Ah, the joys of a French lunch…
…let us reflect not just on the wonderful local dishes that take centre stage on the menus but of the gloriously, long drawn out commitment required. A two hour lunch break might seem rather crazy until you experience it for yourself, at which point you will surely wonder why the whole world hasn’t followed suit.
Interestingly, written into French law is a rule that forbids employers to allow employees to take meals in premises used for work – which probably explains why there are so many great lunchtime destinations, often found in the most unexpected places.
In a COVID world of too much screen time, the French were plainly ahead of the curve by expecting workers to take a break from the screen…So forget limp sandwiches and sweet treats dropping crumbs all over your keyboard at your desk – here lunch is a time to pause and relax and socialise.
This fine tradition of the ’pause de déjeuner’ has come under the spotlight recently with the revelation that in 2019, 15% of French employees ate lunch at their desk. Whilst this seems to have prompted much shock, horror, head shaking and Gaelic shrugs, can we just pause to reflect that 85% of French employees DON’T eat at their desk. That is incredible and – in quality of life terms – something to celebrate.
Let’s hope that when the bars and restaurants reopen, old habits will quickly return and lunch treated again with the respect it deserves…now, where’s today’s menu?