Let them eat cake

Comfy armchair. bags just about packed, Poitiers, France.






Countdown has begun for catching the Very Fast Train to Paris tomorrow. Days like today involve working through a carefully thought out list of essential tasks requiring completion before leaving, and an enormous amount of procrastinating. The day was barely long enough.

I ate out.

Menus are displayed outside each establishment. Many weird and wonderful dishes; eg “Surf & Turf”.

I ate lunch at a funny little restaurant decked out with ye olde coffee grinders, ditto flat irons, ditto milk urns, ditto tea kettles, ditto etc. I nearly jumped out of my socks when a ditto cuckoo clock went off, and I could swear I was hearing ditto bagpipes the whole time, but as if another diner were listening to them on headphones; that tinny buzzing that’s there but almost not there. I couldn’t work out what the ambience was supposed to be and I think they achieved it.

The tea kettles and urns made me feel trusting so I ordered the Plat de jour. I knew the Dish of the Day involved beef, and neither the kettles nor the urns let me down...it was ye olde slices of same with potato and cheese. I wasn’t complacent, though. I was working on what I think may be a loophole in the basket of bread scenario:

If you ask for a menu, a basket of bread is placed on your table. If you change your mind about eating something and order coffee, it is taken away again. If you order a meal, you can eat as much bread as you like and you can even ask for MORE bread, but the instant your plate is clean, the basket is whisked away. It doesn’t matter if you’re obviously enjoying some with the end of your carafe of red . It doesn’t matter if you’re reaching for it while exchanging warm smiles with the waitress as she passes. She’ll have it in her hand and out to the kitchen without breaking eye contact.

The problem: there’s only so long you can stretch out eating your main dish to keep the waiter/waitress at bay, and portions may be too chic (small) to leave a bit on the side while you keep filling up on baguette. So...why not position a piece of BREAD on the edge of your plate while you keep dipping into what’s in the basket? Genius.

Tonight was the first time in France I’ve seen Frogs legs on a menu. It was in the Chinese restaurant.

Incidentally, when being seated at a table in France, it appears you can only have up to three seats per person. Therefore, two people might be shown to a table for six, but one person is never shown to a table for four. Even if it’s quite a nice table and she was here early and doesn’t really want to sit over near the fish tank. Undoubtedly something to do with global warming...


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