If there’s ever a day to let everyone know that you are either French, have a great-great-great-(x4) grandmother that’s French, or are just a straight-up Francophile, le 14 juillet is the day. (And you’re a real Francophile because you say le 14 juillet and not “Bastille Day.”) Between dances, festivals, pétanque tournaments, and concerts, there are plenty of places to celebrate this national French holiday in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.
A bleu-blanc-rouge fête with French Tuesdays (July 14 @ 7pm-1am)
“Be French for a Day”: the soirée organized for Bastille Day by French Tuesdays, with the support of l’Alliance française, the Chambre of Commerce, and French Morning, is an established event in the City of Angels. This year, it takes place at the hotel Riviera 31, in the Beverly Groove neighborhood. Besides enjoying the tunes of a French DJ, guests will enjoy a Cancan performance. To get everyone in the française spirit, a dress code of blue, white, and red is requested. Readers of Frenchly and French Morning benefit from a promo code. Enter “frenchmorning” when you reserve your tickets to receive the discount.
Riviera 31, 8555 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles
Drown yourself in rosé and crêpes (July 14 @ 8-11pm)
For the second consecutive year, the concept store-slash-wine bar Garçons de Café puts you in the mood to celebrate le 14 juillet. Thomas Choulot and Sofian Ketfi’s establishment is situated under the glass of the Spring Arcade Building in Downtown. For $25, you can benefit from the free-flowing–and limitlessly flowing–rosé of Provence, from 8 to 11pm.
Garçons de café, 541 S Spring St #114, Los Angeles.
Once you’ve quenched your thirst, head the short distance over to Crêpes sans Frontières. For this national occasion, the chef has made a special galette, named “La Liberté”, which is available with a glass of wine or cider for $14.
Crêpes sans Frontières, 541 S Spring St, Los Angeles. Open until 9pm.
A Cabaret-esque evening at Petit Paris (July 14 @ 5-8pm)
Lift a glass to toast to the evening at Petit Paris, the French restaurant in Downtown. Amidst the elegant décor of crystal chandeliers and squishy velour couches, you’ll be treated to the Grand Apéro du 14 juillet, organized in collaboration with the Franco-American Chamber of Commerce (FACC). For the occasion, a happy hour (from 5-8pm) gives you plenty of time to savor pastis and rosé, accompanied by a spread of tapas (foie gras, truffle fries, escargot…). On the mic, French chanteuse Sylvie Boisel and her repertoire of French songs will give the evening an ambiance of fun.
Petit Paris, 418/420 South Spring Street, Los Angeles.
A pétanque tournament with the LAPC (July 16 @ 10am-finish)
As tradition has established, the LAPC is organizing its annual Bastille Day pétanque tournament. This year, teams of three will compete in pétanque matches on Sunday, July 16 at Cheviot Hill Recreation Center. The organizers have planned for coffee and croissants starting at 9am when sign-up for the tournament begins. The tournament will happen Sadie Hawkins-style—that is, the women choose their partners. Each team of three will compete four times, taking breaks for lunch (included in the price) and having a drink. So what do you do—tire ou pointe? (Toss low and fast, or lob!)
Triplette Tournament à Rancho Park Pétanques Courts, Cheviot Hills Recreation Center, 2551 Motor av, Los Angeles. Sign-up begins at 9am, first game at 10am. Price: $20 per person (pastries and lunch included). Contact: [email protected]
A good meal between friends at Café Bizou (July 14 @ 5:30pm)
What better way to celebrate le 14 juillet than by honoring la gastronomie française? The Alliance française of Pasadena hosts their party at Café Bizou, where friends can gather on Bastille Day over a table of French dishes. That night, bouillabaisse is on the menu. French food lovers, sign up now before spots run out!
Café Bizou. 91 N Raymond Avenue, Pasadena. Sign-ups should be sent to Paulette at [email protected]
A lively atmosphere at Mama Shelter (July 14 @ 9pm)
Celebrating France, that’s one thing. Doing it with a glass of wine in hand, on a rooftop with a view over Hollywood, now that’s another. At the soirée au Mama Shelter, ambiance will be lively and energetic from 9pm onward thanks to Parisian DJ Laeticia Ponces. Her mixes will be played all throughout the hotel, and all the way up to the rooftop.
Mama Shelter, Mama Los Angeles 6500 Selma Avenue, Los Angeles.
An intimate soirée at La Resistance (July 14)
The pop-up restaurant La Resistance is back again for Bastille Day. The dynamic Aurélie Blanc left the Los Feliz area for Hollywood Hills. In her new house, with an unobstructed view over Los Angeles, she’s organizing a bleu-blanc-rouge soirée. To lively French music, guests are invited to have an apéritif over billiards and foosball. Then, they’ll move to the dinner table, where they’ll taste le pot au feu or le poisson en papillote and, of course, la crème brûlée of Aurélie Blanc herself. The soirée concludes in a low-key manner with projection of a film by Louis de Funès on one of her walls.
The exact address and the password to access the diner will be divulged once you reserve your spot. Price: $49
A festival celebrating indépendance (July 15-16 @ 11am-7pm)
If you’re not available Friday, head to Santa Barbara. Saturday, July 15, and Sunday, July 16, the 29th edition of French Festival will take you back to your native roots (or the roots you’ve adopted as a dedicated Francophile). Whether you’re at the Moulin Rouge stage or the Eiffel Tower stage, you’ll see French folk dancers (from the Polynesian dance to the French Cancan, with a little Tango in the middle), concerts, and other entertainment like a Middle Ages combat demonstration, and the Canine Cavalcade (parade) at 6pm. Under the trees in Oak Park, you can while away the hours, snacking on crêpes and a glass of wine, or get up on your feet for a game of pétanque.
French festival, Oak Park, 300 W. Alamar Avenue, Santa Barbara. Entry is free.
Le Bordeaux in the place of honor at Heritage Fine Wines (July 14 @ 6-9pm)
For most, la France is synonymous with good wine. So to celebrate France, why not spend an evening in the prestigious wine bar of Jordane Andrieu, Heritage Fine Wines? For Bastille Day, Heritage Fine Wines has organized “Bordeaux for Bastille Day: Left bank vs Right Bank, with Live Music”. You can taste different different types of wines, and enjoy accordion music from 6-11pm.
Heritage Fine Wines, 467 North Canon Dr., Beverly Hills. Price: $15-$20