Even the mightiest of wills give way when you realize Bastille Day is half-way through your attempt at “Dry July.” This was further accentuated with the incredible BBR (Bleu Blanc Rouge) French World Festival, in the lead-up last weekend, which transformed the forecourt of Customs House into a glorious patchwork of the signature offerings from four of the largest french speaking nations.
The Plus Ones were swept away to un monde français, as we spent the day/evening exploring a myriad of mouth-watering food, fine wine, champagne, and authentic artisan-ware strewed across the festival.
We commenced the morning with a boutique french masterclass, where we were made privy to some hands-on insight into french cuisine, followed by a delectable serving of foie gras avec du vin – santé! Having had a peak through the already bustling affair of the morning, in the process, I was restlessly enthused for the grand opening that evening.
Arriving at the opening night, I was greeted by a thriving, bustling pop-up village; brought to life by the consonant chatter en francais, the many aromas, and the live music that permeated the forecourt.
The grand opening featured stellar performances by Matthew Garwood from The Tattooed Tenor (who you may also remember from The Voice), coupled with incredible cabaret shows by Slide (the creators of El Circo).
As we trekked through the many refractions of French culture – across the Swiss, Belgian, Canadian, and French villages – we were were nearly convinced we’d died and gone to a heaven made entirely out of chocolate, cheese, crepes, wine, champagne, and macaroons. From the glorious Swiss raclette cheese, to the Belgian waffles, to the savory French crepes – we had to try it all.
But what is french food without wine? Thankfully, we never had to find out – an array of stalls adorned the forecourt, beckoning us with a diversity of traditional, regional french wines, and the finest of champagnes.
As we continued traversing the expanse of this grand affair, the sense of authenticity was enriched further by artisan stalls of unique, vintage posters, Parisian jewelry, and all the makings of Brocante des Abbesses.
After an engrossing sensory deluge of a few hours – as we drank, ate, and appreciated our way through four entire nations – the open-air outdoor french cinema at the festival welcomed us to wrap up the evening with some much needed R&R, as we enjoyed a fascinating french movie.
Une soirée a la française – BBR got it just right.
Ace is the Director of The Plus Ones – Sydney. He is a marketeer/eventologist who suffers from a chronic case of FOMO, and is pursuing his lifelong goal of spending the least amount of time possible at chez lui (well, when he’s not half-way through an astrophysics doco).
BBR French World Festival ran through 10 July – 12 July. Find out more about them via bbrfestival.com.au