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Bastille Festival 2014

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
Francophile Frivolity

On the 14th July 1789, Bastille Prison - a fourteenth century Parisian fortress - was stormed into and marked the beginning of the French Revolution.

How is the day remembered? By coming to merry old England of course. The Bastille Festival is an annual cultural event at Borough Market and the Bankside area; now in its seventh year, the celebrations will start at 10am on the 13th July to celebrate France's national day with an extravaganza of all things French.

To get into the revolution spirit, The London Tombs has kindly provided a guillotine so that we can behead some watermelons. Aside grizzly fruit executions, there will be lots of family fun entertainment, including magicians, street performers, and live music. A pétanque court will also be set up outside La Cave to play the French version of lawn boules.

La Cave is a restaurant and wine bar that specialises in classic French cuisine that offers alfresco dining with a view of Southwark Cathedral. If you would rather eat while enjoying the street festivities, then Borough Market's gourmet food has taken on a decidedly French theme everything from crepes to comté cheese. There will also be cookery demonstrations by Bread Ahead in the Market Hall, who will show you how to make the perfect baguette. Other lessons include a cheese and wine masterclass at Vinopolis, whilst Laithwaites gives wine tastings throughout the day.

If you want to give your home a bit of French chic, browse the stalls for artisan crafts, gifts, and books. In recognition of Tour de France, you will also be able to take advantage of discount deals and a free bike surgery.

At 1pm watch animated comedy, Belleville Rendezvous at The refinery, followed by a screening of the World Cup final in the evening. If you can pull yourself away from the footy, there will be an open air party from 6pm-10pm.
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Why? Experience French culture
When: 13th July, 10am
Where: Borough Market
Cost: Free
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