Your mobile rings. You scan the screen, immediately grateful for the lack of a “No Caller ID” message. Somebody of your significance wouldn’t respond to such an appeal.

You evaluate the number. From overseas, but not instantly familiar. Probably a cold caller trying to flog you a cheaper phone plan or sign you up to a service you will never need.

But the number starts +33 so it’s France. Ah, you booked a hotel in Nice that morning. Maybe it’s a call confirming your reservation or approving the special request you made for your stay. So you swipe the screen and take the call:

“Allo, it’s Leah from Bistro Gourmand Clovis in Tourettes. I am ringing to confirm your booking for lunch on Sunday the 4th of October.”


A small bistro in a little French village takes the trouble to call me from the far side of the world to confirm my lunch. I had sent an email to them but hadn’t expected such a prompt reply let alone a phone call. I’m thrilled. I’m important to them. I’m going to a place that really does care.

“Oh, hi. Thanks for the call I was not expecting you to ring, a simple email would have been OK. “

She replies in her cheerful French accent. Nothing is too much effort and it will be a pleasure to serve me and my guests.

“We look forward to seeing you again soon.”

She even remembered that I had been there before! I have written about them previously,  but I doubt they would have seen my review. I feel even more flattered. I try not to sound too sycophantic but I can’t help myself.

“And I look forward to seeing you again too. Youare such wonderful people and your food is so fantastic.” I carry on effusively for a few more minutes. Don’t be a dickhead. It’s only a restaurant reservation. But it is funny how a little bit of genuine recognition can have a wondrous effect on customers.

110Bistro Gourmand Clovis is a delightful place and worthy of a detour if you anywhere in Southern France. I’ll post an updated review after My Long Lunch in October.

Bistrot Gourmand Clovis

21 Grand Rue, 06140 Tourrettes-sur-Loup, France