Today is Bastille Day or Fête Nationale in France, and I could not let today pass without celebrating here on TSLL.
Above is an image I captured on one of my many strolls in the medieval ville in Vaison-la-Romain during my trip to Provence in the summer of 2018. I can still hear the music of the fountains, feel the well-worn cobblestones under my feet as I made my way back and forth to the market or to cooking class. (See more images of this part of my trip here.)
If you are like me, you are longing to return to France, and knowing you cannot or knowing your trip will be delayed makes the yearning even more pronounced. However, we will be able to return again. Of that I am confident, and when we do, we will be all the more appreciative of the culture that holds a special place in our hearts and in how we live our lives no matter where we call home.
Today’s list could have been muuuuuuuuuch longer, but I wanted to give you a taste of France, as well as links to posts from the Archives you may want to explore.
Wishing you a delicious and French-filled day today and everyday. 🙂
1.You know that Bastille Day is not France’s Independence Day . . . (I should say Fête Nationale as it is called in France).
. . . but actually a day celebrated as the beginning of the French Revolution and the eventual end of the ancien régime (at that time the Bourbon monarchy). Learn more here.
~I highly recommend watching Lucy Worsley’s Royal Myths & Secrets, episode #3 which focuses on Marie Antoinette.
2. Even if you haven’t traveled to France or a Francophone country, you gravitate to all things France, planning your first trip, determined to avoid the Paris Syndrome when you finally arrive (learn more about the Paris Syndrome in my first book).
3. While you are aware of the stereotypes of France – the beret, the marinière top, etc. – you have also learned there is much more diversity when it comes to the aesthetics and sartorial preferences of the French.
4. The love of cheese, fromage, is not a stereotype. The love and appreciation is real, and for good reason.
5. You enjoy Apéro hour or sipping an apéritif whether you are in France or not.
After work, not the same gathering as happy hour, but rather a gathering and relaxing hour. Apéritifs or digestifs are drinks enjoyed with some simple food to celebrate not what has ended but where and with whom you are before moving on to dinner.
Listen to episode #216 which was taped in Provence, and the Petit Plaisir is all about enjoying an apéritif.
6. Seasonal cooking inspired by what is found at the market directs your daily meals.
My experience with Patricia Wells in Provence is a week of culinary and seasonal experiencial cooking I will never forget. Learn more about my time here.
7. The French language involves a deep love, but admittedly quietly frustrating relationship; however, not once would you consider giving up trying to improve.
~Explore my three-part series, What I’ve Learned in French Class So Far . . .
8. Croissants, always croissants (okay, once a week as the French do, but still, always croissants)
~Read this post to discover where one of the best places to pick up a croissant in Paris is.
9. A slower pace of life is welcomed and practiced in your own everydays . . . all the while savoring the simple moments.
10. You watch films in French even if you don’t know what they are saying simply to improve your language skills . . .
11. You also watch French films to slip away to France even if only while watching the film. 🙂
12. Tune in to Le Tour de France and know very little or nothing about cycling simply to take in the beauty that is the French countryside and towns.
13. You welcome a fresh baguette into your home each morning.
14. Scarves, scarves, scarves – all year, for all seasons.
15. Linen sheets, clothing, table details.
16. You appreciate wine with food to enhance the flavor of the meal.
17. Long lunches
18. You use à droite (right) and à gauche (left) as commands for your dog . . . and they understand the difference.
19. You drink your café au lait from a bowl (and you have a favorite bowl).
20. When you spot the classic French sandwich – Jambon-Beurre — you melt a bit as it takes you back to your first trip as a student in France (and you often buy it even just as a nostalgic memory to slip back to France).
Is this just me? I can remember having very little money during my first trip to France, and scraping up enough Francs (yes, Francs, before the Euro was established) and finding just enough to purchase this sandwich for my meal.
The traditional is made with Jambon de Paris (a slightly spicy ham), a ficelle baguette (aka as a sweet baguette) and salted French butter.
21. Flax and sunflowers and lavender may have a soft spot in your heart.
The word is now a part of your vocabulary, and your dream trip to France includes a must-visit to Saint-Ouen in Paris’ 18th arrondissement
23. Finding a French market tote is a coveted item (and you might have more than one)
24. To love France is to love their outdoor markets
Having visited France, what I appreciated was knowing that any day of the week, there would be a market open at least 20 kilometers away.
25. You know TSLL’s Annual French Week here on the blog is always the second full week in August!
Okay, maybe not every Francophile knows this – yet. 🙂 But this is my way of inviting you to stop by in a couple of weeks beginning on Sunday August 9th through August 16th to enjoy an entire week of posts and giveaways and podcast episodes dedicated to all things French. TSLL’s 5th Annual French Week is so close, and I cannot wait to share with you what I have in store.
Check out previous TSLL French Weeks below.
Bien sûr, this list could be 5000x longer, but as a way to celebrate Bastille Day today, I wanted to take you away to France if only via the internet. I do hope you have a wonderful day of celebration. I will be cooking up something simple and seasonal and French-inspired in the kitchen, pairing it with a glass of rosé and dining al fresco. Maybe even enjoying a French film in the evening. Too much? Non! After all, since we cannot be in France, we certainly can bring into our daily lives what we love that learning about the culture has inspired. I do hope you will join me and all of TSLL community in a few short weeks for our annual French Week celebration. Bonne journée!
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~Top image: captured during my trip to Provence in 2018 in Vaison-la-Romaine, the medieval village.