Tap water is tops
No, the waiters don’t give you side-eye upon requesting tap water instead of bottled still or sparkling water at a restaurant. It might have a lot to do with the fact that they refer to it by the much more sophisticated-sounding name of carafe d’eau (carafe of water). What’s more, restaurants actually go to quite a lot of effort with presentation, using beautiful old glass bottles as containers. It was our saving grace in a setting where a Coke could easily cost 4 euros, or approximately R60.
You can have pudding for breakfast
The array of treats to be found at hotel buffet breakfasts was a sight for sore eyes for a bride who spent the months leading up to her wedding steering clear of carbs and sweets. Think serving-sized portions of Nutella, pain au chocolat and chocolat chaud (hot chocolate). The good news is that you spend most of your day walking, so the fuelling-up process is relatively guilt free.
There are restaurants dedicated to pancakes
Well, crêperies, to be exact. Serving sumptuous savoury, lacy galettes, made with buckwheat flour and filled with the likes of lardons, ceps and crème fraîche, and sweet crêpes served with everything from a simple sprinkling of sugar and butter to crème Anglaise. (Click here for TASTE’s selection of pancakes recipes).
The menus are fuss-free
It’s rare to see a restaurant that doesn’t have some kind of set menu for the day, from the most unassuming of Chinese hole-in-the-wall eateries to super-swish restaurants in touristy areas. These usually include either a starter, main and drink, or a main, dessert and drink, and often feature daily specials. Menus are always printed and displayed outside restaurants, so you can not only get a feel of a place’s food and pricing, but also sidestep the commitment of having to sit down inside and wait to be presented by the bill of fare, only to realise it’s not really your bag (or budget).
You don’t have to be a maths whizz
In line with regulation, all restaurants automatically include a service charge in their bill. Very handy for those of us who are bad at maths. You can, of course, still tip your waitrons if the food or service was particularly spectacular, but you won’t get any death stares if you don’t.