Bastille Day

ParisSunday is the French national day, Bastille Day, and as a former student of French history, and frequent wearer of red white and blue, I am a fan. I spent three years of my history degree studying 18th and 19th century French history in various forms, and am now scared by how very little I remember of this. Bastille Day was first celebrated as the  Fête de la Fédération in 1790 to celebrate the one year anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, one of the defining early events of the revolution. The Bastille was a prison located in the area of the same name (you can see some of the ruins of it in the Bastille metro) was a prison which symbolised the oppression of the monarchy because those imprisoned there were done so on the orders of the king, without trial. In fact, a lot of those imprisoned were the embarrassing sons of noblemen. The Marquis de Sade  was imprisoned here up until a week before the storming. In fact, when the Bastille was taken, there were only seven prisoners, none of whom had any real political importance, but that didn’t stop it becoming an important symbol of the success of the early days of the revolution. The Terror, which is what most people think of when they think of the revolution, with the execution of the King, Queen, aristrocrats and political opponents was still a long way off.

If you want to celebrate Bastille day with some classic French dishes, below are some of my favourite recipes. Vive la France!

Steak Bearnaise

Steak Bearnaise

Steak Tartare

steak tartare

Duck Aigre Douce

Duck Aigre-Douce

Poulet à l’estragon

Tarragon Chicken

Laduree Macarons



6 thoughts on “Bastille Day

  1. I am the lucky one…… birthday is on Bastille Day so each year we have a grand French party. This year is shall be Duck Confit en Cassoulet, Escargot au Avignon, Dijon Glazed Pork Loin, 6 different caviars, including Sturgeon from France, and 17 different types of French Cheese, a beautiful unoaked Chardonnay and a Pinot Noir from, of course France. I cannot wait! The duck is going in the oven and the butter is softening to make the escargot. The French tablescape is complete……………the CDs are in the player and we are off to the Avenue des Champs-Élysées for a stroll and perhaps dancing in the street at some bistro.

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