5 WAYS TO FEEL FRENCH

Feel like you're in France without ever leaving Charlotte with these five ideas.

Feel like you're in France without ever leaving Charlotte with these five ideas.

In honor of Bastille Day on July 14, France's national holiday, here are cinq (five) ways to feel French.

Magnifique treats at Amélie's French Bakery. 

Magnifique treats at Amélie's French Bakery. 

Un: Visit Amélie's French Bakery for a croissant, café au lait, tartine, éclair or other treat from its magnifique French-themed menu. There are four locations in Charlotte (NoDa, Uptown, Carmel Commons) and one on Main Street in Rock Hill, S.C. www.ameliesfrenchbakery.com.  

Deux: Consistently rated one of Charlotte's top restaurants, Aix en Provence's Bastille Day Celebration from 5 to 10 p.m. July 14 includes a special five course dinner, a complimentary glass of champagne and music from accordion player Ed Morris. $75 per person; wine pairings for each course available for an additional $25 per person. 545 Providence Road. Space is limited; reservations required: 704-332-1886; www.aixenprovenceclt.com.

Customize a French straw market bag during a special two-day event at L'Occitane at SouthPark mall July 14-15. 

Customize a French straw market bag during a special two-day event at L'Occitane at SouthPark mall July 14-15. 

Trois: Drop by the SouthPark location of the organic French beauty brand L’Occitane for a special Bastille Day event from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 14 and July 15. Purchase one of the brand's famous straw baskets - similar to those used by marketgoers in France - then have fun personalizing it. The basket normally costs $159, but during this event if you spend $50 or more on products, you can purchase the basket for $20. The store will provide the paint, stencils (monogrammed initials, stripes and other designs), and do the customization for you. Or you can freestyle your own creation. 704-362-4324; www.loccitane.com. 

Quatre: Don't forget  bébé. Spoil your petit enfant with the new line of baby products from luxury French brand Chantecaille. Orange Blossom Face Cream, $48; Flower Petal Face & Body Wash, $49; Wild Moss Rose Body Lotion, $55; Neiman Marcus at SouthPark mall, 4400 Sharon Road. 704-442-7900; www.neimanmarcus.com. 

Singer/songwriter Lisa De Novo performs Sunday, July 16, at the Charlotte French Culture Festival at Nevin Park. 

Singer/songwriter Lisa De Novo performs Sunday, July 16, at the Charlotte French Culture Festival at Nevin Park. 

Cinq: Make plans to join the French community for its annual Charlotte French Culture Festival from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. July 16 at Nevin Park, 6000 Statesville Road. There's a French market, live music, entertainment, a costume contest for dogs and food. Tickets start at $5: www.charlottefrenchfestival.com.