Bastille Day on 14 July is the perfect opportunity to channel your inner Francophile in fair Melbourne. Pay a visit La Petite Creperie on Hardware Lane for a complimentary glass of French cider with any galette purchase–it’s a savoury crêpe made with 100% buckwheat flour. Then head across to their store on Swanston Street to be serenaded with live accordion music.
For the festive Francophile: Bastille Day French Festival
The first of its kind in Melbourne, the Bastille Day French Festival 2015 will take over the State Library of Victoria, and feature French food and wine, market stalls, entertainment and more. Head to this free family event on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 July. You can also buy tickets to special programs such as their French film program, wine and cheese masterclasses and Bastille Day lecture.
For the Francophile with a sweet tooth
La Belle Miette, which means ‘the beautiful crumb’, is a patisserie renowned for creating divine macarons in unique flavours, made in the French tradition. You’ll find two delightfully-decorated stores in the city, in Collins Street and Hardware Lane, each offering a tantalising selection of pretty treats.
For the dramatic Francophile
The Melbourne French Theatre, or Théâtre Français de Melbourne, presents two to four plays each year in French and bilingual form (French/English). For a truly French experience, visit this well-established institution that draws inspiration from a large and varied repertoire of French playwrights.
For the gourmet Francophile
La Parisienne Pâtés is an authentic French delicatessen and charcuterie (pork butcher) creates mouth-watering sausages and terrines, as well as other premium smallgoods. You’ll also find cheeses, pates and breads, and if the sight of all this delicious fare makes you a tad peckish, feel free to sit down for a coffee and peruse their daily specials menu.
For the Francophile who loves to wine and dine
Reserve a table at Paris Go in Carlton for a warm and inviting Gallic bistro experience. Enjoy traditional French favourites and classics, as well as an interesting selection of French wines. If you prefer to dine in the CBD, try The French Brasserie in Malthouse Lane, or Bergerac Restaurant in King Street.
For the chic Francophile
Step inside this unassuming boutique, Madam Virtue & Co, to find an impressive collection of contemporary and retro French and international designer clothing and accessories. The secret shopping haunt of local glitterati, Madam Virtue offers labels such as Chanel, Hermes and YSL, while also specialising in high-end haute couture creations.
For the vintage Francophile
For a fresh twist on a French vintage marketplaces, visit Brocante Marche at Queen Victoria Market on the first Sunday of every month. Enamel ware, linens, fabrics and household items will be available (many sourced from France). Local products include furniture, books, clothing, records, jewellery, prints and paintings and memorabilia. Stick around for French-inspired food and coffee carts.
What are your favourite French hotspots in Melbourne?