By Sarah Ayoub
A Sydney summer is a pretty hard one to beat. Sun, surf and endless possibilities for a good time abound, but for hopeless Francophiles like myself, there’s still a pang for all things Parisian. After three Parisian summer holidays and a whole lot of reading on the city of light, I’ve learned to satisfy my wanderlust by injecting a little French into the most mundane of days. Here’s how I’ll make my glorious Sydney summer a little more Parisian:
1. So Frenchy So Chic in the Park: With cheese, champagne and the best French beats under the summer sky, this iconic festival is a must for anyone up for a little joie de vivre. This year’s musical line-up includes Deluxe, The Liminanas, Bertrand Belin and Novelle Vague, but it’s the fun day outdoors that counts most. I’m in my element sampling the various delights on offer from Australia’s finest food vendours: fresh oysters, foie gras, baguettes, crepes and macarons – and that’s in addition to the delectable Simone Logue charcuterie and cheese hampers I pre-order along with my tickets. And if there’s one thing the French and the Australians can agree on, it’s the importance of booze: rose from provence, reds from Bordeaux and endless bottles of Laurent Perrier champagne just add to the atmosphere. Should you want to take the fun home, there’s also the annual SFSC CD and striped shirt on offer, and kids under 12 enter free! There’s one for the Melburnians also – Francophiles of both fair cities, get your tickets here.
2. French Family Markets: The local marche is a weekly must for most Parisians, and no matter where I am in the world, I like to follow this philosophy of shopping local and the markets are top of my list. But while my favourite organic market is always a delight (there’s a great list here for Sydney-siders wanting to get in on the action), a couple of times a year I delight in a market that is purposefully and personally French. This summer, don’t miss out on the FANS French Market at Killarney Heights Public School on the North Shore. Held on Sunday 6th November from 9:30am, this is a day out for the whole family featuring French fare, homewares and rides for the little ones.
3. Picnics and Pastries: Few things are more Parisian than picnics and pastries, and thankfully in Sydney, we’re at no loss for patisseries, parks or good weather. Pick up your favourite treats from your local joint (personal favourites include The Larder in Dulwich Hill for cheese, saucisson and wine; Ganache in Castlecrag for the best mille feulle outside of Paris; and The Rocks’ La Renaissance for Beef Bourguignon pies, croissants and macarons) and spread yourself out on the grass with a good book (I’ve just ordered Lisa Anselmo’s My (part-time) Paris Life) and a dreamy sense of wanderlust.
4. Café Culture by Sydney harbour: Sydney is home to a host of French restaurants, bistros and cafes (and I’ll be sharing my favourites with you soon) but there’s something so perfect about indulging in a little French fare by Sydney’s iconic and beautiful harbour. Pop into Café Ananas in Circular Quay for a dose of Parisian glamour – complete with the obligatory prix fixe menu – or make it a ladies lunch on the weekends with bottomless glasses of bubbly per 2 hour sittings from 12pm.
5. Late-Night French Soirees: Double Bay’s Kiaora Lane will be transformed into an homage to all things French on the evening of Saturday November 19th. Kicking off with the can-can at 5pm and featuring French portraiture, mime artists, food and wine, it’s set to be a night to indulge in warm weather and French fancies in one of Sydney’s most iconic suburbs.