Comtesse de Ruél It’s such a pleasure to dine in France, writes Countess du Ruel.  The French take their beloved dogs to bars, brasseries and even the finest restaurants.   Every restaurant should have a canine guest.

We just returned from a week in France, and at every meal there was a canine diner.  French dogs are well-behaved and sit under or even on the chairs.  It’s comforting to have these loyal beasts present.  It adds a sense of family spirit and old fashioned charm to dining.  In England Health and Safety have almost eliminated this  simple pleasure. It’s a joy when I see a dog wander into a pub or restaurant.  I immediately think ‘This is a proper place with real people.’  I make a note to go back. It becomes one of my favourite places.

At one seafood restaurant near Le Touquet, it was a delight to watch a golden retriever under his master’s table share his assiette de fruits de mer.  His pooch began with buttered brown bread and had a taste of each type prawn, petit gris, bulot, oyster and langoustine.  We applauded him for being so well-behaved and for making our own experience more enjoyable.  Later at a side-walk café there were several dogs present.  They didn’t growl at us or fight with each other.  They enjoyed the ambiance and the occasional biscuit from an espresso saucer.  There were two French Bull Dogs having a great time.  They both greeted us with tails wagging madly and added to the pleasure of our

What a joy to enjoy a meal with your dog or even someone else’s.  It adds to the joie de vivre. Bone Appétit!

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