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Everything posted by CarolineLD

  1. I was in Bristol last weekend and had a very good lunch in Fishers (unsurprisingly, a fish restaurant) in Clifton. It offers a two-course lunch for £8.50, which was a real bargain. Calamari were excellent and the mackerel perfectly cooked.
  2. Last November, I had lunch at the Jules Verne (** on the Eiffel Tower). They were exceptionally nice to me as a lone diner, and gave me a brilliant table right by the window. Caroline
  3. Not to mention the irritating repetition of 'Richard' in every paragraph, third-rate-salesman style.
  4. Oh, I love eating alone in France - they're usually especially nice to lone diners. A few weeks ago I had a meal in the Jules Verne (2nd level of the Eiffel Tower), and got a marvellous table right by the window. Similarly got one of the best tables in a bouchon in Lyon; was brought an extra amuse in a restaurant in Montmartre; etc, etc. Can't think of any bad experiences at all - none of the weird attitude one sometimes gets in London... Caroline
  5. I've seen them in Brittany for a couple of years but have no idea if they have any history before that. Caroline
  6. Look out for craquelins, although you're more likely to see them in shops than restaurants (having said that, I first ate them in an amuse at Le Cantorbery in Dinan). This site explains them although St Malo are not my favourite brand. Far Breton and caramel au beurre sale, although you've probably already thought of those. Caroline
  7. CarolineLD


    If you do go to Dinan, the Cantorbery is quite 'homey': a wonderful old building, very traditional cuisine, meat cooked over the fire, etc. I've been there several times and really enjoyed it. However, I did see somewhere a suggestion that it may have changed hands since my last visit. [ Address: 3 Rue Haute Voie, 22100 Dinan; Tel: 0296394705] My favourite restaurant in the town, though, is l'Auberge du Pelican which is more contemporary, consistently excellent and offers great value for money. [ Address: 6 Rue Ste Claire, 22100 Dinan; Tel: 0296390252] I don't think either has a website, but both are listed in Michelin if you have a copy. Caroline
  8. Galettes can be a savoury pancake, your shortbread-type biscuit, or your flat-folded pie! If you go to this page traou mad and galettes de Pont Aven you'll see a picture of the type of galette you're making on the right. Caroline
  9. Er, if they're any good they'll give the one with the prices to the host and the other to the guest, regardless of gender!! Caroline
  10. Just bumping this to ask whether the same recommendations still hold. Some friends are coming up to London in a few weeks and are adamant about eating in Chinatown. Thanks for any advice! Caroline
  11. I really, really hate having my intelligence insulted. When a restaurant's menu was divided into 'starters' and 'main courses', when I'd eaten there a dozen times in the past and always had the starter before the main course, and when they then forget our starters, I was never going to believe it when the server sneeringly told me, "They're not starters here, they're side dishes." (Luckily, my guest didn't either - despite the server's implication that I was an uncultured idiot). It didn't help that one starter was then brought over as a side dish though we no longer really wanted it, the other never appeared on the table at all, but both were on the bill. Sadly, if they'd just said sorry for forgetting the starters, we wouldn't have minded. After all, we all make mistakes. However, after being patronised and insulted, I never went back to that restaurant - and I obviously wasn't alone because it closed a month or two later. Caroline
  12. Absolutely - it's not expected or routine in London, but is a nice thing to do. And I'm sure it does get better service if you're around enough (and around one particular bartender enough - often not the case in very busy pubs). I'll do it in places I go regularly, or if the bartender has been particularly helpful, but it's certainly not routine or expected. I'd be unlikely to buy the bartender a drink if I've just popped in for a quick pint and am not a regular. Most people I know (some ex-bar staff, and none of them mean tippers) wouldn't expect to tip in a bar but might buy the bartender the odd drink. Caroline
  13. Sorry to hear that - and what a strange way to run a competition! Ah well, fingers crossed for next time... Caroline
  14. (Politely and sweetly) turn it back on her: if she ever gets in touch to chase up her cheque, explain to her that you contacted your accountant as she requested. However, your accountant advised you that she couldn't possibly send out a cheque without the original receipt to match it against in the accounts. Sadly, your hands are therefore tied unless this customer could let you have the original receipt. As well as avoiding the wholly undeserved refund, it may teach her to be more moderate in her demands to future victims: after all, she can only have made the 'accountant' stipulation to be awkward! Caroline
  15. I wouldn't say I'm freaked out by walking into an empty restaurant, but most of my worst service experiences have been in very quiet restaurants. All too often, staff seem to assume that less customers mean more opportunity to chat amongst themselves or simply disappear for long periods. So it's not a fear of poisoning but rather fear of dying of old age by the time the bill comes which keeps me out... Caroline
  16. I've never brought myself to eat in the local buffet restaurant whose window promises "Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and others". It's the vague "others" that really does it... Caroline
  17. A bit, I'm afraid! It's basically saying that prices in this restaurant don't include the costs to which commercial enterprises are subjected, so its prices can't match those of private restaurants either. (I'd assume that this is a reminder to customers of how they can be cheap, thus avoiding upsetting the restaurants on whom their students presumably rely for a job!). Caroline
  18. Well, this was from someone who sets out his restaurant-reviewing credentials by saying that his specialist subject is, er, biscuits. (Although that was no more pointless than most of the other anecdotes...)
  19. Those are the rules I referred to, translated from metric - 100ml actually gives you a huge 3.4 oz!
  20. The standard rule for flights from France is that you can take solid food in your carry-on. For liquids (which I think is fairly broadly interpreted to include gel-type substances), you can carry containers not exceeding 100ml in a 1-litre capacity clear, resealable plastic bag which you must show separately from your hand luggage when you go through security. (Sadly this excludes most of what I would like to carry, eg wine!) I fly regularly from Dinard airport, which certainly operates these procedures. I can't speak for CDG, but they're standard European rules so they shouldn't differ, in theory. Caroline
  21. I've sometimes taken a box of good English biscuits: it's a nice change from chocolates, and of course something they can't get in the local supermarche. Obviously this rather depends on having brought some over from Britain! Hosts have seemed pleased with them (or are very polite, which is also possible...) Caroline (edited for grammar)
  22. Here in Britain, people don't generally celebrate Epiphany (unless you count taking the decorations down which traditionally should be done on Twelfth Night; there were other twelfth night celebrations historically but they're not kept up). In fact, I think it's more of a Catholic than Anglican celebration. And according to the BBC,
  23. I couldn't find any reference to eating separately or together in the article - maybe I missed it. But in any event, I don't understand your reference to eating separately being "posh". It was being written for a middle-class audience and English middle-class families don't see eating separately as posh - in fact, those who subscribe to the food expectations the article discusses would also favour all eating together at a dining table. English culture is so much more complicated than the myth of aristocratic life... Caroline
  24. A lot of France's surimi is made in Saint Malo. The company Comapêche, or Compagnie de la Pêche, has a factory ship (Joseph Roty II) which not only catches blue whiting, but also processes it into surimi. It's apparently the only ship which does this. The ship fishes in the winter, and spent this summer in St Malo offering tours. (I know this because I queued up for one, but had to leave the very long queue before reaching the front in order to catch my plane!). This is basically from memory, but there was a fairly detailed and interesting article in the newspaper Ouest France in mid-July 06, which you should be able to find in their online archive - for a fee - if you read French (Ouest France archive access). Hope this helps! Caroline
  25. The idea of confining local farmers to the oyster bar made me laugh!
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