Naturally, I saw the Eiffel Tower – twice – and didn’t wait in line to go up the elevator.

I saw a woman in a fur coat and heels walking the snowy streets with her dog.  She looked impeccable.  I felt like a loser in my all-purpose winter jacket

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to Paris, and I so badly would love to go back and see the rest of France.  So while I save my Euros in anticipation for that day, I seek out French experiences in Sydney.

Which is just as well, because Tuesday 14th July is Bastille Day, and I’ve found two completely accessible ways to celebrate without booking annual leave and learning my bonjours from my bon nuits.

Bastille Day celebration at The Argyle

It’ll be the fifth year in a row that The Argyle will transform into the venue into a Francophile’s idea of heaven.  On Tuesday, 14th July from 5pm onwards, event organisers Alliance Française de Sydney (naturally, duh) are encouraging party-goers to don their Breton stripes, grab a free drink to start the evening and then just hoe into a couple of servings of crêpes and cheeses (but French women don’t get fat, so it’s fine).  Cancan dancers will provide the entertainment and French DJs LIL’M and French Mafia will provide the tunes.

Here’s all the deets so you don’t miss out:
The Argyle, 18 Argyle Street, The Rocks
$15 – Entry ticket
$5 – Raffle ticket

Get your tickets to the best Bastille Day celebrations in Sydney at www.bastilledaysydney.com.au

Image courtesy of Alliance Francaise

Image courtesy of Alliance Francaise

The BBR French World Festival

Oooooh, la la!  The BBR French World Festival is back again for its third year, from Friday, 10th July, to Sunday, 12th July, to coincide with the start of the Bastille Day, also known as Le Quatorze Juillet, celebrations in Sydney.

Head to the Circular Quay foreshore (a.ka.a the area around Customs House and Customs House Square) and be treated to products, cultural festivities and tourism activities from France and other French-like areas of the world, such as Belgium, French Canada, and Switzerland.

I’m really looking forward to checking out these activities:

Cabaret: Because I cannot dance at all and my physique in a corset is laughable, I’m kinda into the cabaret acts.  Check bbrfestival.com.au/opening-night/ for details about the festival’s cabaret performance.

French food and wine: I mean it goes without saying, really.  The website lists the food market as separate from the wine market, which makes my heart sing, really.  Although they are probably right in the same area, but the mere variety of food and wine was probably enough for the web designers to split them out.  And I’m not just after the smelly cheeses either (although I will make a beeline for that stall, yes). They’ve promised Belgian waffles and Canadian poutine too!  OMG winning! On the wine front, they’ve said visitors can sample the Tour de France of wine regions.  :)

French Cooking Masterclasses: So very excited for this one! Head to www.bbrfestival.com.au/hands-on-masterclasses/ and  book yourself a spot in one of the masterclasses. You can learn with chef Felix Halter or go the pastry option and take a class with Emmanuel Mollois.

Image courtesy of BBR French World Festival organisers

Image courtesy of BBR French World Festival organisers

It seems to be all fête central around Circular Quay and The Rocks this Bastille Day, which is just as well, as I can’t afford the airfare to Paris.  *Sigh*.


Featured photo credit: _DSC6890 via photopin (license)


  1. Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but
    after looking at many of the posts I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyhow, I’m certainly pleased I discovered it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back often!


  1. […] even visiting French tourists to embrace their French-ness and head out to celebrate.  I’d previously mentioned two events to commemorate this year’s Bastille Day, so off I trotted earlier this month to the BBR […]

Leave a Comment: