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An ‘Auberge Espagnole’ – The Lowdown

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“What is an auberge espagnole?” is a question you may ask. “What do Spanish hostels have to do with food?” is a question you may ask if you’re handy with Google translate. Well never fear, I’m here to answer at least one of those questions for you!

Let me tell you

A quick look on a search engine will get you to a 2002 film called ‘L’auberge espagnole’ where, to quote IMDb, “A strait-laced French student moves into an apartment in Barcelona with a cast of six other characters from all over Europe.” I’m not sure if this movie came before or after the way I’ve seen the term used here in France, but it seems to fit fairly closely with the concept as I know it.

Essentially, when you see one of these advertised, what you’re really seeing is a chance to eat your own weight in food. It’s on the occasion of a gathering where people from a variety of countries are expected. Each person is asked to bring a dish from their own country. The food is all spread out buffet-style, and everyone digs in!


You have to be quick, or you’ll miss out!

Empty dishes

In my opinion, this style of party is super effective. Everyone has fun putting together their dish…

Making dumplings

…everyone gets the excitement of trying something knew, all the while with the safety net there of knowing that there’s at least one dish they like…

Mini pizzas with potatoes as the base! Yum!

… no one person has the responsibility of providing all of the food…


…and everyone gets to bond and be brought together in that warm glow that you get from a full tummy!

All together now!

So if you get the chance to go to an auberge espagnole style party next time you’re in France (or anywhere else for that matter), I advise you to totally go for it. All you need to make is one dish and in exchange you get a fantastic night with happy people and a very full belly.

About T

I am: a law student; a linguistics amateur; a fiancee; a friend; a sister; a cousin; a daughter; a granddaughter; a great-granddaughter; super into languages (especially French); Australian; a gardener; a cook; endowed with a sweet tooth; a reader; lazy; curious; sometimes wrong; sometimes right; sometimes confused; always keen to get to know other people and myself.

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