Many French people have migrated to Australia. The reason could be a job opportunity, a family reunion, an adventure or a love affair. Even though Adelaide is not the biggest city in Australia, it still attracts heaps of French people.
The French community in Adelaide is getting bigger and bigger. French shops, restaurants, cafes are developing around the city as well as many cultural events celebrating France are held throughout the year. In Adelaide, French people account for about 3,000 immigrants according to the French Consular Agency of Adelaide. Moreover, French culture is quite present here. So today, I want to take you through an overview of French culture in Adelaide and its surroundings.
French community in Adelaide
1) Backpackers and Working Holiday Visa visitors
Australia is one of the most popular countries French people will pick to go for an adventurous trip after or in-between their studies far away from their parents, teachers and every responsibility. This is why I haven’t been surprised to meet and hear many French travellers in Adelaide who were visiting the city or working at a farm through their Working Holiday Visa. PVTistes.net is the main website (in French) to find every information you need about Australia when you’re on a WHV.
This category of French people living in Adelaide is the one I hate because they are usually disrespectful, loud, show-off, arrogant, cheeky and cocky. Of course, they are not all like that (i.e. my friends Anna and Nico who are actually backpacking all over Australia and New Zealand), but I’ve seen many young French that I couldn’t handle because they were not acting properly and making French people look like they all act like self-centered and immature people.
I’ve heard and read many bad stories about French people being shouted or mocked because of their behavior. The expression “French shopping” has even been invented to refer to the way French steal items at the self-serve check-out of a grocery store by “forgetting” to scan some items. I reckon this is one of the reasons why Aussies do not trust them. They’re also being arrested for being drunk and unruly.
2) French students & interns
Some other French people come to Adelaide to study at the uni or do an internship (i.e. Domi at the AF d’Adelaide). Most of these French students only stay for a short term (a few months up to a year) to experience the Australian campus life.
3) French entrepreneurs or sponsored by an Australian company
Some lucky ones could have been sponsored by a company based in Adelaide to stay and work here. They would mainly be working in fields in high demand such as cuisine or sciences, for instance. Other brave ones have launched their own business and developed something new in Australia. Unfortunately, I haven’t met anyone who experienced entrepreneurship in Adelaide ; however, I had a chat with a Belgian girl who had created her own cafe offering Belgium waffles and other lunch dishes and desserts.
4) Those who fell in love with an Aussie or with OZ
I have met many French people in this particular case. They came here either to study or to travel, they met someone who now shares their life and they stayed in Adelaide, got a Partner Visa followed by the Australian citizenship. A real love story!
5) Francophiles in Adelaide
Francophiles are the people who have a sincere love for French language and culture. They can be Australians or visitors/students in Adelaide, they all share the same passion for everything French. There are many associations and clubs that regularly gather to either speak French or organise an event about a specific French cultural aspect (food, cinema, fashion).
– The Alliance Française d’Adelaide provides French language classes for all levels (in groups and private tutoring) as well as organises cultural events promoting French culture in Adelaide.
– The Adelaide French Language Meet-up is a social group of Francophiles who meet up to speak French together, share stories, passions and news about France
– French clubs at Unis: these clubs usually group together students of French from the universities of Adelaide. The Adelaide University French Club is quite active as they regularly organise French picnics, breakfast, games. The UniSA French Club is less active but still get a few Francophiles together to discuss French language and culture.
– French teaching in Adelaide: whether you learn it at the uni, through the South Australian French Teachers’ Association (SAFTA), with one of the teachers of the AF d’Adelaide or with a French tutor (anyone can offer French lessons on Gumtree, like Domi does!), there are many options to learn the language of Molière!
French culture in Adelaide
1) French-inspired restaurants
– Bistro Dom: Duncan Welgemoed who has been awarded a cooking prize celebrates French food and wine in a classic and contemporary bistro-style restaurant in the CBD.
– Bistro France: with a menu in French, this restaurant owned by a French family brings together to Adelaideans all the most popular dishes from France.
– Le Carpe Diem: everywhere you go, the odds of finding a crêperie (crepes restaurant) are really high! Whether they are savory or sweet, you’ll find delicious crepes in this eastern restaurant.
– L’Atelier Gourmand: located in Goodwood, this little but friendly restaurant offers every popular French dishes displayed in a fancy way. Its French chef perfectly combines South Australian ingredients into a French-inspired menu.
– The Corner Bistrot: it declares itself as Adelaide’s authentic French bistro and it offers a home-style cuisine in a warm and friendly environment.
– d’Artagnan Restaurant: if the food at d’Artagnan is being based on the name of this musketeer, it will definitely disarm your senses with its influence of French cooking! The setting of this restaurant brings together chicness and theatrical fantasy.
– The Marquis: in a Parisian-style modern bar, let yourself experience wine by the glass matched with its French-inspired kitchen.
– My Friend Louis: a contemporary, chic café which offers a range of savouries, sweets and coffees in a unique setting based on a James Bond-style.
– St Louis, House of Ice Cream and Dessert: in a neat restaurant, you’ll find many French sweet delicacies at St Louis from chocolate fondue, chocolate fondant, profiteroles to dessert crepes and waffles. Oh la la!
2) French-inspired bakeries
– Mulots Patisserie: this authentic patisserie and bakery offers every savoury pastry, pie, tart, quiche and sweet croissant, cakes and mousses. They also just launched their French cooking courses!
– The Mac Factory: whether it is for a special event or just as a personal treat, bring colors to your life with their handmade macaroons.
– Pastille Petite Desserts: get yourself an artisan-crafted and home-baked gourmet French macaroons to delight yourself (and your friends).
– Boulangerie 113: whether you’re just stopping by to get your daily baguettes, getting a special breakfast for your ladylove with one of their delicious croissants (white chocolate and cranberry, dark chocolate and pistachio, chocolate and hazelnut), or just to enjoy a savoury croque-monsieur or a sandwich baguette as a lunch on-the-go, everything is good at Boulangerie 113!
– Au Matin Calme: a pâtisserie and French café which offers many traditional French danishes, cakes and tarts.
3) French-inspired fashion stores
– Blue Illusion: this Australian French-inspired fashion store is heaven to every fashionista. From clothing, shoes to accessories and homewares, you can find everything Parisian you’re looking for at Blue Illusion.
– Touche de Paris: this shop located in Glenelg offers a wide range of gorgeous and elegant Parisian-style handbags, necklaces, or scarves.
4) Cultural events & festivals promoting French culture
– Galette des Rois: this popular celebration from France is held by January 6th every year at the French Consular Agency of Adelaide. Families and friends gather to eat a king’s cake.
– French Film Festival: this festival celebrates French cinema in March/April at Palace Nova Cinemas. This annual event is directed by the Alliance Française de Sydney and locally organised by the Alliance Française d’Adelaide.
– Bastille Day: the French national celebration occurs by July 14th and is organised by the French Consular Agency of Adelaide. People will enjoy some champagne, nibbles and live music wearing ribbon rosettes, red caps along with French flags.
– French Christmas Market: this replica of a real outdoor market held during the period of Christmas occurs by November-December at the Soldiers’ Memorial Garden of Unley. It showcases heaps of French-inspired shops of Adelaide offering food, drinks, cutlery, lingerie, books and so much more to help you find the perfect gift.
– CheeseFest: this event celebrates every cheese and is a feast and treat for everyone’s palate. It definitely displays some French cheeses and usually takes place at the end of October in Rymill Park.
And other one-off events:
– Dub Inc. at WOMAdelaide 2014
– Fashion Icons: Masterpieces from the Collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris will feature over 100 emblematic haute couture garments from the leading French fashion school. In October, the Art Gallery will turn into the home of luxury and fashion… French-inspired!