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Unusual ways to spend Bastille Day
Bastille Day is a national holiday in France that celebrates a new form of government. Oh Lordy, it sounds a bit like what is happening here right now.
Did Julia Gillard's knitting have ominous portent? After all in revolutionary France women would knit as guillotined heads rolled at their feet.
But whatever your political persuasions Bastille Day is still a great occasion to celebrate all things French.
There is a list as long as Napoleon's good arm of French restaurants offering fancy Bastille Day dinners with matching wines.
But knowing WeekendNotes readers they are usually looking for something just that little bit less commonplace.
So here's some of the varied events to try out this Bastille Day.
BASTILLE DAY PARTY 2013
For the fourth year in a row The Alliance Francaise has teamed up with Cartell Music and Red Bennies for some risqué revelry. There will be burlesque, live jazz, swing music, authentic Moulin Rouge can can dancers plus circus acts. It's a themed costume party -- Royal or Revolution so dust off your wig and join them.
Image of burlesque artist Imogen Kelly from Red Bennies website.
25 for AFM Members or Students 30 full
$35 at door
$45 VIP Mezzanine (private balcony and glass of sparkling) Bookings here.
HIGH TEA FOR BASTILLE DAY
Image from High Tea in Paris
"Let them eat cake" said Marie Antoinette. So we will. There is a Bastille Day Celebration High Tea at the aptly named High Tea in Paris. The menu includes French inspired hot and cold savoury canapés such as the pork, fig and pistachio terrine and caramelised onion and fetta tarts, smoked salmon mousse filoette, macaroons, French style cakes, chocolate petits fours and croissants served with Mornington Peninsula raspberry preserves and Chantilly cream. There will even be special French mocktails. Everything is beautifully presented on fine bone china.
The two hour sittings start from 12pm and are staggered throughout the afternoon. Cost $55 for adults and $27.50 for children. Bookings (03) 5915 2787
THE QUEEN'S MUSIC
Image from Daylesford Convent Website
Marie Antoinette loved to play the harp and compose music. Harpist Megan Reeve will be at The Convent Gallery to play the 'The Queen's Music' featuring songs from the court of Marie Antoinette. As you listen imagine what it would have been like to have been in the French Royal Court on the brink of the Revolution. As well as Marie Antoinette's songs the concert will also feature music by Krumpholtz, Naderman and Gluck. The hour long program includes a discussion about the music of the era.
The Convent Gallery (7 Daly Street Daylesford) on Sunday June 30th at 2pm. Ticket: Full $30, Conc $25
For more information 0414 431 326 or email email@example.com Or click here to book.
FOR ARTS SAKE
Image from NGV Website
If you haven't seen the fabulous exhibition, Monet's Garden: The Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris this may well be the special occasion you are looking for. This is an exclusive private viewing with champagne known as the 2013 Eurostar Bastille Day Arty Apéritif. Ticket prices vary but are around $100.
Held at the NGV International ( 180 St Kilda Road) For more inforation phone 9600 0000.
Or if trying to do things a little more cheaply then there will be a free film on that day at the NGV--Paris Je T'aime
(2006, 120 mins, MA)
This is a montage of 18, 5-minute segments made by a group of international directors some of whom are very well known. Each was given a district of Paris and asked to weave a story about that place. Described as a heartfelt love letter to the City of Lights, Paris Je T'aime seems quite delightful.
See the trailer below
For details of this and other free French films click here.