Monday 29 June 2009

France to cut restaurant prices from July 1st (maybe)

Originally uploaded by malias.

From July 1st 2009 TVA (VAT) in restaurants in France will drop from 19.6% to as low as 5.5%. The cut was agreed with EU finance ministers back in April in order to kick start trade in the sluggish restaurant industry.

In theory this cut should be passed on directly to the consumers whether cafes and restaurants do this in practice remains to be seen.

Certainly there is a feeling that restaurant prices in Paris are too high maybe this cut will start bringing customers back to the tables.

Monday 1 June 2009

Alcohol Ban on the Pont des Arts

No Alcohol on the Pont des Arts
Originally uploaded by malias.

One of the great pleasures of living in Paris is the tradition of picnicing in lovely surrondings whether it be the Parc de Vincennes or the Canal St Martin or, my personal favourite spot The Pont des Arts.

I organised a picnic recently on a fine spring evening on this delightful old bridge. No sooner had we placed our baguettes on the passerelle, unwrapped the Camembert and uncorked a couple of bottles of Bordeaux than we were approached by two uniformed policeman (see photo of them harrassing some other tourists). "Parlez vous fran├žais?" they enquired solemnly. When they discovered that we could indeed muster up a few coherent sentences in their gallic tongue they proceeded to inform us that alcohol is now banned on the Pont des Arts.

That's outrageous! We protested. A French picnic without wine is like having a Ferrari that only goes up to third gear. It's just not the same! After our protests we became rather violent, we threw one of the policeman in the river and tied up the other one against the fence.

Ok, the last bit's not true but nevertherless I cannot see any harm in enjoying a little wine with a picnic. If someone is acting drunk and disorderly that's another story and there are laws that deal with that but a sip of vin rouge? S'il vous plait! So Please Mr Policeman give us back our wine.