Thursday July 14 is Bastille Day, and London is going ga-ga for all things Gallic. Here are six tres bien (French for 'flipping awesome') ways to get involved.
Don a blue-and-white-striped Breton and head to your nearest branch of PAUL on Bastille Day for a free freshly-baked croissant. Greet whoever’s serving you with ‘Bonjour Paul’ and the pastry’s yours (take-away only).
If you’re feeling extra stylish and in need of more free food, then style your stripes with an accompanying beret for a complimentary charcuterie platter for two, plus two glasses of bubbly or beer. Platters are only available from Le Restaurant de PAUL Tower 42, or Le Restaurant de PAUL Covent Garden.
London-wide branches of PAUL (croissants) Le Restaurant de PAUL Tower 42, or Le Restaurant de PAUL Covent Garden (charcuterie platters). Thu Jul 14. Free.
Channel the sophistication of the French by sipping fancy cocktails in Seymour’s Parlour at the Marylebone branch of Zetter Town House. A drinks menu has been designed especially for Bastille Day and features tipples such as a ‘Fleurs du mal’ (rose and orris vodka, lemon and absinthe) and a ‘Champs Elysees’ (cognac, lemon, sugar, green chartreuse and bitters). Delicious!
The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone. Thu Jul 14-16. £11.50 each or three for £30.
This Covent Garden restaurant specialising in Parisian cuisine will be dishing out complimentary glasses of pastis (an anise-flavoured aperitif) with every Grand Aperitif ordered during the early evening, and free slices of tarte tatin from 10pm onwards. A perfect sweet pick-me-up if you’re planning to keep the celebrations going into the night.
Les Deux Salons, Covent Garden. Jul 14.
Turns out there was a second copy of Dickens' 'Tale of Two Cities' – arguably the ultimate Bastille Day text – that was adapted for stage by Charles himself. He never got the chance to hear it live himself but his loss is our gain as performer Dominic Gerrard takes up back to the riotous action of the French Revolution
Charles Dickens Museum. Wed Jul 13. £15.
Laura Faeh and Cécilia Thomas will be giving away their gourmet alcoholic ice lollies and tote bags to the first 50 French citizens who visit them on Thursday July 14. N’oubliez pas votre passeport! Location to be released at 6pm on the day via @PoptailsbyLAPP and on www.facebook.com/poptailsbylapp.
Anyone in a Breton shirt and beret can enjoy a three-course meal from the Menu Formule at this Piccadilly restaurant without paying a centime. Bookable tables will go like hot baguettes, but you can drop by the bar from 6pm for an aperitif and wait for a walk-in spot. There’ll be music from the house band and, naturellement, a mime artist.
20 Sherwood St, W1F 7ED.