We went out to lunch with some good friends of ours, Andy and Viv, yesterday.
We went to a really great restaurant, typically local menu, great value, €16.50 for three courses!
As we entered, we were asked "fumeur on non-fumeur", or in plain old English "smoking or not".
As we had our kids with us AND we don't smoke, we asked for non-smoking. We sat on the typically French plastic seats (bum sweaters) and looked at probably the best menu I have seen in a tourist area in France. We chose predominantly fish as we were facing the sea and quite frankly, fish is fresh and the local product. The smell coming from the kitchen was outstanding, it was the kind of smell that makes your mouth water and stomach rumble.
France is facing a no smoking ban next year. The problem in France is the concept of no-smoking, I think the ban may fail before it even starts..
We were sitting in the non-smoking area yesterday, my back was against a kind of painted trellis. You know the sort, a wooden screen like below:-
Now, if you had a brain just over the size of a grain of salt, do you think that the above would stop smoke hitting you? No. Of course bloody not. Well, by the time my starter of homemade fish soup arrived, a table of wrinkly rude French smokers aged around 60 years old decided to light up the fags, their table was against the other side of the trellis. Bastards. At what point did these selfish gits think that I wanted to eat with a tonne of smoke in my face? I tell you what, my son turned towards them, a seven year old, and started coughing, on purpose. What did they do, bugger all. Sod all.
I may sound a little angry but guess what, I won't go back, before the smoke squad arrived, I was going to book again, this Saturday for eleven, not now.
I am about to name and shame the restaurant, when it is searched for on Google, this review will appear, it is a shame but I think more people should name and shame horrid places to eat due to smoke. Anyhow, the place is called Terre et Mer, 12 rue de la chaine, La Rochelle. I hope they change the way they smoke out people like me, if they do change they can invite me back, i'll give it a first class review because the food was superb.
Will France be able to beat the smokers? I am just not sure they understand what no-smoking means.