Bonjour, mes amis! Do you have a passion for haute couture, search far and wide for the perfect escargot, or exclaim “Zut alors!” in a classically trained French accent? Your perfect holiday is approaching.

Bastille Day, or La Fête Nationale, falls on July 14 and celebrates France’s freedom from monarchial rule. Comparable to Independence Day in the U.S., the French national holiday is a grand occasion for a soirée—parade, lavish feast and fireworks all included!

Even if you can’t celebrate on French soil, you can host a celebratory Bastille Day feast that’s rich in history and sure to delight. Consider these tips from the party connoisseurs at Snappening.

Décor and Party Details: Defining culture and fine taste.

  • Honor the French flag by incorporating blue, white and red accents into everything from the invitations to the table settings. A checkered blue and white tablecloth, bundles of red and white flowers and mini-French flags in vases create an aura of French pride.
  • Print iconic images of Paris or other French regions, glue them to cardstock and arrange on the buffet table or as place settings.
  • Impress guests with impeccable French vocabulary on invitations! Instead of “You’re Invited”, try “Vive La France! You are invited to a Bastille Day Party at Chez (your last name here). Répondez s’il vous plait.”
  • Top off the oh-so-cultural ambience with a playlist of French music. A selection of traditional accordion music or contemporary artists Carla Bruni or Vanessa Paradis are trés chic.

The Menu: A simple bistro fare.

  • Hors  d’ oeuvres call for no more than a board full of French cheeses—include Brie, Roquefort and Bucheron. Serve alongside fresh baguettes, of course!
  • For a simple bistro-style salad, combine a head of Frisee lettuce with eight ounces of bacon (cut into slices and cooked over medium heat). Top with a refreshing splash of dijon vinaigrette dressing.
  • Steak Frites embody a true Francophile’s favorite cut of meat. Slice flank steak into strips, marinate with accents of minced garlic, rosemary and thyme and cook to taste. For added French authenticity, try not to cook as tenderly as a regular steak.
  • Accompany your flavorful meat entrée with crisp French Fries—a simple classic.
  • Round out your delectable French feast with Tarte Tatin—pure summer on a plate! The dish is traditionally prepared with apples, but we love this seasonal variation with peaches. Oh la la!

Wine: S’il vous plait!
France has a fascinating heritage as the mother of all wine-producing countries … so naturally, the wine should flow freely at your celebration! Popular French wines include Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Cabernet, Merlot and Pinot Noir. Consider Indiana wineriessuch as the Oliver Winery or the Turtle Run Winery that uphold the impeccable French reputation for classic wines.

Prefer not to host at home? Indianapolis has a repertoire of French restaurants perfect for your Bastille Day bash, and Snappening is your number one resource to find the perfect event venue. Check out Café Patachou, Plum Supper Room or Oakley Bistro for an authentic French experience. Bon apetit!

Check out even more great venues to host your Bastille Day Soiree or share your cultural musings with the Snappening communityon Facebook or Twitter!