Mais non, c’est cher

I expect the principle purpose of this BBC piece on the supposed decline of French bistros was to give the author a week in Paris on expenses. This bit made me hoot (emphasis mine):

“The bistro bar is a place of exchange, of conversation, a way of life,” he explained at his own Paris bistro Le Mesturet. “You can have a blue-collar worker elbow-to-elbow with a CEO and an office worker, sharing a coffee, a glass of wine, discussing everything and nothing. Anyone can afford bistro prices, erasing all socio-economic lines.

A beer in a Parisian bistro will set you back around 10 or 12 euros. If two of you have a cup of coffee and a pastry each you’ll not got much change from 20 euros. When I was last in Annecy I thought the waiter had made a mistake on my bill I was so used to astronomical prices in Paris. I get the impression the bistro owners might not be aware of the country outside Paris, and a BBC journalist over from London is the last person who’d be in any hurry to find out.

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8 thoughts on “Mais non, c’est cher

  1. Drinking beer in Paris is madness: shite, badly kept Kronenburg for nonsensical prices. Better sticking to wine.

    I had a look at the website for Le Mesturet. €31.50 for 3 courses so probably about €50 for that plus coffee, water and a modest bottle. Not bad, certainly comparable with London, but hardly a bargain.

    What would the equivalent meal cost in Annecy, Tim?

  2. My former colleague Patrick, who was from Angers, always used to tell me there are two Frances. Paris and the rest of France.

  3. The bistro is being killed by bistro owners and Brake Bros. It’s all reheated ready meals. French chef = bloke who puts the pots in the microwave.
    €12 – 14 for lunch and a small glass. How else would they do it?
    There is some democracy around the zinc, but not more than your average pub.

  4. The bistro is being killed by bistro owners and Brake Bros. It’s all reheated ready meals. French chef = bloke who puts the pots in the microwave.

    Sure you’re not describing a British pub? I’ve never seen that in Paris, and I look out for it.

    €12 – 14 for lunch and a small glass. How else would they do it?

    By owning the premises and the staff are family.

  5. I had a look at the website for Le Mesturet. €31.50 for 3 courses so probably about €50 for that plus coffee, water and a modest bottle. Not bad, certainly comparable with London, but hardly a bargain.

    Yeah, and quality wise it would be good, better than what you’d get in London for the same price. Paris is ridiculously expensive for drinks unless you stick to wine, but not bad for food given the quality. But it’s far from cheap.

    What would the equivalent meal cost in Annecy, Tim?

    About 60-70 euros for two people.

  6. My former colleague Patrick, who was from Angers, always used to tell me there are two Frances. Paris and the rest of France.

    He was right, but in reality no part of France is like another.

  7. Does “Le Mesturet” mean in English what it sounds like it means? Isn’t there a ‘b’ missing there somewhere?

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