Every July 14th the French, already expert party-makers, throw a celebration so big that it’s heard around the world. Bastille Day is celebrated across the United States, from Chicago and New York City, to the more obvious New Orleans, and where ever expatriates live.
At D’Artagnan we take la fête nationale pretty seriously. This Bastille Day post from last year’s pétanque tournament will give you an idea. In fact, Ariane trains leading up to each tournament in the pétanque court she had built at the D’Artagnan office.
Sing the Anthem
Enjoy the rousing national anthem, La Marseillaise, sung by Mireille Mathieu – and learn the lyrics so you can sing along.
Drink French Wine
You know you want to! The Kitchn has a handy list of 5 French wines that are are $20 or less. Our vote? Try Cahors. If you like a bold red wine, you can’t do better.
The special wine glass for drinking Cahors has a ring in the center of the stem. You put your finger through it, and if you can see your finger while looking into the wine glass, you are not drinking a true Cahors. Called vin noir, or black wine, it should be so dark that you can’t see through it.
Watch a Film
A new film, Paris Can Wait, is the first by Eleanor Coppola, the wife of director Francis Ford Coppola, tells the story of a woman on a road trip to Paris with a would-be suitor, and follows all the stops they make to enjoy eating. We want to see it just for the food scenes.
Of course, this is an American film set in France. For the real deal, on a darker note, try a French art film; Albert Serra’s The Death of Louis XIV starring Jean-Pierre Léaud examines mortality with a side of court life at Versailles. Or choose from the Top 100 Best French Films list by Time Out.
Eat French Bread
Do you love French bread? According to this article in the New York Times, it’s getting harder to find it in France. And one baker, Pascal Rigo, is on a mission to save the small bakery and protect “part of our heritage.”
The Kitchn shares the secret of socca – the lesser known French crêpe from Nice, made with just three ingredients: chickpea flour, water and olive oil. It can be made at home with ease, if you have a cast iron pan.
Buy a French Castle
This 1000-year-old castle in Aix en Provence on 760 acres is $17 million, and features a kitchen unchanged since the 18th century. Also, the gardens were designed by André Le Nôtre, famous as the royal gardener to Louis XIV.
Cook French Food
Of course, for us, it’s always about the food. This new book on effortless French cooking will be released on July 25, but in the meantime, turn to Julia Child or another of your favorite French cookbooks for inspiration.