Image Credit: Ariana Gillrie
Is Clemence Poesy your wannabe bestie? Does your heart beat a little faster when the Alliance Francaise Film Festival rolls into town? Does biting into a freshly baked chocolate croissant leave you weak at the knees… Yeah, you get what we’re saying.
France does it better. Fact. It’s choc-a-block full of cheese, wine, shopping, and beautiful people that seemingly live a life of carbs and plonk and still look impossibly chic, all while mastering the art of the sexy-cool resting bitch face. Life’s not fair, is it? There must be something in the water over there.
If you dream in red, white and blue, and consider yourself somewhat of a Francophile, then read on for the very best of France this side of the northern hemisphere:
Brisbane’s answer to a traditional French patisserie, Chouquette has a fierce following of loyal customers queuing round the block for their perfectly baked treats every weekend. Arguably most famous for their croissants (unadulterated buttery perfection; they sell-out everyday!), their selection of freshly baked breads, traditional patisseries and cakes are a must for any Brisbane-based Francophile worth their salt.
Tucked away in the ‘burbs, Rhubarb Rhubarb has been serving up iconic French dishes for years. Their spin on French classics such as a Gruyere cheese soufflé and traditional chicken cassoulet won’t shrink your waistline, but it’s so worth it. It’s also one of the last great BYO restaurants in the ‘burbs, so pick up a French drop (natch) on your way, and clink your glasses to a proper French find. Bonne santé!
Brisbane French Festival
Can’t afford the airfare to celebrate La Fête Nationale en France? Don’t pack up your Breton stripes just yet, because Brisbane French Festival is taking over South Bank just in time for Bastille Day, saving your the long haul hassle! As the name subtly suggests, expect all things deliciously French; great food, wine, chic home wares, and artisanal objects of an oh-so French nature.
Black Pearl Epicure
If you’re a bit of a dairy freak like me (give me a cheese platter over actual dinner any day) France is the holy grail of all things deliciously high in cholesterol—a place for lactose intolerants it is not. So, when an urge to splurge on the stinky stuff arises, Black Pearl Epicure has one of the finest cheese counters in town—with a huge variety of cheeses on offer. They also have a cheeky range of French butters too. Butter on French bread is part of the 5:2 diet, right?
Craft Wine Store
There’s a reason we always reach for a French drop when we’ve got something to celebrate. As independent bottle shops go, Craft Wine Store really do go the extra mile. And while it’s hard to overlook the local drops, it’s their selection of French wines and champagnes that gets our hearts all a flutter. Not sure what you’re after? They’re very knowledgeable, and super friendly too—no wine snobs here! Dieu merci!
Marché du Macaron
Once you’re face to face with Marche Du Macaron’s display cabinets it’s all over—you know you’re not going to leave empty handed. Their delicate pastel-shaded macarons and decadent chocolate éclairs are lined up in a way that just screams ‘eat me’. If you’re going to have a cheat meal, do it right. You have our blessing.
Spring Food & Wine Cooking School
Fancy yourself a bit of a ‘chef de cuisine’ in the kitchen but need to brush up on those mad skills of yours? Spring Food & Wine’s cooking classes are incredibly varied; anything from macarons for beginners, to haute cuisine master classes with their (French) sous chef. Book yourself in and let the learning begin—rumor has it they can turn hobby bakers into the next Pierre Hermé…
The French Corner
Vintage wares (anything from chairs to tables and chests!) line its street frontage, but it’s inside The French Corner that feels like a treasure trove. Whether you’re after a rustic farmhouse dining table or a pair of Parisian-chic lamps for your maison, if searching for hidden gems is your jam, you’ve come to the right place.
Blink and you’ll miss this tiny restaurant, so distracted are you from the raucous that is Brunswick Street. Anise, however, oozes Parisian charm. The space only seats 15 at a time (which is just, saah French, no?), the menu changes seasonally and is distinctively French in flavour. Do as any proper French person would do, and indulge in their degustation on a Monday night (a late sitting, of course). Why? Just because.
Set inside the luxury French hotel, Softiel, Privée 249 is French fine dining at it’s most elegant. Overlooking the Anzac Square clock tower, the views alone are rather breathtaking, but the food really takes the cake. Sip on Kir Royales and indulge in some of the finest European cuisine. No expenses spared. How very French of you.
Want to add a touch of European luxury to your daily drive? Check out PPQ’s new Euro Plates in black and show off your international flair. Throughout July, RACQ members receive 10% off any Euro plates. Click here to view the full range.
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