On our four night stay in Monte Carlo, there was one place I was most looking forward to eating at – Cafe de Paris. In 2007, on my first ever visit to the Monaco Grand Prix, my darling husband took me to Cafe de Paris. It was wonderful! We sat on the terrace and enjoyed a cup of tea and a club sandwich. The club sandwich was one of the nicest things I have ever eaten. Three layers of fresh toast, freshly cooked egg, chicken breast, bacon, juicy tomato and lettuce. It was worth every cent of the €12. Every club sandwich I have eaten since has been marked for quality against it.
Fast forward eight years and it couldn’t be more different if you tried. It was a cold, ready-made two layer sandwich, constructed of processed chicken and ham, hard-boiled egg, tomato and shredded iceburg lettuce. The toast tasted as though it had been made from a stale loaf. It came on a small plate without any garnish (unless you call a small drizzle of balsamic vinegar garnish). All for €18.
You may have thought the service would make up for the lack of flavour. How wrong could one be? The waiter could not be bothered. We were not offered a menu, even though we asked for one. Luckily we knew what we wanted to order and a good job too as before we could finish speaking he was off. When the food arrived and I saw the lack of garnish, I asked if we could have some salad or fries – “Non, I do not have!” and off he went. If he was busy, he could be slightly forgiven, but he had time to chat to his fellow waiters.
The toilets – well, OK I know I have a slight phobia of public toilets – after visiting them in Cafe de Paris, my phobia is warranted. Poo everywhere! I am not joking! Little J was with me and he was the first to spot, what he called “baby poo”. It was in fact adult shit. On the wall, sanitary bin and floor. I know it not necessarily the restaurants fault, it’s the disgusting rich bitches who think that sort of behaviour is acceptable. But I also know from my daughter working at a restaurant on Bicester Village, the toilets of the rich a famous have to be checked every 15 minutes, as this is common practice. Where was the cleaner? It had started to crust (Little J pointed it out), so it was older than 15 minutes old!
To add insult to injury, when leaving the building to re-join Keith at the table, a door was let go of by a staff member as we were about to exit. I do not expect anyone to hold a door open for me. I am quite capable. When a door is held open for a group of ladies dripping in gold, but promptly let go of when a more subtly dressed lady with a child in her arms approaches, I think it can be taken as a snub!
Whether I dress head to toe in obscene designer labels and sound like a rattle when I a walk or not, I should not have been made to feel like a second class citizen. We paid our bill the same way every other person did and wiped the dirt off our feet as we left.
If you want somewhere nice to eat for a sandwich in Monaco, I can recommend the Monaco Bar. My enormous club baguette was only €5 and was about 50cm long. The bread was so fresh it was still warm and the service was fab. Even Little J’s ham baguette was huge and only €4 – cannot beat it!