Bowls on the table? What kind of restaurant is that? Don’t French drink their fancy wine in equally fancy glasses? Yes, they do, but there is one exception—at the crêperies. Crêpes and galettes, these very thin pancakes that can be a savoury dish (typically served with eggs, ham and cheese) or a sweet snack (often topped with butter and sugar, Nutella or jam). You typically drink cider with them, and it’s served in a bowl—you actually order a bolée de cidre.
I think I have yet to find French public toilets that are 1) free 2) clean 3) have toilet paper 4) have water and soap to wash your hands afterwards. Les toilettes are few and far between, it’s almost as if French don’t… ahem, need them. I took this picture at the jardin des plantes, a public park popular with kids. There is a bathroom with toilet paper but no soap, which I find very weird considering the number of kids who really need to wash their hands after playing and before eating their snack. Note that the toilet paper is pink, a very common colour for toilet paper in France—not sure why. French butts apparently need pink instead of white. And note the lock, in case someone who would to steal a roll! Welcome to the country where twelve-year-old can buy alcohol at the supermarket, but where toilet paper is under lock and key…!
Macarons weren’t very popular when I grew up. They were seen as fancy and expensive snacks, and few bakeries sold them. A few years ago, we had a macaron trend, much like the cronut trend in North America. These sweet meringue-based treats filled with ganache, buttercream or jam were often sold by six, eight or ten and came in many flavours. In Paris, the Ladurée chain of pastry shops has been known for its macarons for about 150 years, but even McDonald’s sold them at one point! Nantes isn’t that big on macarons and I’m not a huge fan of them. I find them too sugary and too expensive. Nonetheless, they are pretty to look at, much like cupcakes!
Carrefour, and presumably other large supermarket chains, print discount coupons at the back of their receipts. I have yet to use them (although I think we kept one that offers a 20% discount on a combo at Quick, the fast food chain) but I think it’s a smart idea that put receipts to good use. I’ve seen that in New Zealand and a few other countries but never in Canada, and I’m surprised marketers haven’t used receipts yet considering advertising and coupons are popular across the Atlantic Ocean.