The Rocks area of Sydney is being revolutionised by the French this weekend for the sixth annual Bastille Festival of food, wine and art.
And with this year’s program – celebrating the anniversary of the French Revolution in 1789 – spanning five different locations from The Rocks to East Circular Quay, it’s attracting plenty of interest from tourists and locals alike.
There are 70 restaurants and food pop-ups at the festival, a wine tour of eight French regions, an outdoor cinema by the water, a carousel village for children, an Alpine village, two dozen musical and dance acts performing, a photo exhibition and more.
Circular Quay will also be transformed with a man-made beach and Christmas Village.
Marie and Charlotte, who have come from France to study in Sydney, said a nearby French restaurant recommended the festival for a taste of home.
Meanwhile, at the Sweet Creations by Jess stall, Jess herself was selling cupcakes with the colours of the French flag. She is running her stall for the second year in a row, this time next to the outdoor cinema.
“Last year I was in the Christmas village, but this year I’ve got the Opera House and the water right opposite me.”
For older visitors, French native and bar manager Jeremy suggested the wine tour, with a variety of six alcoholic beverages to sample around the First Fleet Park village.
“There’s a bar at the cinema where they play two French movies a day,” he added.
Although the French Kiss Crêperie was buzzing as soon as it opened, decades-long best friends Clare, Margaret, Rhoda and Morag were more excited about the new tablecloth that Margaret had just bought.
The organisers of the festival said: “It is like going on a culinary trip around France. Embark on a journey through France’s most loved regional food specialties such as The Raclette and Fondue from the Alps, The Choucroute and The flammkuchen from the East of France, Crepes and some tasty cheeses from Normandy or Brittany.
“Overall, there are more than 100 mouth-watering food specialties.”
The Festival is running until July 14 to commemorate Bastille Day.