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this is a photo of Eiffel Tower shaped sugar cookies served at my French-inspired tea party in honor of Bastille Day!

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What is Bastille Day?

Bastille Day is the French National holiday celebrated in France as well as other countries on July 14 every year. It commemorates the end of the monarchy, the beginning of the French Revolution as well as the beginning of the modern republic of France. It is somewhat similar to our Fourth of July in that there are fireworks, military parades and people celebrating all day long! The national colors of the French flag are blue, white and red; just like us, but in reverse order! I thought it would be fun to have a French-inspired tea party to celebrate this date and all things French! In this post I will show you how I put together this French-based tea party celebration.

A French-Inspired Tea Party?

For those of you who have been following my blog, you know I LOVE a good tea party (here are previous teas I’ve had, here, and here). I recently made friends with a wonderful chef named Rhonda Kite (@rhondakitecooks on Instagram). When I found out that she too, loves tea parties, I decided to enlist her support in making most of the food. She was terrific, even supplying typed menus (see below!). I have beautiful linens from many places. Provence is a region in the south of France that makes lovely tablecloths, frequently in yellows, blues and reds. A characteristic of a French table is a layered look with coordinating, but not necessarily matching linens and dishes. Roosters are frequently featured as a popular French symbol. And of course, the Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world. It was built as a centerpiece for the 1889 world’s fair, which also coincided with the centennial of the French Revolution.

Table Setting

For the tablescape, I started with a French yellow and blue Provencal tablecloth draped diagonally. (similar one, here or, here).

Next, I layered yellow placemats (similar, here), lighter blue napkins (similar, here), an assortment of rooster-themed (similar, here) and fruit-themed blue and white plates (similar, here).

here is the beginning of my tablescape for the french-inspired tea party.  There are tiered cake stands, sunflowers in vases, little tea lights and French linens

I added bee-accented water glasses (here), white dinner plates (here), miniature salt and pepper shakers (here), and pretty place cards (here).


a pre-printed menu for my french tea party

Here was the darling menu. Tea sandwiches and a small side salad were served. Of course, in addition to the savory sandwiches, delicious scones and other treats were served. Here are a few photos of the food.

Gorgeous tea sandwiches, scones with strawberry garnishes, beautiful blue and yellow Provencal linens.
Sunflowers and sweets displayed on white platters next to red hurricane candles.

I used mini clear vases (similar, here) with sunflowers that I cut short to continue the French theme, as well as tiered cake stands to display the feast. I lit tiny tea lights in clear votive holders. These work well with any type of table setting. I always buy these unscented candles so that the scent doesn’t compete with the food as well as for people who are sensitive to fragrance.

What Did I Wear

If this French-inspired tea party was actually held on Bastille Day, I would have decorated more in blue, white and red. But since I had this party earlier this spring, I used blue and yellow. To coordinate with my pretty table, I dressed in a blue linen blouse with narrow white pants. (I will feature these exact items this week on my Instagram site which is @drjuliemarshall.) Here are several photos.

French fashion is known for classic lines, simple accessories and of course pearls. (Think Coco Chanel!) I LOVE pearls and am wearing both a multi-stranded pearl necklace as well as a bracelet. My diamond pave earrings were a gift from Mr. G.Q. and my nude sandals serve to elongate my legs when paired with the white cropped jeans.

A Final Touch

For a parting party favor, I made Eiffel Tower shaped sugar cookies! They were so pretty, and to keep them from breaking, due to their delicate shape, I packed the cookies in individual white cardboard boxes. I think the party was a great success!

If you meet someone celebrating this Bastille Day, the simplest way to wish them well, is to say, “Bonne Fete Nationale!”, which roughly translates ” Happy National French Holiday!”. Or if you are fluent in French, “Le quatorze juillet”, which is “The July 14th!”.


Dr. Julie

PS As many of you have noticed, I haven’t published many recent blog posts. I was switching my platform from Squarespace to WordPress. It has been a bit complicated switching all the many posts from one site to another and I apologize for being out of touch. I think this will be a better site for my blog in the long run. Please take a moment and “re-subscribe” to my site below as this will help my new system to meet your needs more completely. Also when you do so, you will receive a free guide to wearing jeans and a white tee seven different ways. Thanks for your patience!

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