Bonjour mes petits chous….
Literally translated that means “Hello my little cabbages” but doesn’t it sound better in French?! I love all things French. J’aime tout les choses francais! Technically French is my first language (*very* technically as I learned English as a young child and am far more comfortable in English) so perhaps my French Canadian family ingrained this from the start. That and I grew up on the doorstep of Quebec, in the bilingual national capital and taking classes in French from kindergarten onwards. Canadians are required to take French classes until grade 9 but I also took immersion as well.
I was lucky enough to spend a week in Paris way back in 2006 and fell in love completely with the city. I was even luckier to spend 2 weeks there this past February with my mum as part of my birthday celebrations. I loved it all over again. My apartment decorations are all French/Paris themed. So when I discovered that Brisbane does a French festival on Bastille Day, well I had to go! I dressed in a striped shirt, a scarf, my Repetto shoes, grabbed a friend and made my way to the Southbank Parklands with an empty belly and excitement!
It’s been pouring rain all week here in Brisvegas but thankfully the weather held out and at one point, there was not a cloud in the sky! First things first, we did a food lap. As soon as I spotted the macarons, I insisted on starting there. I got to practice my language skills by ordering in French and came away with 8 macarons. It’s about 30 hours later and miraculously I still have 2 left…they won’t last long! I got chocolate, salted butter caramel, raspberry and pistachio.
Next up, hot chips cooked in duck fat. Oh my, as soon as I saw this sign, we bolted into line there! They were as delicious as expected I assure you. More wandering around and we spotted the Moet and Chandon umbrellas. Proper French Champagne in the sunshine-oui s’il vous plait!! We had a little break in the Champagne tent with our classy plastic flutes of Moet et Chandon….lovely despite the grossly inflated price.
After our Champagne, we headed over to the crepe stands….Yum! I’m a classic sweet crepe girl so cinnamon and sugar for me thanks. I’m not sure about savoury crepes but I hope one day to return to Paris to sample a variety and make an informed decision.
After all that eating, we decided we should have a look at some of the French wares on offer. I found a stall that was beautiful and sold Alain Milliat products. If you get the chance, I highly recommend you try his jams. We had the chance to try these during an afternoon tea at The Shangri-La Hotel in Paris and it was seriously the best jam/marmalade I have ever had! Unfortunately they didn’t have the orange marmalade that was my favourite so I had to settle for raspberry jam but it’s a damned good consolation prize! In my excitement to pay for my products, I forgot to take a card for the stall so I’m hoping I can track them down again. So worth it!
Overall, it was a wonderful day! It was so nice to hear all the French being spoken and to get a chance to practice myself. Brisbane seems to have a large French population! I was stoked with my goodies and to have the chance to experience a little bit of France here in Australia!