| by Drew Middleton
Our team were honoured to be invited to French Ambassador Sylvie Bermann's residence in Notting Hill to celebrate Bastille Day on 14th July. Here's what we got up to...
Firstly, French History 101: Bastille Day falls on July 14th every year, marking the anniversary of the Storming of Bastille in 1789 during the French Revolution.
This year, we were privileged to be given invitations to the home of the UK's French Ambassador to celebrate the occasion with fantastic European company, speeches, champagne, cocktails, chocolate, foie gras, macaroons and David Ginola.
We celebrate our multicultural team which is formed with 2/3 European internationals. Our Finance Director Isabelle, Sales Administrator Sephora and Account Manager Gwladys are all French internationals, so we really enjoyed jumping on board to enjoy their national day with them this year.
Upon arrival we were greeted by opening speeches from Sylvie Bermann and the freshly appointed UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson giving what was likely his first public address since his new role in government began.
Boris touched on the outcome of 'Brexit' and what it means for the close relationship between our European neighbours, France - of course, his words were powerful and positive, he spoke very good French in parts and reiterated his intentions to keep ("dare he say it...") a "stronger union" between the two countries.
Minus a few boos at the end, it was an interesting watch.
After the speeches were wrapped up, a choir sang note-perfect renditions of the national anthems - 'La Marseillaise' and 'God Save The Queen' - back-to-back which kicked the celebrations into full conversational swing.
Pitched up outside in the lavish garden were pop-up bars serving cocktails, flutes and towers of champagne, a fruit mountain, pork sausage tasters with varieties of mustard, crepes with sweet fillings, macaroons, fruity tarts, chocolate truffles, savoury sliced meats and famous French-originated cheeses with fresh bread.
The decor inside the house was exquisite; tapestries, paintings, marble pillars, a grand piano, flower vases. It reeked of sheer elegance and style.
We also had the pleasure of meeting ex-France international football player David Ginola, who was an absolute gent. He recently underwent risky quadruple heart bypass surgery however looked fit and healthy, which was pleasing to see.
With beautiful summer dresses and classy suits everywhere we looked, it was a spectacle filled with friendly interactions, debates, dancing and dining. We couldn't spot one sad or bitter face amongst the 1,500-strong crowd. Considering the weather was lush in the evening too, it was certainly an event we'll all remember.
On the eve of the Bastille Day national holiday, we were devastated to hear the breaking tragic news from Nice, France. It's terrible for anyone to witness these acts of violence and destruction in modern society and our thoughts are with all the friends and families of the victims #prayfornice