Just as Adelaide will celebrate the Bastille Day with its own French festival Bonjour Barossa this weekend, Brisbane will also celebrate the French national day with its own event called Le Festival, a celebration of all things French over 3 days. It’s just one of 5 French festivals happening around Australia across July.
To eat and drink
Expect to eat your fill of omelettes, crêpes, smallgoods, fries (they’re called French fries for a reason!), flammekueche (French style pizza), macarons, croques monsieur, French sausages, bœuf bourguignon, chicken blanquette and seasonal fruit pies, cheese, raclette, mussels and French lollies among others. All of that washed down with your glass of wine or champagne of course!
To market, to market
You will also be able to purchase French products such as soaps, books in French, French fashion and accessories, as well as the true French-made Laguiole cutlery.
There will also be entertainment for your eyes and ears. 10 piece group headed by Niviane Fouad is in Brisbane from New Caledonia for Le Festival. Expect high energy violin, rhythm and Niviane’s outstanding voice. Named La Vie en Rose will sing the French songs you know and love but with a nightclub twist. Can Can dancers will perform each day of the festival. Viva les showgirls will perform their cabaret show. You can also watch Polynesian dance courtesy of the Heilani School of Polynesian Dance.
Grace Barbe, who lives in Perth but was born in the Seychelles, will play her mix of tropical rhythms, psychedelic rock, afrobeat, reggae and pop. It’s the dance hour as you attempt to work off everything you’ve devoured! For more music to get you up and dancing – Discovery will play their Daft Punk tribute show.
If jazz is more your thing, don’t miss these groups: Jazz Surreal, Estampa and Cigany Weaver.
And there’s more! Mzaza, un a group from Brisbane will perform their music which is influened by French and other European cultures. The lead singer, Pauline Maudy is French-Sephardi. There will also be swing, orchestral and music from the Miserables.
You can also learn more about a variety of French things by taking a Masterclass.
Friday from 5:30 to 6:15pm and Saturday from 9:30 to 10:15am.
Caroline Vosse from FrenChicTouch will talk to you about French style, in particular French fashion and will give you tips on how to introduce a bit of French style into your own personal style.
Tickets cost $30.
Friday from 7 to 9pm.
This class will be led by perfumers, Miriam Young. She will explain how to choose and mix bass, middle and top notes and you will get to make your own signature fragrance. You will work with the floral, oriental, citrus, aromatic, wood, green and moss perfume families.
Tickets cost $190.
Saturday from 11am to midday and Sunday from 1:15 to 2:15pm.
Amanda Reboul was finalist in the Professional category of the Vin de Champagne in Australia awards in 2014. She will lead this course in which you will get to taste five cuvées from the champagne house Duval-Leroy.
Tickets cost $104.
Saturday from 1 to 2pm.
In this cooking demonstration, you will learn how to make a vegetarian French dish: ratatouille provençale.
Tickets cost $69.
French gastronomy with Bruno Loubet
Saturday from 2:45 to 3:45 and Sunday from 11:15am to 12:15pm.
Bruno Loubet, Michel star chef will explain how to make French onion soup with a twist, cheese dumplings and grated truffles.
Tickets cost $89.
Sunday from 9:30 to 10:30am.
Daniele Panetta, award-winning pâtissier will let you in on the secrets to making perfect profiteroles. You will learn the art of the classic fillings: crème pâtissière (pastry cream), mousseline praline (hazelnut mousseline), pâté de foie de volailles (Chicken liver pâté) and mousseline d’avocat et de fromage frais (Avocado & cream cheese mousse).
Tickets cost $49.
Saturday and Sunday from 4:45 to 5:45pm.
Pierre Lantourne, co-director of cheese company, Le Fromage Yard, will talk to you about and will introduce you to cheeses from the different regions of France. You will also learn about the five best French cheeses. Your noses and mouths will be very happy!
Tickets cost $49.
Satuday from 6:30 to 7:30pm and Sunday from 3 to 4pm.
Discover the secret wines of the South West of France with Craig Underhill from DiscoverVin. You will taste whites from Bergerac and Jurançon and reds from Bergerac, Madiran, Saint Mort and Cahors. You will learn more about the grapes that are indigenous to these ancient wine-making regions.
Tickets cost $69.
Cooking classes for kids at Les Petits by Cordon Bleu
Saturday from 10 to 11am and from 3 to 4pm as well as Sunday from 1 to 2pm and from 3 to 4pm.
Little ones will fill profiteroles with custard and decorate them with chocolate icing.
Tickets cost $5.
There is a zone dedicated to children at Le Festival: Le Canson. There, children can listen to music, take classes in Polynesian dance, do zumba, watch theatre shows, watch films and listen to book readings.
Entry ticket for the day: $10 per person
Children under 12: free
Masterclasses have their own additional tickets.
You can only purchase your entry tickets at the entrance. Masterclass tickets are available online at their own corresponding links given in the text above.
Le Festival will be open:
Friday 6 July from 5pm to 10pm;
Saturday 7 July from 9am to 11pm; and
Sunday 8 July from 9am to 6pm.
More information here.