Thursday, 30 April 2009

Toulouse and some observations

We headed up to Toulouse this morning. An IKEA trip was required, so we thought it would be nice to spend some time in Toulouse while we were up there, go to the Victor Hugo market and have lunch. The market was excellent. We bought duck hearts, gésiers, mousse de canard, head cheese, some Toulouse sausage..... yum!

Toulouse is a lovely city, with plenty of little squares and impressive architecture. We were drawn to the Place du Capitole by the sound of music and chanced upon a Catalan youth 'troupeau' playing 'flabiol' and Catalan drums, with accompanying dancers riding hobby-horses. They were superb!I fancied lunch in the sun (20 degrees in Toulouse) in one of the restaurants on the square and spotted one that had an interesting 'plat du jour'. We sat ourselves down, only to be told by a brusque waiter that he had no 'plat du jour' left (this was at 12.30), but that we were welcome to eat at their rather more upmarket restaurant adjacent. No thank you! We moved on. We stumbled across a nice little restaurant in a quieter situation in Place Saint-Sernin, took a seat and waited. 10 minutes we waited, without even the courtesy of an acknowledgement from the waiter who was clearly overwhelmed with the lunchtime rush. We left, frustrated. We satisfied our stomachs with a very nice chicken salad baguette and a bottle of water from a boulangerie. The conclusion is that the recent reports on the BBC and other newspaper reports about the dire straits in which the French restaurants are now finding themselves are based upon nothing more than hot air! Pretty much every restaurant that we passed in Toulouse city centre on this Thursday lunchtime was rammed, heaving, packed to the gills! I'm sorry, but the UK reports amount to nowt but overheated hot air! Just the same as reports that UK Expats who have been living in France are returning to the UK. Anything for a good 'story' ......?


Les suédois said...

Well, they certainly had good meatballs at IKEA...
Why would the Expats suddenly come back to UK? La crise?

penny said...

Hi Anne - yes, the press would have us believe that expats are returning to the UK in their thousands as they can no longer afford to live in France. Sure, Brits who rely solely on pension income from the UK have been hard hit by the euro/sterling exchange movement, but the mass exodus is just a story dreamt up by the media!