The Queen Street & West Woollahra Association 

French Week in Queen Street

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The Queen Street West Woollahra Association made an application for funding under the Placemaking Grants Scheme run by Woollahra Council in June 2017. At a presentation to Council in July 2017, the proposal was accepted and approved unanimously by all Councillors, who personally pledged their keen interest in attending the events. All businesses in the area were invited to participate, and it was heartening to have the event actively supported and promoted by most businesses.

The opening French themed Cocktail Party on Sunday evening 18th March was a hoot. The Hotel Centennial really laid it on, Veuve Clicquot Champagne and sumptuous Chartreux Cocktails were flowing. The music was very French and very Jazz, provided by our local trio “Madame Padam” who had us up dancing towards the end of the evening.

On Monday evening it was the turn of the Moncur Cellars with their 100 French Wine Degustation evening. Held on the first-floor terrace of the Woollahra Hotel. We were expecting around 70 People to the tasting. As it turned out 150 people attended to taste what turned out to be 137 French wines, Champagnes, Cognacs, Armagnacs and Calvados’. The evening was pumping to the sounds of “Madam Padam’” French accordion music once again.

Tuesday was the turn of Parterre Café who presented a French petit dejeuner and dejeuner. The packed lunchtime session was supported by the sounds of the accordion from Philippe of Philharmonix, dressed up in traditional French garb.

Wednesday, Maloney’s Grocer, on the corner of Moncur and Rush Streets, put on a French cheese tasting. A great selection of cheeses from all over France were on display and the tasting was accompanied by Phillipe on the accordion. In the evening Victor Churchill our local butcher hosted a magnificent dinner which followed a detailed expose of French cooking methods. Luke, the chef host, along with ample Champagne and Cotes du Rhone wine, made it a very special occasion. Victor Churchill had French Charcuterie lunches in Jute bags available all week. On that same night the Hughenden Hotel put on a “Moulin Rouge” life drawing class which was fully booked out. All materials were supplied, along with a glass of bubbles and for those who missed their dinner, a selection of French charcuterie.

Thursday evening Lesley Mckay’s bookshop in Spicer Street put on a book launch with wine. The local author, Katrina Lawrence presented her book, “Paris Dreaming”. The book is a look into the fascinating, sometimes hidden and often overlooked parts of Paris. Highly recommended reading.

Friday was the big French Lunch at Luxe Café. A variety of quiches along with French Rose and bubbles were available. The Queens Court courtyard was packed and to add to the experience Moss and Spy models wandered between the tables showing off their new range of haute couture. They offered free gifts of French nail polish to the female diners. All of this was to the accompaniment of none other than “Madame Padam” on the accordion. Moss and Spy then had balloons and champagne on the Street for passers-by to stop and have a tipple.

Saturday there was plenty on with Boules Artistes Australia running free all day French Petanque lessons in Centennial Park. It was a glorious sunny day and for those of us who have played before it was a chance to match up against another team. My team, nominated the French Week in Queen Street team, won against another threesome 13 to 12. Boules Artistes Australia send representatives to Marseille each year to compete in the World Petanque Championships.

Leonard Joel Auction House had their doors open all Saturday with Champagne and French cheese available to guests while they surveyed their latest on-line antiques auction which comprised some stunning pieces of French art, jewellery, Sevres vases and furniture.

Maloney’s again had their doors open for another French Cheese tasting which delighted the shoppers as they browsed the store selecting their weeks groceries.

On Saturday afternoon M Contemporary Gallery opened their doors for an Arts and Tarts afternoon. Artists and their works were there to talk on their displays which included some incredible very large and satirical vases. Several tasty French quiches were freely available. The French Rose was nicely cooled and helped along its way by Philippe on the accordion.

Sunday heralded the final Adieu Dinner at Bistro Moncur. Opening with Champagne, oysters and canapes in the front bar to the sounds of the “Madame Padam” duo for the first hour. We then all moved into the main restaurant along with the band for our three-course meal with stunning Alsace and Cotes du Rhone wines. It was a truly memorable evening which everyone enjoyed immensely.

John Knott, QSWWA Committee Member, French Week in Queen Street organiser


Click on a photo and scroll through the gallery.

Thank You, Merci Beaucoup!

A big thank you must to go to the many shops and businesses which participated in the week, and in so many ways. Special thanks to Susan Avery Florist and Parterre Garden for their excellent window displays, you would not see better on the Champs Elysees. Plane Tree Café for adding French toast, croissants and French wine to their menu and being an intrinsic part of the week with their French staff. Moss and Spy for the incredible window displays, their enthusiastic participation and beautiful models. Maloney’s for the tasty cheeses we all tried. The Hughenden Hotel for all the French flag bunting along the outside of the Hotel.

 Leonard Joel for their involvement during the week. Parterre Garden for their incredible window displays and dining experiences. Susan Avery Florist in Jersey Road, again for their magnificent window display. Mini Raxevsky children’s wear for being so much a part of the week with their windows and discount offerings. Riada for their stunning French windows on the corner of Queen and Moncur Streets. Reads Boutique for their discounted sales of French footwear. Riada Concept, Luxe Cafe, Queens Court and Di Jones for their support.

Tony Sunman, Georgia Cleary, I & B Perryman Oriental Carpets, Greene and Greene Antiques, Robert Burton, Quincy Shoes, Axel Mano and Anne Schofield for their windows. Richard Banks Optometrist, The Bay Leaf Kitchen wares, Armani Junior and the guys behind the scene including Giles Edmonds preparing the Village Voice magazine, Eric Scott for typesetting and Anne Knott covering the social media.

Lesley McKay for her last minute organisational skills. Victor Churchill for that great cooking and dining experience. Matthew Ely Jewellery and staff for their great support throughout the week. M. Contemporary for opening their Gallery and Garden for a relaxing Saturday afternoon. And by no means least, the Hotel Centennial, Woollahra Hotel, Bistro Moncur and Moncur Cellars for their involvement.

John Knott, QSWWA Committee Member, French Week in Queen Street organiser

Copyright 2021 The Queen Street & West Woollahra Association Ltd

ABN 98 002 872 43 

PO Box 16, Woollahra, NSW 1350 

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