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How to Throw a Bastille Day Party That Will Make You Feel Like You’re French Slideshow

Celebrate la fête nationale française in style
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How to Throw a Bastille Day Party That Will Make You Feel Like You’re French

How to Throw a Bastille Day Party That Will Make You Feel Like You’re French
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But, to celebrate la fête nationale in the U.S., either as an expat, a Francophile, or someone just looking for an excuse to throw a soirée in mid-July, you need to get a little more creative. And the theme is easy: It’s French! So really, all you need is French wine, French food, French décor, and French music. If that’s not enough for you, deck your home in blue, white, and red and set off some fireworks.

What to Wear

What to Wear
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The French are notoriously fashionable, so you want your guests to follow suit. Encourage them to wear bleu, blanc, et rouge (aka blue, white, and red), the tricolors of the French flag. If they don’t have those duds, encourage your guests to dress simple and sleek, like they imagine a French girl or guy might. Berets, sunglasses, and scarves are welcome, of course.

Tricolor Décor

Tricolor Décor
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Like the United States, France’s colors are blue, white, and red. That means you can reuse a lot of your Fourth of July banners, streamers, napkins, and general décor. To help distinguish this red, white, and blue from the décor or July 4, be sure to add French flags on toothpicks, on the wall, or in your food presentation.

Recreate Paris in Your Living Room

Recreate Paris in Your Living Room
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The biggest Bastille Day celebration in France is the military parade in Paris. The televised and widely viewed event passes down the Champs-Élysées from l'Arc de Triomphe to la Place de la Concorde. Using Parisian maps or wall decals, recreate the Parisian streets in your own space. Don’t forget an Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe!

Francophile Photo Booth

Francophile Photo Booth
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We firmly believe that no party is complete without a DIY photo booth. Etsy offers up some adorable French photo booth props, with blocks of cheese, berets, wine, and the tricolor flag.

French Wines

French Wines
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Your French-themed party simply would not be complete without French wine. And what’s better for summertime than rosé? These three French rosés are affordable and beautiful. If you’re looking for something a little more spectacular, pour one of these 10 great Champagnes.

French Cheeses

French Cheeses
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The French are known for a great number of things, including their cheeses. To build the perfect French cheese board, be sure to have one selection of each of the major cheese styles: washed-rind, soft or semi-soft cheese, hard or semi-hard cheese, bloomy-rind, and blue. Balance it out with some fresh fruit and a baguette.

French Appetizers

French Appetizers
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French foods always seem so fancy, but they can be very easy to make. To start off your French food menu, serve classic appetizers like salmon rillettes, salade niçoise, escargots with garlic butter, and tarte flambé.

French Entrées

French Entrées
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Continue your culinary tour de France with classic dishes from the country. We recommend serving a rich bouillabaisse, mini croque-monsieurs, a French ratatouille, and the favorite quiche Lorraine. If you fancy yourself a bit of a French chef and really want to wow your guests, prepare coq au vin.

French Dessert

French Dessert
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French pastries are the crème de la crème of any French-themed menu or party, so don’t leave them out. We suggest making these Nutella macarons dyed blue and red for the tricolor flag along with a classic crêpes Suzette. Then, finish things off with a beautiful crème brûlée.

French Music

French Music
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Create a playlist of French favorites, including the traditional Marseillaise and accordion music. Consider classic French chanteuses like Carla Bruni or Vanessa Paradis. With an eye on the modern French pop charts, also bump some modern French-language hits like Lartiste’s “Chocolat” and Calogero’s “Je joue de la musique.”

Fireworks and Sparklers

Fireworks and Sparklers
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Like the Fourth of July, Bastille Day is celebrated with tons of big, booming fireworks. If it’s legal in your area, invest in a few small-sized fireworks. If that’s a little much for you, gift all of your guests sparklers and play with them outdoors.