Zut alors! It’s Bastille Day, again – the day to celebrate all things French. If, like us, you’re keen to celebrate alongside your fellow Europeans, the capital’s hosting no shortage of quirky soirees to mark 14 July this year, and boy, are they magnifique. Champagne all round, please.
Bastille Day party at Le Pont de la Tour
Kick things off in true Gallic style with a champagne-drenched party. French restaurant Le Pont de la Tour is pulling out all the stops this Bastille Day. The restaurant, which overlooks Tower Bridge, is collaborating with Moët & Chandon to create a flowing champagne pyramid centerpiece, to ensure everyone gets in the party spirit. There’ll be platters of fruits de mer, a troupe of can-can dancers on the terrace and live music to round it all off. Tickets include as much seafood as you can scoff, a glass of Moët at the restaurant and a second mini bottle to take away with you.
Tickets £50, buy here
Gainsbourg Confidential at Brasserie Zédel
Everyone’s favourite French brasserie is celebrating Bastille Day with its usual style and panache. The Crazy Coqs, the restaurant’s cabaret lounge, is hosting a music homage to one of France’s great 20th century cultural icons, Serge Gainsbourg. Musician Jean de Talhouët, of band Super Best Friends Club, will lead the celebration, which will take you on a journey through Gainsbourg’s wild and unpredictable life. Bonus tip: if you turn up in Breton stripes and a beret: you’ll get a complimentary three-course meal in the neighbouring brasserie. Waxed moustaches also encouraged.
Tickets £20, buy here
Dedicated Bastille menus at Blanchette
Contemporary French dining stalwart, Blanchette is pulling no punches when it comes to Bastille Day celebrations. From midday on Saturday, its Soho and Brick Lane branches will be serving a special menu of delectable treats à la française: think croque monsieurs and crispy frogs legs at Blanchette Soho, and merguez sausage rolls and baked St. Marcellin with honey and truffle at Blanchette Brick Lane. Drooling yet? We are.
Book a table here
Fromage and cocktails at Frenchie
Paris will never feel as close to hand this Bastille Day as it will at Frenchie. The counterpart to chef Gregory Marchand’s Rue du Nil restaurant in Paris, Frenchie in Covent Garden is the foodie destination for London-based francophiles. This year, it’s marking Bastille Day by serving up warm, delectable Comté gougères (cheese puffs), filled with Mornay sauce, accompanied by rosemary and sea salt. These are served alongside a special ‘Vendemiaire’ cocktail, made with cognac, vodka, cacao, port, orange bitters, maple syrup and a touch of Maldon sea salt – a real taste of France.
Book a table here
Trio Métral in concert at Institut Francais
Yes, there’s cheese, champagne and croque monsieurs by the thousands in France – but there’s also culture, and plenty of it. Embrace the more refined side of French sensibility this Bastille Day at the Institut Français in South Kensington, which is hosting the award-winning young classical group, Trio Métral. The three Métral siblings, playing the piano, violin and cello respectively, will perform a repertoire that includes Rachmaninov and Felix Mendelssohn. Stop off for a pastry and a kir royale in Café Aubaine downstairs afterwards – it’s impossible not to feel more French (in a good way).
Tickets £15, buy here