Fantastique French Cocktail Hour!

What's French Cocktail Hour?

"The French ritual of l'apéritif, unlike the American cocktail hour, involves a light drink… and a few bites of something delicious to whet the appetite." — Mona Talbott, T Style magazine (New York Times)

French Cocktail Hour, or apéritif à la française, is a unique tradition celebrated in France and throughout Southern Europe and this year, I'm joining 999 other folks in the United States who are hosting a French Cocktail Hour party in addition to those that are celebrating in 19 countries and 28 cities around the world. The event is to promote French wines, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres!

Complete with festive decorations, French music in the background, some party favors and of course, lots of French wines and French inspired fare, tonight our Fantastique French Cocktail Hour Party was a success! Below is the menu I prepared and feel free to click on the links for recipes!

Moules a la Mariniere
(mussels in white wine)

(cold potato & leek soup)

Salade d'Endives, Noix et Roquefort
(endive salad with roquefort, walnuts & cranberries)

Pomme de Terre Farci avec Sanglier
(wild boar stuffed potatoes)

Plateau et Accountrements Français de Fromage
(French cheese platters and accountrements)

(toasted, open faced sandwiches)

mozzarella, tomato & basil

ham & swiss

chicken pesto

salmon, dill & cucumber

Eclairs au Chocolat
(chocolate eclairs)

Mousse au Chocolat
(chocolate mousse)

Tartes de Mangue
(mango berry tart )

Fresh Strawberry Tart

Crepes de Banane et Nutella
(banana and Nutella crepes)

French Wines

To help our guests spread out a bit (since our place isn't quite that big) I had various food and drink stations throughout:

Cheese & Savory Appetizer Station Tartine Station Dessert & Sweets Station
Wine Station with French Wine Map
Here are some candid pictures of friends hanging out and enjoying the food, wine and views from our place:


  1. Wow! Everything looks so delicious, I wouldn't know where to start!

    Actually, I'll start with the chocolate mousse - I love chocolate mousse!

  2. This looks fabulous! What a great introduction to a different cultural tradition!

  3. What a fabulous party - everything looks amazing! I would like to try the wild boar stuffed potatoes, what a cool idea!

  4. Joelen you did a fantastic job! Everything looks incredible. And I'm officially craving mussels now :)

  5. WOW, that looks like one amazing spread! I'm always amazed by your hostest skills, and this night was no expeption.

  6. Beautiful menu, food and presentation! Love it!

  7. Wow...what a fabulous soiree! I'm in love with everything French right now...what an amazing spread of food...YUM!

  8. Everything looks great! I love the idea of soup shooters, and could eat about 4 of those chocolate mousse cups right now!

  9. Wow!! What a view!!! What an awesome place!! Very cool!

    And a very cool party!!

    Every single thing you made looks completely delectable!!

  10. ouh...I am french and I am totally impressed..bravo!