This weekend the French celebrate Bastille Day. It’s an opportunity to be patriotic, and wave the flag and for the rest of us to celebrate French culture - which includes wine, food, art and fashion. For ‘Francophiles’ all things French represent the pinnacle of culture and, you have to hand it to the French, they do know how to eat, drink and dress incredibly well.
Here is a short, completely subjective list for the Bastille Day Weekend Vibe you’re bound to be searching for.
WINE - its practically a way of life in Eastside and our favourites for a tipple include Rosé Royale a (world first) wine bar and restaurant dedicated solely to the Rosé wine. With more than 70 Rosé from around the world and a French inspired food menu this bar is situated in a terrace in Kellet Street, with an outdoor garden area just right for a summers afternoon. This winter, there’s a mulled Rose lunch every Saturday and all-you-can-eat Tartiflette on Sunday.
Wine is the focus at Lankelly Laneway bar Dear St Eloise although lately they have been giving opportunity to up-and-coming junior chefs with a new series of Monday night suppers. Expect to be wowed by the 400+ wine list, but don’t be afraid to ask for advice and try something new here - you’re in good hands.
The Bishop Wine Bar in Surry Hills has a lot going on, with specials deals and offers every day. But it’s the substantial range of their French Pinot Noir that have us coming back for more in this chic Crown Street venue.
FOOD - a relatively new player on the scene Métisse brings an impressive all-French team to Potts Point, with nine Michelin stars between them. Situated in the ‘gaudi-inspired’ building on Roslyn Street, Metisse is sophisticated yet affordable French dining with degustation and à la carte options available from Tuesday to Sunday, from 5pm.
Bistro Rex has been a favourite since opening. Oozing casual insouciance and always bustling, this take on a Parisian Bistro with its classic tiled floor, leather banquettes and copper trims is in the heart of Potts Point and offers daily specials, classic bistro fare and a happy hour in the early evening. Open 7 days per week, the share menu Le Banquet is the way to go for a little taste of everything.
Macleay St Bistro is another local institution that has weathered the storms, the comings and goings, the ups and downs of the neighbourhood. Situated at the “paris end” of Potts Point, MSB has been serving up classic French Bistro stalwarts for over 30 years. Favourites include steak tartare, onion souffle and creme brulee. There’s a weekly blackboard specials menu and BYO is an option too.
et al. is the kind of restaurant every neighbourhood needs, with its casual yet perfectly executed menu reflected in the ambience. Indoor and outdoor seating face the bustling Llankelly Laneway - perfect for people watching. Early dining 5-7pm offers two prix fixe menus ($37/$47) and winter sees the mulled wine back again. They’re also offering Bastille Day dinners all weekend.
Still at the “Paris End” of Potts Point (locals like to think that it all gets a bit more sophisticated heading north on Macleay St, past the fountain) a few new shops springing up are definitely bringing back style in the fashion stakes.
Check out Baz Inc and by freer, two new players in the ‘hood that we talked about recently. Plus Mon Petit Chou, Macleay on Manning for kids clothes, Becker Minty for uniquely curated fashion and homewares, Booty for shoes, Skarfe for the best selection of scarves of all sizes and styles. Most of these shops have online availability but stroll along Macleay St with a glass of wine and the end, is a nice way to spend the day. Make sure to check out the Potts Point Galleries a veritable treasure chest of antique furniture, clothing, jewellery and homewares.