More shameless use of this blog for my Parisian holiday snaps.  But fear not, there’ll be posts from rural Staffs coming up soon enough.

Blog views overnight from Oman, Pakistan and India, but none from France, so I think I’m safe with an honest perspective on the capital.

Our tourist route took us away from underpants and crooked divine candles into the better known Paris.


This was a third trip for Mrs RM and myself to a city that I never think quite justifies its reputation ahead of Middlesbrough or Wigan on the global tourism charts.

In 1990 I bumped unexpectedly into my sister at the Pompidou (top); they still haven’t got their external wiring sorted out. The square is a nice place to dilly-Dali.



Over the Seine to the Notre-Dame, the busiest we saw Paris on our break. A week ahead of Valentine’s Day, a month after Christmas and with pictures of riots on our screen, it seemed very quiet.  Apart from the Japanese visitors who thankfully keep European tourism alive.

Impressively large rather than awe-inspiring (Blackburn Cathedral is better), the Notre-Dame frescoes below represent BRAPA’s recent trip to Ramsey.

Future micropub

Not much has changed since our last visit in 2000, bar the arrival of mobile phones that allow folk to bump into you on streets.  In Le Sorbonne, they retained those squat toilets you only see in rural Turkey.

Calling IPA, apparently

In the Jardin du Luxembourg we saw a man praying to a tree (not shown as don’t wish to embarrass the tree), but otherwise the weirdness quotient was some way below expectations.

So at 4pm we popped in to one of Pubmeister’s recommendations, La Robe & La Mousse. Inevitably it had a sign saying “craft” outside. Just as well, as it looks like an antiques shop.

Very Whitstable

There was only one other customer, and an attractive cellar bar,



but Mrs RM instinctively headed down the bottom of the narrow bar to grab the table in the corner.  I can’t criticise someone for sitting down, can I ?


That one other customer had bought her bottled beer and was now engaging the barman in lengthy discussions about some mutual friend or other. The barman gave me that Gallic shrug that means “She’ll stop talking soon“.  But she didn’t.  Mrs RM gave me that hard stare that means “Interrupt them NOW and get me a strong drink or I’m not walking another step“.

It took five minutes, dear reader, to get served. A similar keg range to the Brussels Beer Project, which is fine.

Utilitarian bar

Then I spotted the unmarked handpump.  Surely Bass ?

“Est que cask ?” I stuttered, to Mrs RM’s amusement.

Still exciting, even with a sparkler

Non.  Only French cask.  Only one cask brewer in France“.  And none on today. So that’s your GBG place in serious doubt, I thought. It would have been soup, anyway.

Mrs RM’s DIPA was rich and cool; she sneered at my sour.

Forced to talk to each other, we contemplated the beauty of the Teku, as you do in romantic Paris.




  1. “In 1990 I bumped unexpectedly into my sister at the Pompidou” was unexpectedly ten years before “Not much has changed since our last visit in 2000, bar the arrival of mobile phones that allow folk to bump into you on streets”.


  2. I was once at the point of spending £300,000 on a 5000 sq ft disused wine barn overlooking rolling vineyards in the heart of the Languedoc with the intention of doing it up Peter Mayle-style.
    But the town planner who I approached to discuss renovations insisted I hire an interpreter for our meeting even though he spoke fluent English.
    I suddenly came to my senses.
    What the bloody hell was I thinking ?
    It’s France and the French.
    We’d never get on.
    I dodged a bullet.
    Personally I think it’s been many years since Paris was anything other than a dump serving expensive and lousy food and drink.


    1. Well, certainly, for £300,000, in rural France, I’d expect rather more than some seventy-by-seventy feet of dereliction.

      A workmate of mine bought an abandoned village for less.


    2. Many French towns and cities have impressed me. Paris isn’t one.of them.

      And my problem isn’t the French; it’s pretentious middle-class English who teach their children to say “chateaux en le Loire”. Kevin Rowland had a word for them.


      1. Martin,
        Paris most certainly doesn’t impress me mainly because it stinks, or did last time I was there 10½ years ago.


      2. Probably more of a problem in a Parisian summer. Actually, it was fine, though you’ve just reminded me that Parisians allow their dogs to mess on the pavement. Disgusting. Graffiti (as opposed to street art) is a big issue here. And then the traffic…


      3. I tend to pop over a couple of times a year to watch the rugby – some chums of mine follow Exeter Chiefs – and with many of the teams in the south of France you tend to see a nicer part of the country.
        Bordeaux is a lovely spot,likewise Carcasssonne and even Clermont-Ferrand has a nice old town.
        But Paris ? You can see why the hi-viz mob try to torch the place.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Martin,
        Yes, you worked out “a Parisian summer” from “10½ years ago”.
        The worst aspect of a week in Switzerland is having to get between rail termini in Paris.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. P P-T,
      You might reasonably expect the £300,000 to include a resident dancer with quite a lot of gypsy blood in her and ………


      1. I’m not sure Mrs Professor Pie-Tin would have been happy to have Ms Chapel Hat Pegs tucked away in the west wing …


  3. The barman’s behaviour constitutes Gross Misconduct, however much he a) knows b) fancies or c) both, the young lady. A discipline hearing should ensue, with potentially dismissal or at least final written warning as the outcome.


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