French festival comes to Brisbane

Yesterday we set off for the inaugural French Festival at Southbank. The actual location at Southbank was almost a secret but we persevered and found it close to the Performing Arts Centre. I had looked earlier on the festival’s website but where exactly at Southbank was a mystery.

These officials wandered into the scene from another century yet did not faze the woman in jeans

I am sure more people attended than the organisers ever thought would as the aisles they created became so packed it was difficult to see everything on offer. The various food stalls had queues so long that it hindered the crowds trying to walk down the avenues. I am sure next time they will create wider pathways. What a great success though and it seems Brisbane is loving everything French as we do.

Small amount of wares but the most exclusive

I found a man who specialises in truffles, his business is wisely named The Truffle Man and I noticed he was selling Tonka beans –  they were confiscated from me last time I passed through Australian Customs. He has them and I am sure I paid much less for his than I did in the speciality store in Paris. Tonka beans are grated much like nutmeg into dishes and have a distinctive flavour.

Truffle man sells pollen

There was a cordoned off area selling alcohol and you had to show your ID’s to get in.  Sadly no longer are we asked for IDs to prove our age. Belle Epoque the restaurant at the Emporium shopping Centre in Fortitude Valley had a tent here with wine, champagne and on the food side, the Executive chef Trent Dalton was serving oysters and Beef Bourguignon but by the time we got there sold out of oysters, clearly not expecting the resounding attendance.

A fluffy small dog is essential to be French

Look at the throngs, it was almost impossible to move

Cute shopping trolleys

Another way to see the festival is to use the Ferris wheel

What a wonderful weather day, you can see the brilliant blue sky and it is winter here in Queensland.

Even a bedhead squashed into this tent, no room for people in there though

There were people selling French language lessons in Brisbane – cannot give you a website, only a phone number Lingua Franca 07 3161 6392. And then the company Pierres au Solleil who sell properties in the south of France and an enterprising person who is renting her single house in France had brochures to hand out in a tent selling some French crockery. I also picked up a brochure for rentals in Calvisson a town between Nimes and Montpelier.

My old friend Christian Blondeau was there of course, he is the owner of France at Leisure, the only place to go in Brisbane if you want someone to do all the work – booking accommodation, travel, restaurants etc in France. Christian came to Australia after meeting an Australian woman he married. His former profession was Sommelier, so he is the man to find you all the right places to find the best food and wine over there. I am off to France in August so I felt my holiday had already begun. A bientot, Roz

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  1. #1 by Debra Kolkka on July 18, 2010 - 10:44 am

    I’m sorry I missed the festival. I am in Adelaide for a few days.
    deb

  2. #2 by Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial on July 18, 2010 - 9:25 pm

    What a sophisticated market, Roz!

  3. #3 by Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella on July 26, 2010 - 11:06 am

    Wow, what a lovely looking market!

  4. #4 by mary D on July 29, 2010 - 10:01 pm

    Thanks for this Roz. Looks like a great fair & very popular. I know I’m a bit late reading & replying but have only just looked at your blog. I so wanted to bring pollen home from the south of France with me but thought I had better not. Now I know I can get it here! Will definitely go next year but early to avoid the crowds, although sometimes the crowds make it fun.

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