A part of Mangawhai really came to life last weekend with the celebration of Bastille Day.
Though it means little to most Kiwis it was an opportunity to shake off the shackles of winter, dress up and join the celebrations at the Frog & Kiwi Restaurant under French team chef David – or should that be Da-veed – his French partner Nathalie and waitress Tanita.
Bastille Day is the French national day, celebrating the day of the storming of the king’s prison of the same name in 1789. The representatives of the Third Estates revolted against the Absolute Monarchy and declared themselves a National Assembly. The capture of the Bastille meant that the power of the king was no longer absolute. What was an intellectual revolt became a popular revolution – a symbol rather than a real political event.
In France this is now an occasion for French people to celebrate their identity, have a massive parade on the Champs-Elysées in Paris, take part in the many ‘bals populaires’ (partying and dancing) in small villages and big cities alike, and enjoy the huge fireworks displays dotted throughout France.
For Mangawhai it was an evening to dress up in French costume and enjoy a traditional French menu – an evening where good French wine was drunk and poor French was spoken. But locals were quick to get into the spirit of the celebrations that Bastille Day affords by eating, drinking and making merry to the musical strains of Charles Aznevoir and Maurice Chevalier and Edith Piaf.
While just one night, and just one single event, this is just another example of the unique talent and flavour that Mangawhai has to offer.
Anne, with moustache, was the costume winner.
Hot hostesses Nathalie and Tanita.
Chef Daveed with the shady Les and Liz Holsted.