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