This Parisian party by the harbour is back with more melting cheeses, fine wine and wintery entertainment.

Experience the best parts of France – food, wine, art and performance – without leaving the city at Sydney’s celebration of Bastille Day (Sun Jul 14). The festival will take over Circular Quay and the Rocks for four days with food villages, wine bars and beer gardens, movie screenings, free concerts and street performances.

They’re maintaining the format of previous years, with four main precincts offering themed French fun with more than 70 food stalls and seven dedicated wine bars popping up around the area. The Christmas village in the Rocks’ Argyle Street is always a winner, with the outdoor market of 22 French chalets dishing out hot mulled wine, Christmas pudding and raclette under a canopy of festooned lights.

Just around the corner at First Fleet Park they’re mixing it up with French fusion dishes. Try modern amalgamations like camembert arancini, mushroom gnocchi and French paella with a brew from the French craft beer bar. If you want to stick to traditions, head to the Customs House village for all your edible French favourites like crêpes, croque monsieur, saucisson (a very French cured sausage), and more raclette. You’ll also find a dedicated cider bar and Champagne bar here.

The eastern Circular Quay precinct is turning into a fancy produce market. Think the best in smelly cheeses, French truffles, winter preserves, macarons and other sweets you can eat on the spot or take home. You’ll also find homewares like French linen, candles, jewellery and other floaty accessories.

Once you’ve awoken from your cheese and wine coma, check out all the action on the festival mainstage or see street performers bring the pavement to life. There’s 12 free live concerts to groove to plus performances by European folk dancers and circus acts roaming around the precincts. You can also catch a film on the Tallawoladah Lawn– they’re screening French classics, family faves and some unusual flicks. 

This year the festival is also focusing keenly on the environmental impacts and sustainability of the celebration. They’ve got a plastic-free policy, will be using energy-saving lights and have an environmentally friendly waste disposal system. So BYO reusable drink bottle and tote bags for French market goodies.

You’re welcome to roll up to the market and begin feasting, but if you want a structured tasting experience there’s a wine and cheese pairing course that’s going for $89 a pop. And if you want to get value out of your glass and get fast-tracked through the lines, you can sign up to the self-led wine tasting tour. For $39 you score four pours plus your reusable tasting glass, or you can try eight different varieties for $59.

Dates: Thursday July 11 2019 – Sunday July 14 2019