Wednesday, 18 July 2012


"Dad, this restaurant looks too expensive."

"Don't worry Alexei, we're on holiday." Plus it isn't as pricey as it looks.

I'll give Lexie his due, Brasserie Georges does look quite posh. Inside at least. Over the road is a piece of town planning to rival Birmingham's New Street Station. A motorway and car park make Georges virtually inaccessible to pedestrians. Other than through a scary, urine-scented underpass.

Georges must have been dead impressive whenbuilt in the 1830's. The room is enormous. "It's like a football pitch" was Lexie's view. Again, he's not far wrong.

I've always found the French use of the word "brasserie" deceptive and inaccurate. It really means brewery, yet is often used to describe places that are just restaurants. Georges is a brasserie in both sense of the word, being both a restaurant and a brewery.

As if to prove they're a real brewery, the smell of mashing permeates the grand dining room. I'd try to describe, but I learned long ago how poor my powers of description are. And I bought a camera. No need to strain my arse coming up with fancy words when I can just throw a photo at you.

I order a brune. I know, it's like I've not left germany, still ordering Dunkles. It smells of chocolate. Tastes of it, too. Pleasant enough in a bizarrely unexpected way.

Despite dressing like the archetypal snotty French waiter, the staff are friendly, polite and attentive. I order a steak. Saignant. I would have ordered mediom, but I can only remember the Frech for rare and well done. And I definitely don't want it well done.

In the evening we give the kids the slip. I give Alexei instructions for if thing go wrong: "Ring reception and say 'J'ai tué mon frere. Appelez la police, s'il vous plait.'" Always best to remain polite in moments of crisis.

Leaving the kids to an evening of quiet fratricide, me and Dolores jump on the metro and head for De l’autre côté du pont. It's the nearest beery place I found in my, frankly, half-hearted research. I just looked up Lyon on RateBeer. I know. You'll never look at me the same way again.

The pub (I won't repeat the name because it's way too fugging long) isn't what I expected. I'd imagined a classic French bar. It looked like that from Streetview. Inreality it's a studenty haunt with an air of a squat. Funnily enough, right down my rue. Did I ever tell you about the time I lived in asquat in the East End of London? No? I'lll save that one for another time.

They've a range of Grihete beers on draught: blonde, blanche, ambree. No dark one, so I go for the next best thing, ambree. Only 4.50 euros for a half litre. Actually not that bad for France. It's a bit fizzy. And rather bland. But not positively horrible. Good enough for a quiet hour or two with the missus.

I've  time to long at the walls. It's one of my hobbies, looking at walls. They're covered in posters. Mostly anarchist posters in Catalan. Except for one. That's for the 4th annual Goat Cheese Festival. How very French.

They're playing some groovy Cuban music. Sounds like Ruben Gonzalez on the piano. Cool.

Brasserie Georges
30, cours de Verdun Perrache
Tel: 0472 565-454 60

De l’autre côté du pont
25 cours Gambetta
Tel: 04 78 95 14 93 66

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