Celebrated on 14 July each year, Bastille
Day – France’s national holiday – is marked with a range of festivities, all of
which make sure the day – and night –
goes off with a bang.
Traditionally, Paris events include
the iconic Champs-Elysées in the morning, complete with aircraft aerobatics and
a speech from president François Hollande; and an impressive evening fireworks
the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop. To get a good view and avoid the crowds, seek out high-up vantage points
in the capital, such as Belleville
or the roof garden at Montmartre’s Terrass
Afterwards there is music, dancing and drinking at the firemen’s
– held in most of the barracks across the capital –with revelling going on
until the early hours. Entrance is usually a small donation on the door.
But for those looking for something a bit different, several alternative
events are also starting to pop up. Parisian restaurant guide Le Fooding is hosting La
Cafête Nationale (a pun on the French for national holiday, Fête Nationale,
mixed with the word cafe) at retro cafe Le Rouquet in St Germain. International
chefs from England, Belgium, Lebanon and Japan will put their own spin on France’s
party food par excellence: le hors
d’oeuvre. Tickets are 15 euros and are available on Le Fooding’s website.
For party animals, an alternative to the firemen’s ball is Les Envahisseurs, a club night
featuring big names on the dance scene including Duck Sauce and Kavinsky, held
at the immense and iconic Grand Palais from midnight until
6 am. Tickets
are 40 euros and should be bought in advance.
Laidlaw is the Paris Localite for BBC Travel. She also writes www.unlockparis.com.