Our first stop was the famous Les Deux Maggots in St Germain - a lovely cafe which Sartre and Picasso used to frequent. But at 30F (about pounds 4) each for coffee and the equivalent of pounds 10 for two glasses of wine we were taken aback. Still, perhaps it was the smart location. Surely a little stand-up coffee bar would be more reasonable... here the cost was pounds 3 for a coffee, hot chocolate or cup of tea (or that ghastly weak, lukewarm equivalent) and a glass of water pounds 2. These exorbitant prices met us wherever we went, turning a bargain into a potential overdraft break.

Elizabeth Murray