14 Juillet en Australie

This Bastille Day I headed to my local Prahran market to pick up some supplies for our French-themed dinner party. I was delighted to find that the entire market had gotten into the spirit. French flags and red, white and blue balloons abounded and La Marseillaise played on a continuous loop.

There was even a mime artist and an accordion player! A little kitsch, maybe, but nevertheless it was heartening to see so many people joining in the festivities, despite our distance from France.

But it was quickly down to business as I set about tackling the near-impossible task of choosing just a few cheeses. The only shop up to the challenge is my personal favourite, The Cheese Shop Deli, with the help of the delightful Ange and the beautiful Di (pictured above with mime) – who cut a perfectly French figure in her marinière and beret.

As you can see, it was tough to narrow my choice down to just five cheeses. After much deliberation I finally settled upon a generous slice of délice de bourgogne, some delicious aged comté, a wheel of camembert (incredible value, at half price), some garlic and herb boursin, and to top things off, some strong yet oh-so-creamy Victorian shadows of blue.

On the way out I stopped by and chatted to the charmant Sylvain who was selling the haute-couture of the gourmet cuisine world – black truffles.

Later that evening we enjoyed an incredible aperitif complete with French beers, wine and cider; and bien sur French food. Accompanying my cheese haul from the markets were three delicious tarts, including my version of a tarte au maroilles. Saucisson, rillettes du porc, cornichons and baguette were a delicious complement to the fromage, and Max once again won the hearts (and stomachs) of all invitees with his now-famous crepe-making skills. And the best part? Plenty of leftovers making for a deliciously indulgent lazy Sunday – no cooking required.

How did you celebrate le 14 juillet?

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