McGrath Magazine - Issue 44 - 07/12/2019

So Frenchy So Chic

issue 44
07/12/19 | 6 MIN READ

Every year, more than 1.2 million Australian’s venture across the globe, to revel in the food, wine and joie de vivre that is synonymous with quintessential French culture. This January however, Francophiles of Melbourne and Sydney need not travel any further than their own backyards to experience the tastes, sounds, and conviviality of France.

 

On Sunday 12th and Saturday 18th of January 2020, Melbourne’s Werribee Park and Sydney’s Bicentennial Park, Glebe, respectively, will come alive with provincial festival vibes. Now in its ninth year running, the one-of-a-kind French music and culinary festival, So Frenchy So Chic, is the idyllic culmination of Australian summer meets Gallic effervescence.

 

Brought to you by Jean-Francois Ponthieux, connoisseur of contemporary French culture, the So Frenchy So Chic 2020 line-up promises a rich hit of Parisian culture and world music flair. “So Frenchy So Chic has always been about discovery,” says Jean-Francois, “come January, we invite you to meet the new Gallic disco queen, Corine; uncover new music from French royalty, Lou Doillon; celebrate Nouvelle Vague’s 15th anniversary; fall in love with the ever soulful Tété; and dance along with Philippe Cohen Solal’s (Gotan Project) DJ set.”

 

Inspired by the spontaneous village soirées of Jean-Francois’ youth in Northern France, the festival is something of a laissez-faire affair. Whether you prefer to picnic in the park, peruse through pop-ups, or put your dancing shoes on, So Frenchy So Chic will have something for you, and the little ones too. On the roster of pop-ups is an array of cocktail, beer, and wine bars, as well as a Resort Zone complete with complimentary massages and chill-out hammocks. With free entry granted to children aged 12 and under, and the presence of face-painters, flower crown makers, and plenty of games, there’s fun to be had by everyone.

 

Of course, no French garden party would be complete without pampering your palette with the delicacies of French cuisine. Cheeseboards, charcuterie, raclette, crepes, mussels, oysters, artisanal pastries and more await your tastebuds. Let the French bar pour you a cocktail, a glass of the finest Laurent Perrier champagne, or sommelier-chosen wine while you indulge in a mouth-watering gallic cuisine designed to be shared, paired, discovered and devoured.

 

Offering a fresh take on French picnic fare, So Frenchy So Chic has teamed up with some of Sydney and Melbourne’s most reputed French restaurants to curate pre-ordered picnic hampers. In Melbourne, late-night haunt Bar Magaux will be curating hampers that cater for vegetarian and gluten free festivalgoers; L’Hotel Gitan will be on the case of putting together charcuterie hampers; and delectable cheese hampers will be served by Milk The Cow.

 

In Sydney, the team from local esteemed French restaurant, Bellevue Cottage, will be preparing the scrumptious hampers. Headed up by Antoine Moscovitz, who trained under world-renowned chef Alain Ducasse and is the ex-private chef to House of Roederer Cristal Champagne, this year’s hampers promise a special treat for even the most well-versed Francophile foodie.

 

Going by Jean-Francois’ description of the provincial garden parties that So Frenchy So Chic is modelled after, this January, Melbourne and Sydney are in for a sensory treat like no other. “Sophisticated but easy – tables in the field, people dancing in the grass – and so joyous. Everyone was there: kids, teenagers, parents, grandparents. And everything was superb: the food, the wine, the music – and above all, the sense of community, conviviality and celebration.”

 

So Frenchy So Chic is the picturesque portrayal of contemporary French culture we see on our social media feeds and music streams every day, brought to life; a summer’s day of discovery, dancing, and joie de vivre.