Sometime in 1789 when Marie Antoinette was told the citizens of France, her subjects, had no bread, she is suppose to have famously replied,
“Qu’ils mangent du gâteau” (“Let them eat cake.”)
The struggles for the people of France had become progressively unbearable after most of the country’s resources were spent to aid America in its revolutionary war. This was further compounded by a year of poor harvests in 1788. With hailstorms devastating the north, and a continuing drought in the south, things got progressively worse. Along with the miserable conditions they endured, the price of bread was too high for most and the people began to starve.
The moment in time could have inspired the Pantière, (can you find the one at Enchanté that is now over 200 years old)? This mysterious looking antique which had already been in use for nearly 100 years, stored bread, under lock and key, to keep the precious commodity away from children and pets. The Bastille, not unlike the Pantière held many of France’s free thinkers under lock and key to keep the King’s subjects from conspiring against the crown.
Was Marie Antoinette’s off-handed comment and lack of compassion for the plight of the people the last straw for the revolutionaries? The Bastille had become a symbol of the monarchy’s dictatorial rule, and on 14 July 1789, this state prison on the east side of Paris, was attacked by an angry aggressive mob. The event became one of the defining moments in the Revolution that followed.
On July 14th this year why not celebrate Bastille Day with us? We promise there will be no storming angry mob, but if you can, find our Pantière. Bit of a history buff? Then request our Marie Antoinette room anytime. Wake up to your included Chef inspired breakfast and enjoy his delicious secret ingredient bread, aptly named French Toast with berries. Á bientôt!