As if you needed an excuse to roll your sleeves up for some gastronomic excess, it’s Bastille Day (or should I say le quatorze juillet) on the 14th so if I were you I’d line up your agenda of fine French fare immediately.

French bulldog

If you’ve ever spent this tremendous national holiday Day in France, you’ll know that the day itself sees the French kicking off the summer as they mean to go on – ‘en vacances’ and with plenty of food and wine close by.   Even if you’re not hosting a themed dinner (ahem) or are on Eurostar speeding under the channel as we speak to catch the parade, you can taste a little bit of French glory at home or in town.


Borough Market will play host to a special family-friendly Bastille festival on Sunday featuring all your favourite French things from pétanque to cycling and all things in between (including copious amounts of bread and cheese).  Hell, there’s even a guillotine.


Inspired to cook?  Either clear your diary and dust off your Alain Ducasse culinary encyclopedia or keep it simple with French classics: chicken liver pate on brioche, steak frites, tarte tatin.  Wash it down with something tasty from the French picks among Jane MacQuitty’s 50 best reds for summer as featured in this week’s Times.


Whatever happens, do not forget the bread.  Pôilane, Le Pain Quotidien and if all else fails, Waitrose, will see you right.


You’ll struggle for a booking now but you can dream of a blow out in some of London’s best French establishments from big hitters like Le Gavroche and Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester to Terroirs and our local bistro Casse Croute on Bermondsey st.  Brasserie Zedel’s picking up the tab for diners who turn up in Breton stripes and a beret on Monday.


Some people, I suppose, would prefer to just watch the world cup final…


Bonne fête!

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