I’m a big fan of visiting cafés and not just because they are comfy places to get a nice drink but they offer something else to those of us who are learning French in France. You have many opportunities to practice what you’ve been studying at your French language school but I’ve found that going regularly into cafés allows me to really utilise what I’ve been learning in my intensive French classes to their maximum potential. There are many great places to get a hot drink near the ILA French immersion school so I thought I would sample as many as I could to give other students an insight into what each one has to offer. They all have their own personality and hopefully this will help you find the perfect one for you.
George’s Cafe Near the ILA French Language School in Montpellier
George’s Café is one of the closest places I found near my immersion school in the centre of Montpellier and I went with two of my friends from my French classes; Oriana and Ramona. Oriana is a Columbian and an extremely enterprising person who owns her own book store, has completed her law studies and is now embarking on becoming fluent in French in preparation for a her DELF exam. Ramona is no less proactive having been a chef for three years before deciding she wanted to get into hotel management and who is already fluent in Spanish.
We met outside of the ILA French school and set out to find a nice café but not knowing where to start. As this is France, however, we figured we could just look around and would eventually happen across one that looked decent. Sure enough just a few metres down the street from our French school we found George’s. We were drawn in by its impressive foyer and outside terrace that had a fair few happy people outside and it was complete with patios warmers if you wanted some fresh air but not the biting cold that sometimes comes with it.
Style of This Typical French Coffee House
As soon as we walked into the café we could see all of their artisan teas and coffees lined up behind the counter and three smiling staff welcoming us in. We decided we fancied sitting inside this time so we headed on over to a table opposite the drinks cooler which was lined with the usual suspects along with some gourmet cakes that looked tantalisingly good and also some beers which looked even better. The menu was full of new, interesting stuff and I have been to a lot of cafés in my time. Speciality teas, coffees from heaps of countries with a detailed description of what made them unique, iced drinks, sharing pots and so on. Oriana opted for a classic hot chocolate, Ramona a peppermint tea (which smelt phenomenal) and I went for the ‘Speciality coffee’. I’m a sucker for this type of marketing; I always think I want to get whatever is unique to the place.
I wasn’t disappointed. My drink was a big, marbled coffee with a tall cone of cream perched on the top with crushed nuts sprinkled on that. It was a beast and so soul warmingly lovely that my fellow French students and I resolved to come again and as it is so close to our French language school it would be rude not to.
The Staff Like to Hear What You’ve Learnt During French Immersion Course
I have a strongly held belief that what really makes a café is the staff. Nice decor and drinks are very important but warm and friendly staff make you feel truly relaxed which is why I go to coffee houses. The staff at George’s were interested in us and happy to hear we had come to Montpellier to learn French and even more excited when we told them we were all living with local host-families. They waited patiently as pieced together our conjugations and were happy to recommend their favourite drinks on the menu. They even let me take some photos so I highly recommend heading over to George’s café in the centre of town right next to the ILA French Immersion School.