Warning if you are on a diet, stop reading now because this is all about food and in particular where you find the very best of French food around Australia for you to celebrate the day when the revolutionaries stormed the gates of Bastille way back on July 14th, 1789.
Starting in the tropical North
Cairns has a good selection of French restaurants that embrace the celebrations, places like C’est Bon, where you will join Chef Samuel Daquin from Lille in France to savour some truly memorable original classic French dishes.
Travel a little further north to Port Douglas and dine at Harrison’s run by Michelin star trained chef Spencer Patrick. Patrick’s restaurant is a quaint colonial house in tropical gardens situated in the heart of Port Douglas. The perfect place if you're looking for a decadent Bastille celebration.
Travelling south to Brisbane
Down on the South East, Brisbane ensures that this date is well and truly enjoyed, with Brisbane French Festival celebrating all things French, held each year just before Bastille Day at Southbank. If you missed it, fear not, there are plenty of French restaurants that do something special on this day. Three that do it superbly are Montrachet, Lutece and Sorbonne, all three have specialty dishes and offers for Bastille Day, and are very accessible, being located in inner Brisbane.
Tripping to cooler climes
Many of the country’s best French restaurants are located in Sydney, so if you happen to be in Sydney on Bastille Day, the annual Bleu Blanc Rouge French Festival (BBR) is a must. BBR runs from July 14th to July 17th. The four-day open-air festival will be bringing in an array of artistic events and stalls for visitors from across the Circular Quay foreshore to enjoy all things French, especially the food.
Beyond Circular Quay you are also spoilt for choice for restaurants throughout Sydney like Bishop Sessa, Mistelle, Felix, Bakers Maison, and Cafe Ananas, which offer modern interpretations of French favourites like Duck A L’Orange and Marie Antoinette Macaroons, and Finger Lime and Salmon Caviar.
Not to be outdone by its rival city, Melbourne can boast many, many French restaurants but there are two real iconic establishments that offer the authentic French dining experience – these are Bistro Thierry and France-Soir. Bistro Thierry ‘s raison d’etre is to enable Melbournians and visitors to experience all the warmth and hospitality of a bistro in Lyon or Paris, and it has been perfecting that for 45 years.
France-Soir’s vintage dates back to 1986 and at this time in Australia, the inexpensive brasserie style of cooking and eating was very new to Melbourne. The restaurant has stayed true to its original philosophy, and commitment to genuine quality French food, meaning its at-the-time ‘innovative’ dining style has survived three decades.
Heading over now to Adelaide, brings us a vast array of food and wine events, with Bastille Day being the perfect opportunity to revolte from tradition and celebrate the day with a Vietnamese-French twist. For Bastillle Day, Madame Hanoi’s will provide Asian influenced French delicacies, live entertainment and French-inspired cocktails and wines.
Not to be forgotten in the country’s far West is Bistro Guillaume, located in Perth’s Crown Casino in the CBD. Don’t be fooled by the in a funky 60’s inspired décor, the Bistro is all about delivering an elite fine French dining experience.