Last post from France before I head toward Alton Towers. Phew.

Two myths to debunk first.  First, Paris didn’t stink (come back in Summer though), it was perfectly pleasant, bar the risk of stepping in newly laid dog mess; don’t they have laws ?

And the French were courteous and efficient in the face of my mauling of their language. Much better than the English who visit their country,

They even have free public loos on some streets (50 cents in McDonalds), and the occasional pissoir (top) which would also cultivate plants if someone hadn’t poured their 1664 on top of them first.

Sadly, I haven’t marked them for you on the map of our 10 mile trek through tourist Paris.


Wednesday morning, time to find the Zappa.

Zappa art – Sign of a civilised society

Montmartre is a gem for the street art enthusiast, and I finally tracked down the man so desperate to escape Brew Dog’s attempt to break into Paris that he walked through a wall. Also see Pubmeister.

Well done Sir

The infamous “sacs rouge” were out in force on Rue Norvins aka Dali Place.


A very drab hour’s walk past Montmartre cemetery and down to the Arc through which barrels of Punk IPA will be carried when Paris eventually gets its Brew Dog.


The gendarmes were out in force; they’d obviously heard of Mrs RM’s reputation after three pints of orange murk.  Again, they were helpful and charming.

I’m easily bored of “must-see sights“, but the Seine towards Concorde was well worth the diversion.


Rather than eating in fancy restaurants like the English middle-classes, we like to take our terrible French diction into chain places like Bagelstein, where bagels cost only three times more than they do on Brick Lane.


Our Eurostar at 6pm had been cancelled the night before and rearranged for an hour earlier, so we targeted a last beer in the lively area outside the Gare du Nord.

Finding something that looks like a “pub” is as easy as it is in Milton Keynes, but this looked almost Belgian.

Ignore the “Brasserie”

Table football (and dumb waiter, noted Mrs RM).  Hopeful.

City v United

Some Japanese tourists headed to the brasserie, I headed to the bar.


I assumed I’d get the best price standing at the bar.

Branded glasses

It seems I was wrong.

Cheers, Patrick

Yep, £7.50 for a pint of Grimbergen in a run-of-the-mill bar near the station.  Carlsberg Elephant seemed like a bargain in comparison.

Still, it was rather gorgeous, almost Leffe like in its lovely chalice, the beer of the break.


So there you go. Paris needs a Spoons. We all need a Spoons (if not a Tim).

Mrs RM had a can of something craft on the way back. It was good to get home.




  1. “something craft on the way back” or some proper London Pride while you can ?
    It won’t be “drinking well” after the malted barley is replaced by rice grist.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The French still have an interesting approach, to public provision for bodily functions, as you show in your fine post, Martin.

    I went, as a matter of urgency, to a toilet at a bar in Périgord once, which was of the two-glazed-housebrick type. The timed – oh yes – light switch was on the outside, and there were no windows.

    It’s probably best, that I leave the good gentlefolk among your readership to deduce the sequence of events.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. To spare you – and Pauline – you dear things, I got out clean and tidy, but I had to do everything connected with operating the contraption by feel, and a process of elimination.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Again showing my Big Beer ignorance, I’d assumed Grimbergen was a Pelfort style cheap lager, rather than a respected Abbey beers of Leffe standards. The Carlsberg Elephant is 8+%, so makes sense.


    1. In a local pub last evening I overheard a customer saying that he likes staying in different towns, and has done 300 of them ( nothing compared to Martin’s 3000 or more ), and that within half an hour of entering Tim’s Wrexham venue he was offered class A drugs, the pusher not recognising him as a retired police officer.
      And that’s where a customer took his horse a while ago

      Liked by 1 person

      1. P P-T,
        I do NOT intend discussing Tim’s empire at length on a thread about Parisian bogs but will just add that, despite all the criticism, I find his high street ‘barns’ far from the worst place to go in many a high street before midday.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. I have.
        For a titan of the British hospitality industry and a hugely wealthy man he’s remarkably down to earth and likes a pint.
        Sound views on Brexit too ( which is why I suspect some of your readers get upset.)
        He’s exactly the sort of private entrepreneur that makes Blighty such a successful place.


      2. That’s highly commendable Martin.

        Many people’s methods these days – though not usually re Tim – would make the Ducking Stool seem to be a paragon of objectivity and impartiality by comparison.


      3. There is indeed an Ember Inn in Acton Park, actually called The Acton Park. It was my regular weekend haunt when I was 17-18, long before Ember Inns were even dreamed of. It was a Bass house but the only cask they had was Stones. Have been there fairly recently but not on a night/weekend so don’t know how lively it gets.
        The Spoons in the old bank (ex-Midland) is The North & South Wales Bank. The one where the bloke took his horse is the Elihu Yale. Both can get a bit lairy.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been enjoying your Parisian series Martin, and its reminded me that it’s nearly 18 years since I last set foot in that fair city. A re-visit seems like a good idea.

    From your photos, the amount of graffiti unfortunately seems to have increased exponentially, but sadly that seems the case with many cities across the world. I’ve never understood this desire to disfigure buildings with mindless squiggles (sorry “tags”), it’s a bit like shitting on your own doorstep!

    As for Timbo, I shan’t rise to the bait in response to old Pie Tin’s hero worshipping, but what I will say is a growing number of Tim’s staff are unhappy about having to dish out the no deal Brexit propaganda contained in his grubby house magazine; that and the low wages plus long shifts.


    1. I didn’t want to be too negative about Paris, but I found it quite a samey city. A bit like walking from Oxford Street to West London; impressive but strangely uninspiring buildings and a lack of grit. I suspect you need to leave the central belt to find grit.


      1. Apart from a few bars full of Maghrébins, all that we found further out – to the North – was that things just got generally quieter, cheaper, and less varied.

        There’s plenty more to see than we did though.


      2. That’s fair. You could form a very singular view of London if you just walked Kings Cross to Holborn to Piccadilly Circus, though I suspect you’d be rather more impressed.


    2. Well Paul as I’ve said before the great thing about RM’s blog is that he doesn’t delete posts simply because he doesn’t agree with the political view of the person expressing them.
      Know what I mean ?


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