Paris is a city famous for its creativity even without the presence of an international football tournament. With the Euros on their doorstep, every corner of the French capital is full of ideas.
As one of the most creative cities in the world, Paris is certainly doing its best to integrate the European Championships into a part of everyday life. From flags on bottles of beers to free concerts, the anticipation in the French capital is tangible. In a way that perhaps only sport can, Europe is united to enjoy the latest offering of international football.
In Paris' Latin Quarter lies a small English pub called ‘The Bombardier' and the head chef, Dominic, has gone one step further wiht his creative work. It doesn't read like you might expect a menu in Paris to, but that's the point.
“It's football. We're not looking to make great intellectual statements; we're not reading Thomas Mann or Goethe. We're going to be watching football and eating burgers,” Dominic tells me matter-of-factly.
For the duration of the championships, the pub will offer a taste of home in burger form for each of the participating countries. From Belgian beer to aubergine caviar for the Romanians and Frankfurter sausage burgers for the Germans, there's a mix of dishes from around the continent.
Dominic was born in Huddersfield, England and moved to Paris over a decade ago. Having turned from student into head chef, Dominic now feels more French than English and the only thing he loves more than cooking is the city. At the bar is Vittorio. Italian born but with family from Mauritius, the seven-year Parisian is looking to work in his father's hotel industry once he's done pulling pints.
The pair are a microcosm of European society, and a reminder of the stories, warmth and creativity we would be missing without them. A burger for each of the 24 countries might well have its roots in financial reward, but it is popular for a reason. More than just reminding fans of home, it is the kind of welcome that we need more of and regardless of it's culinary accuracy, it is the effort that counts.
There will be plenty of that across France over the next month as volunteers help as much as they can, security tries to keep everyone safe and the footballers attempt to guide their respective nations to glory.