Celebrate Bastille Day With Chocolate-Making & French Maid Races

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Never celebrated Bastille Day before? We highly encourage you to make 2013 the year you change things up. The District is home to tons of festivities leading up to July 14, and we've collected the short list of events that'll suit any Francophile’s fancy:

RAMMY recipient Mintwood Place has kicked off the celebration this week with an ongoing tasting menu inspired by Provence. Picky eaters, beware: No course substitutions, or else Cedric Maupillier, the head chef hailing from Toulon, “will have to dust off his guillotine.” Bon appétit!

Want a more hands-on approach to the country’s delicious cuisine? You can indulge all your Chocolat fantasies while learning a new skill during a chocolate-making class at Fleurir Chocolates in Alexandria. Tomorrow evening, professional chocolatiers will cover the whole “bean to bar” process for making your favorite cocoa creations. Sadly, there won't be a ponytailed Johnny Depp on hand, but hey — at least there's chocolate.

On Friday, a party at the French Embassy offers up pastries from local eateries, live jazz, a silent auction, and, of course, plenty of wine. Plus, there's a chance for a lucky raffle winner to score a trip to Paris or Marseille.

Another familiar favorite that claims the title of “largest Bastille Day party in the Western Hemisphere,” L'Enfant Café's annual Bastille Day Street Bash runs from Saturday afternoon through late evening. A burlesque show, aerialists, can-can dancers, and a masquerade ball are all on the agenda. If you’re harder to please than French royalty, the notorious French Maid Relay Race never disappoints. Start feather-dusting off those running heels and petticoats, ladies and gents — yes, the guys can partake, too.


Photos: Courtesy of L'Enfant Cafe/Fleurir Chocolates