Joyeux Le Quatorze Juillet, Belmont

Photo: Macarons across France.

So, what do you call the French National Holiday?

Bastille Day? 


While July 14th is the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, today is simply known as “la fête du 14-juillet” – the July 14th holiday – or more officially, “la fête nationale” – the National Holiday. In 1880, the French decided to celebrate a national holiday; July 14th eventually won out because it was the day of la Fête de la Fédération, a joyous celebration in 1790 that honored the new French Republic and commemorated the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille.

So the day is a holiday mostly concerning national pride and the values “liberté, fraternité, and égalité,” with a extravagant military parade in Paris, picnics, parties and fireworks.

As for Belmont – yes, the town’s name is Old French for “beautiful mountain” and comes from the name of John Perkins Cushing’s estate – you can enjoy the flavors of France at Praliné Artisanal Confections, the town’s own French bakery and cafe at 203 Belmont St., near the intersection of Grove Street. It is the closest you’ll come to a traditional French bakery outside of flying to Paris with its cakes, chocolates, and confectionery delights including its standout authentic French macarons. 

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As one-time European and resident airline noise advocate Adriana Poole commented last year, “[i]n all honesty, her macarons are significantly better than those of the famous Parisian macarons place called Ladurée. Tried those yesterday as well in Paris and there is no doubt that our very own French-American Belmontian beats the famous place by quite a bit -texture, flavor, look.”

Find out yourself; the cafe is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.