Tuesday, 24 March 2009

French Waiters

What is it about French waiters and waitresses in good restaurants? No matter where you go these days all the staff in the top London restaurants seem to have french accents. Surely, we need to be breaking away from this as it subtly implies that the French are better at these things. Now the French are charming, and I have a lot of time for them and their food, but why the bias?

For example, Pied à Terre. Great restaurant, great food. But why are all the staff (Kiwi sommelier aside) French? I struggled to understand one woman offering me bread. Now before you bite my head off, I know this is a 'French' restaurant but then again it is in London and run by two Brits so I'm sure the French would classify it is 'international'.

I'm starting to wonder whether they just put them on as I swear they do in Paul. Next time you go to Paul listen out for the accents - they are all French. Now either they are breaking all sorts of anti-discrimination laws or they are putting it on. I opt for the second as I once caught a Paul employee speaking with an East-end accent. Rumbled!


  1. I don't think it's all 'good' restaurants.

    I think it's just the ones that do french food. I suppose they just want to try and recreate an authentic french eating experience?

    I think it really only happens when you step into a french restaurant or in the case of Paul's, a boulangerie.

    Same reason why there are chinese accents in Yauatcha, Italian accents in Zilli Fish and Indian accents in Benares(with a french speaking sommellier funnily enough) , although cambio de tercio has italian and south american waiters and I am pretty certain that barrafina's and bocca di lupo have english people serving food.

    There you go. Not all 'good' restaurants have french accents.

  2. I suppose I may have been exaggerating a bit! But there does seem to be a Gallic preponderance among waiting staff.

    I do take your point that the nationality of the staff do generally reflect the nationality of the cuisine, but is putting on an accent (a la Paul) one step too far?