Vegetarians and all that jazz....!

This really follows on from the discussion started by Christophe about the poor quality of restaurants in France.

Several commented on the fact they didn't eat out now...they cooked better at home, and I agree, as others said, we usually eat much nicer food at home than I get when I go out. But there is a certain joy, something lovely about dressing up and eating out with friends, sharing wine, food and conversation, and at the end of the evening, getting up and going home and not spending 3 hours washing up!

Something that is often agreed by SFN'ers is that there is a dire lack of vegetarian food on offer in France...and probably....even less vegan food...(unless you just ask them to hold the main and eat the accompanying which case you will be very skinny as you dont get many accompanying veg!)

One of the possibilities I had considered before moving to France (and realising how much red tape there was attached to any and every business) was to open a pop up restaurant at our house. Pop up restaurants, for those not aware, are very popular in the UK and many other countries. They open in empty premises, someones home, are open when it suits those running it, and often have clever ways to avoid many of the difficulties encountered by anyone opening an ordinary restaurant. For those who watch UK cookery programmes Rachel Khoo, whose programme The Little Paris Kitchen had her cooking in her minuscule studio apartment (camping cooker) for two guests at a time in her flat. The menu was fixed and there was no bill....just a request for a donation of 60 euros per couple.

I remember years ago (about 25 to be precise) when we stayed with friends in the Loire who had a lovely cottage. We went out one night to the local farm, where 50 of us sat in a barn at two trestle tables and were served 4 courses, (no menu) with jugs of red and white wine on the table and jugs of water. At the end of the evening we all handed over the equivalent of about £6 each, no bill. Our friends told us this was not unusual and more common in areas where there was a lack of local hostelries or restaurants.

Does anyone know of pop up restaurants in France? I would love to have a go at one, we have a huge terrace where we could easily seat 30 plus people, with fabulous views. I have the enthusiasm and would love to do the equivalent of a tasting menu with half a dozen courses for vegetarians, but I have a sneaky suspicion the French authorities would find a way to make me suffer....All ideas welcome!

......And me! The novelty of eating omelettes (when the chef agrees to make one that is) every time we go out is beginning to wear a bit thin.

If you do Curry nights and veggie lunches once a week, count me in!

True....its the scary bits like someone claiming food poisoning and pointing the finger....though I guess if everyone ate the same that would be difficult...but you are right...wondering if anyone else ever heard of similar ideas taking off?

Worth a try perhaps, but you need to risk assess something like that before getting in up to your neck.

For me it wouldnt be a path to riches! it would be a way to be in France and have something to do and something to keep me busy. Would only consider perhaps 2 days a week....and would run it with a friend and our OHs would serve.....maybe a food club. Ive heard of curry and pizza clubs...there is some sort of legal loophole with clubs that they can provide food without jumping through all the hoops...

Maybe think about a curry night once a week and a vegan/veggie lunch and dinner once a month to start...see how it goes...

I have a nursing job in the UK where I am not contracted to work any hours...just work as I like. They text me daily with shifts that need filling...I can do one or not as I feel. Am deciding whether to take forward a serious job...have 3 applications in at the moment...but would mean I am def. in the UK with limited holidays.....with the nursing I can work the winter in the UK and then decamp to France and follow the cooking option.....decisions, decisions!

Our vegetarian friend Sonia told us about the vegetarian restaurants that have opened in Bergerac since she has been and adult and not eating meat. Not one of them survived. They just did not have the custom. Yet she tells us she knows quite a few vegetarians and that when she was training to be a sports teacher, how a lot of her fellow students were also. I imagine that because a restaurant needs at least five days a week open to survive, that being a niche food hereabouts, that getting lunch and evening custom that would pay may be difficult given that vegetarians are those most likely to cook themselves (partly because of a lack of preprepared food and because they are people who do not want additives either) and that the number of them is not enough to create a constant custom. More's the pity.

As for pop ups. Not hereabouts anyway. More places are on the skids as it is without anybody trying one.