When you walk through colourful Montmartre, it's immediately obvious that the French are far more open to the risqué side of life. The streets are lined with lingerie shops, generally of the leather and tasseled variety, also specialising in a range of latex goods. But that was not the reason we were visiting Montmartre at night. We were off to see a show at the Moulin Rouge!
On first sight, the Moulin Rouge was somewhat disappointing. I guess I had preconceived ideas of what to expect from the film, but in reality, the Moulin Rouge is quite a simple, but distinctive building. Inside, the theatre is beautifully decorated, but as many tables as possible have been crammed in to seat guests.
We had a three-course dinner, one of the set menus. Entree was stuffed Dover sole, my least favourite of the three, though that is just personal preference. My main was veal with mushroom and onion sauce, on a bed of rice. Dessert was a chocolate and coffee layered slice, topped with a tempered chocolate Moulin Rouge windmill. All delicious, and accompanied with a bottled of Jacquart champagne.
With dinner finished, it was time for the show. The last guests entered the theatre (it's possible to buy tickets only for the show and skip dinner), and the show began. I didnt't have much of an idea of what the show would involve - only vague images of the cancan. In reality, the show is so much more - singing, dancing, clowns, mimes, even live snakes and ponies. There were many costume changes, though they can't have taken long seeing as the costumes were little more than a few feathers, beads, and a g-string!
Overall, the dinner was delicious and the show was spectacular. Well worth the money, even for those on a backpacker's budget. After all, how often do you get the chance to visit the Moulin Rouge?