Joyeux Quatorze Juillet! While Bastille Day in France is all about celebrating independence, in Australia is a bit like St Patrick's Day (with less drinking). It doesn't matter if you're not French, you can still participate in the festivities.
We've put together a list of the best events happening this Bastille Day, so whether you want to celebrate July 14 because it's part of your heritage or if you're just in it for the croissants, here's where you'll find the best festivities.
How to celebrate Bastille Day in Melbourne
French-Belgian restaurant Franco-Belge is celebrating Bastille Day (and its first birthday) with a three-course ultra-French set menu on Sunday, July 14. It includes a glass of bubbles, and French tunes will be playing from 7pm. The set menu is $85, and you can choose from dishes like French onion soup, goat's cheese salad or escargot to start, and confit duck, beef tartare or Scotch fillet for main. Dessert will be small pastries.
Pick up a plum jam or salted caramel crepe from this tiny converted newspaper stand in the CBD for a sweet fiver. What could be more French than that?
What could be more French than cheese and vermouth? Fromagerie Milk the Cow is teaming up with Bar Ampere for a guided flight of Dolin Vermouth, matched to French cheeses. You'll learn about how the vermouth and cheeses are made and the history of these products. Tickets are $60 per person.
If you're feeling like a road trip, head up to Bendigo for a Bastille Day for a French-inspired menu created by Balgownie Estate head chef Travis Rodwell. It's $70 for two courses or $90 for three, or you can share a charcuterie board for $40. Dishes on the lunch menu include cauliflower and goat's cheese soufflé, tuna à la Nicoise, bouillabaisse and beef Bourguignon. For dessert, you can choose between chocolate fondant, crêpes or apple tart Tatin. There will be French wines available by the glass, or you can sip a French Martini for $16.
The French bakery has created its own take on a Paris-Brest, a dessert made of choux pastry and praline cream. This Paris-Brest is in an oval shape, though traditionally they are wheel-shaped, with a hole in the middle. Laurent's éclair-shaped Paris-Brest also comes topped with a French flag made of white chocolate. It's only available for a few days (July 6 to 14) but the French bakery is also giving away small Paris-Brest choux balls to the first people who purchase any Laueant products. First in best dressed though!
Created in a climate-controlled lab, Lune croissants are almost mathematically perfect: crisp and golden with visible layers of delicate pastry. Having a tightly controlled cubic lab in the centre of their Fitzroy warehouse store for optimum pastry-making doesn't come across as too unusual when you consider the fact that Kate Reid used to be a racing car engineer. She studied for years in Paris to perfect her technique, and the resulting buttery, flaky pastries are magnifique.