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Picnic Like a Frenchman: How to Celebrate Bastille Day

I love summer picnics, and what better excuse to have a picnic this July 14 than Bastille Day! Just 10 days after we Americans celebrate Independence Day, the French celebrate Bastille Day to show their patriotic pride. The French Revolution all started with the storming of the Bastille, a Parisian prison. Now, Bastille Day is a national holiday that’s celebrated with parties, fireworks, and the oldest military parade in the world. However, you don’t have to be French to celebrate Bastille Day. But you do need French food, wine, entertainment, and lots of blue, white, and red!

Wine and Dine

Keep the food simple and delicious for your picnic with a few staples in your basket. You can’t have a French picnic without cheese! Honestly, you can’t have a decent picnic in Wine Country without cheese! Camembert and Chèvre (goat cheese) are two of my go-to cheeses, and they spread beautifully on a crusty baguette. Throw in a Niçoise Salad, fresh fruit, and a pre-made olive tapenade and you’re all set to nibble. Regarding beverages – what’s more French than Champagne? If you’re not a fan of the bubbles, try a French Rosé. One of my more recent favorites is the 2016 Mirabeau Rosé, which pairs fabulously with picnic fare!

Blue, White, and Red

It’s rather convenient that the American and French flags share the same colors. Which means you can technically get some extra use out of any 4th of July decor you may have laying around. You can also get creative with your food and incorporate different berries with cheese to create a colorful platter, or make a deliciously patriotic tart that travels well in your basket. Give your food a little extra flare and print up some mini French flags to attach to toothpicks and really dazzle everyone!


For music, use your favorite streaming app and you’re sure to find a French playlist to set the mood. And bring some fun lawn games to keep yourselves entertained, like lawn darts or cornhole. If you want to keep things French, you can purchase an affordable Boules Set to play. Boules (also called la pétanque) is a very popular game in France that’s similar to its Italian counterpart Bocce. The idea of the game is simple – you win by throwing your balls to land closer to the small ball than your opponents. But be warned – it’s easier said than done and a TON of fun!

Whether you go all out or just add a bit of French flair to your picnic, I do hope you enjoy celebrating Bastille Day this year! C’est magnifique!

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