It is not the done thing in France to ask for a doggy bag if you have too much food on your plate in a restaurant. However, I asked for one once. I had seen that instead of having to choose a desert you could order a ‘café gourmand’ and receive a tiny example of many of the desserts on offer, plus a coffee. I thought it was an excellent idea. The plate arrived with about 10 mini portions, including two or three little ice-creams.  Wow, this was far too much to manage, so I ate the meltable delicacies and asked if they had a plastic container for the rest. They were surprised but obliged me. Breaking news.  In the week of writing this, I read, in our regional magazine, that microwaveable ‘Gourmet Bags’ have been distributed to local restaurants in an effort to reduce food waste. The tide is turning! (The initial idea of ‘café gourmand’ is now widely abused with bought-in mini cakes that are nowhere on the menu. I was even once given a child’s lollipop as one element!)

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