Newest Review: ... Honore with raspberries, light whipped cream and crunchy caramel pastry Moulin Rouge Opera pastry with chocolate wings ... more
More oh no no than Ooh la la
Member Name: sbw80
Advantages: Very few to speak of, food is nice (Not amazing) and the support acts are good
Disadvantages: Money, money, money, money, money, i could go on. Hide your coat.
After quite a bit of research I found viator to be the cheapest place to book tickets from. The options are:
9pm Show and Champagne - From £82
11pm Show and Champagne - From £82
7pm Dinner & Show: Toulouse - From £137
7pm Dinner & Show: Belle - From £156
We paid £156 each for the show and dinning from the Belle menu.
Be prepared to queue when you arrive at the venue, we were quite lucky in that there was not many people there when we arrived but lines got pretty long after that. Also, if possible hide your coat and camera if you have them. Any coats that are seen will be taken off you and you'll be charged three euros for the privilege. They also charged for our umbrellas. When I attempted to argue with them I was told that no coats are allowed to hang on the back of chairs (Which is not true, there were coats and jackets on chairs all over the place. They also ask you if you have a camera and if you say yes they make you hand it over. Luckily I'd read this in a review beforehand and left mine at home (It cost £600, there's no way I'm leaving it in a cloak room).
The venue itself it grand and elegant but is completely ruined by the number of tables and chairs squeezed in making the place cramp and very stuffy once the place starts filling up. The walk ways between tables are for narrow and takes a great deal of balance and people moving in order to get to the toilets.
As there were only two of us we were sat with an Australian couple (Who were really nice and funny) at a table of four. They were in front of us in the line (And we'd already had a humorous conversation over coatgate so it gave us something to bond over) and therefore seating is allocated on a first come basis. We were pretty close to the front on a raised area next to a main walkway and so had very good seats for the show. I'm not sure that the people sat at the back could say the same.
When eating at the Moulin Rouge you have to arrive at seven for a nine o'clock show. Two hours you say, that seems like a reasonable amount of time to eat. As we choose the belle option we were given a menu containing the following options:
Duck Foie Gras with sea salt, mango vinaigrette and salad
Lobster thin pie with crushed tomato, lobster chiboust cream and herbs salad
Fried sea bass fillet, creamy risotto with wood mushrooms and meadow mushroom cream
Sirloin steak with small fried potatoes with thyme, French beans with fresh butter and pepper sauce
Sainte Honore with raspberries, light whipped cream and crunchy caramel pastry
Moulin Rouge Opera pastry with chocolate wings and chocolate hazelnut saurce
Gourmandise of three chocolates pastry with crispy chocolate pearls
You are also served a mise en bouche in a shot glass at the start of the meal but none of us could actually tell what was in it.
I haven't covered the other dining options here but they are available from the Moulin Rouge website and vegetarian and vegan options are also available as well as a reduced price option for children.
I choose the lobster, steak and the Opera pastry.
Pretty much immediately after sitting down both my friend and I and the couple we were sat with were given the menus and were asked to choose our options very quickly. Then the other couple were given their drinks (A half bottle of Champaign which they will leave unopened if you ask and a glass of wine as an alternative to Champaign) which we had to wait a while for ours. We were then served the mise en bouche, started and main course in the space of twenty minutes, they really don't want you to linger and appreciate their food. I'm a pretty slow eater which cause the waiters (Who literal keep running around) no end of grieve but buy my table a little extra time with the main course. So much so that we had to wait for ages for the desert.
The main course and desert were really good(I'm not a fan of very chilled lobster and therefore didn't eat much starter) . I can't say it was the best meal I've ever had but it was certainly enjoyable and I didn't hear any complaints. The presentation of the deserts is very pretty.
The meal does come with a half bottle of campagn but once you've drank this you're on your own and drinks are very expensive. We did ask for water at the beginning of the meal and were provided with a jug. When we asked again later it came in a bottle (a sure sign that they are going to charge you for it). Our feisty Australian was not taking this, she argued, they argued back but in the end we were not charged for any water even though we drank the bottle too.
During dinner we were provided with a band that had a male and female vocalist as entertainment. They were ok but nothing to write home about, they do a good job as background music.
~The show itself~
The show lasts for two hours with a 30 minute interval in the middle. Once the dinner part is complete the chandeliers in the ceiling move and you realise that the little stage you watched the band on is actually a lot bigger than it first appeared. You remain in the same seats where you ate for the show.
The show has a number of different sequences that follow different 'stories'. I struggle to say that the themes chosen were any good as every time it seems like the showing is going somewhere they add semi naked women to the mix for no reason what so ever other than to show breast. Semi naked slaves, yeah sure you can get away with that, semi naked clowns? Now you're just taking the... Now, I do realise that if you visit Moulin Rouge you're going to see some semi nudity. I'm not a prude, I think I'm pretty open minded, but there comes a point where something is not art, it is just soft porn. The clowns were the final straw for me. I actually think if they'd held back and used it for more effectively it would have much more impact. When it's everywhere it becomes normal and dull and boring. Oh, another breast, how exciting.
I also think that Moulin Rouge needs to open itself up to a more equal opportunities policy. The men in the show, in comparison to the women, couldn't get enough clothes on. There were very very few instances of topless men which seems a bit unfair to me. Is it because men are held in far higher esteem than women. It's ok for women to be cheap and walk around topless but men are too good for this? I just think a little equality is needed and the semi naked men might distract me from the terrible experience.
There were three highlights of the show for me. Firstly, the traditional Paris cancan sequences. When they do this they do it right. The music, lights, costumes, cancans and dancing is spectacular and is really what you imagine the Moulin Rouge to be, bringing alive the images that you hold from the old posters. Yes, there is some nudity, but it fits with the sequence and is not naked for nakeds sake. I could have watched this for hours but sadly it is only like 1/6 of the actual show, if that. My other two highlights were actually the support acts used for scene changes. The comedian/juggler is incredibly funny and the two man acrobatic routine is amazing (There's a section carried out to singing in the rain which was amazing).
I am a bit iffy about the use of animals. During the show a number of snakes and miniature ponies are used (Not at the same time). A number of times I saw animals being dragged around. I've googled a lot since my visit and can't find anything that states that the animals are looked after. Had I known animals were used before hand and could not find any information about their treatment I would not have gone to see the show.
~After the show~
You're shown the door as quickly as possible at the same time that the people for the eleven o'clock show are shown in (Faster turnover than the staff at McDonalds) which makes for a nice cramp situation. If you do have any half drank drinks stand your ground and finish and hang on to any unopened bottles of Champaign otherwise you'll lose them pretty quickly.
~It's all about the money, money, money~
We walk away from Moulin Rouge feeling that everything has a purpose, and that purpose is to make as much money as possible. Everything has an added charge except the toilets (I'm surprised they don't try to charge for them). The table next to us bought roses for the women, had extra Champaign, had photos taken and it must have cost them a small fortune. The speed of the staff has nothing to do with being attentive, it's to get you through the system as soon as possible, so they clean tables and remove table clothes whilst your sat there not to improve your own enjoyment but to make sure they can get the next lot in faster. Customer service is zero. Some staff are nice and have a sense of humour but for the most part they are pretty rude which is probably because they have to go at such fast speeds and have a large number of tables to look after. At one point towards the end of the show a waiter running around dropped a bottle of water which bounced of my foot and smashed on the floor. It hurt but there was no word of apology and the glass remained in the small walk way for ages with lots of people walking over it. That would be unacceptable in most places.
I think I was expecting art and for the most part what I got was cheap smut. It could be because I'm a woman and this is aimed for towards men although even the loud leering men who cheered for every semi naked woman in the first ten minutes seemed bored of the whole thing by the second half. A case of too much of a good thing maybe? If you really feel the need to go so you can cross it off your list I would book just the tickets, yes the food is nice but it's the most I've ever paid for a meal and the worse dinning experience I have ever had.
Summary: I wouldn't recommend it but if you insist i'd just go for the show