A workmen's café in central France was swept off its feet when it received hundreds of calls to book tables after it was mistakenly awarded a Michelin star.
Reporters and gourmet diners were given quite the surprise when they turned up at the Bouche à Oreille, to find a cheap eatery with its tables covered with red and white polka dot, plastic tablecloths. Many diners wear high-visibility vests while ordering beers at the bar. Dishes including homemade lasagna or beef bourguignon are served at the eatery.
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The Michelin Guide called the restaurant to apologise and explain that the café had been confused with a more refined eatery under the same name in Paris.
While one of the restaurants is on a street named Route de la Chapelle, the other is on a street named Impasse de la Chapelle. With remarkably similar addresses, it was perhaps an understandable mistake.
Despite the error, the café enjoyed the publicity, albeit short-lived, and the staff was also invited for a genuine Michelin-standard dinner at the other Bouche à Oreille, 100 miles away in Boutervilliers, near Paris. In a stark comparison, the establishment is more tastefully decorated with its tables laden with linen tablecloths. Plush carpets line the floor while dishes including lobster flan or confit of beef with black truffle are served.
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“Suddenly, we were rushed off our feet. Reporters were coming in and then my son phoned me from Paris, where he lives. He almost died laughing. I had regulars and friends phoning up and asking why I hadn’t told them we’d won a Michelin star," Véronique Jacquet, the café owner said.
Many took to Twitter highlighting the mistake.
French cafe thanks Michelin Guide for increased business because of mistake: https://t.co/3dUerwAtMs— Gillian Rhys 🏴 (@GillianRhys) February 21, 2017
A genuine mistake but for one moment I thought the Michelin guide was guilty of fake news: https://t.co/FX7M6QZPEe— Stephen King (@KingEconomist) February 19, 2017
Workmen’s café was overwhelmed with gourmet customers and TV crews after it was awarded a Michelin star — by mistake https://t.co/Mk2C4osZIm— Linda Yueh (@lindayueh) February 19, 2017
This aticle originally appeared on The Telegraph