Storm the Bastille!
July 14 th marks the 222nd anniversary of Bastille Day, when troops stormed the French prison in 1789, a pivotal event in the French Revolution. It also marks the day for another red, white and blue summer celebration to be had—whether you’re a Francophile or just a partygoer looking for some joie de vivre.
Bastille Day Party Décor
A tried-and-true color palette coupled with some chic touches makes for a grande fete. To make this look work, follow a few simple principles:
- Don’t be afraid to mix patterns, as long as you’re working with a restricted color palette.
- Feel free to mix materials as long as they complement each other, such as the twine and heavy cotton, shown here.
- If you are mixing materials and patterns, keep other elements simple. I chose a restrained (and inexpensive) floral arrangement: a potted white flower.
- Don’t buy anything for your table that only has a one-time use. After I found the flowers, I realized I didn’t have a pot for it to fit in. C’est la vie, I told myself, and scoured the house for an alternative solution. An empty soufflé dish did the trick, and worked better than anything I could have found at a store.
If you’re also entertaining wee ones, set up an art table with images of the Eiffel tower ready to decorate. (Glitter in addition to the standard crayon fare will be appreciated!)
Make sure your menu includes dishes or drinks that nod to French culture (think: crepes, baguette sandwiches, cafés au lait, etc.). Gabi M. (brokeassgourmet.com) posted a great DIY Crepe Party article that shows you how to get your guests into the mix of making this classic French dessert. Or if you’re on a budget, check out these French Street Sandwiches from Sarah (aka scaron) at Sarah’s Cucina Bella. And what’s a Bastille Day party without the classic line from Marie Antoinette, “Let them eat cake!” Michelle P. from Jelly Shot Test Kitchen created an amazing “cake cocktail,” the Strawberry Shortcake Martini, just for the occasion.
Or if you’re serving up Bastille Day treats with a little tongue-in-chic, you might offer ‘French fries’ to your guests in an elegant container. In addition, anything that falls within the French flag color palette (blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, for example) will keep your table looking festive.