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Dining out in London and Paris before the restaurant

In 1810, Grimod de la Reyni√®re partially attributed the success of restaurants to “the fad for imitating English customs (because the English, as everyone knows, almost always eat at the tavern).” By Grimod’s time, the restaurant was the standard place to dine out and have a full meal. But when Roze de Chantoiseau founded the first restaurant in 1767, it supposedly served not regular meals, but only “restorants”, meant for health. No such institution existed in England. Still, that same year, Vacossin, in founding his own restaurant, cited London as a model. And at the start of the nineteenth century, Beauvilliers called his restaurant, one of the most famous, “The Great Tavern of London”.
Clearly, the French themselves saw some connection between going out to eat and the English. Yet soon English tourists were coming to Paris to dine at the specifically French restaurants and by mid-century, when the first foreign eateries became popular in Paris, they were English taverns, viewed as …

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