We had some fantastic days in the pub during the '98 World Cup. I have been a football fan for as long as I can remember and to be in the actual host country for the duration of the competition was great crack.
Angouleme did not host any matches but the Scots were playing down in Bordeaux and quite a few of their supporters dropped in. Lionel, the head barman, saw one of their supporters playing a bagpipe on the street so he told me to go and offer a round of drinks for him and his mates in exchange for a few tunes that night - he came in that evening with half of Glasgow.
The atmosphere was great for all the French games, particularly in the later stages when the matches were closer. One French supporter assured me that France would not beat Italy as they (France) always fell at the final hurdle. I really should have bet with him on that.
The final was between France & Brazil and as Sunday was my normal day off work, I was hoping to go watch the match on the big screen at the town hall. But 'Le Slavedriver' realised that business would be good the night of the final, so I was stuck behind the bar all night. We usually close at 2 but that night we were still serving at 5am. I missed most of the game but I was able to follow the scores. I'd really love to have watched the game that night, but even being in France the night they won was quite an experience.
Fondest memory: I didn't like my boss too much but everyone else in the pub was very nice. Lionel was the head barman and a great guy to work with. He worked about 70 hours per week and seemed to live on espressos and cigarettes. Annabel was a waitress in the restaurant, Battiste was our chef, and Alex was a temporary barman.
Fondest memory: Richard & Nina are two of the friends I made while working in the pub. They used to come in for a drink once a week and in my spare time I went to visit them. They were both from England but were living in france and helping Richard's Dad to convert an old farmhouse into a hotel. I can't remember what part of England they came from but if anyone knows an English pair who were in Angouleme in 1998 (aged 24 and 20 at the time) please tell me!
Fondest memory: My parents came to visit while I was working here. The Boss - aka 'Le Slavedriver' - didn't give me much time off to spend with them but I still managed to fit in a few meals in the nice restaurants of le vieux Angoulême and a day trip to Cognac.
Fondest memory: Working in a pub proved to be a great way to meet people, and I made new friends from all over the world. The World Cup was on in France that summer, which ensured a big influx of tourists.