When Marcel Boulestin moved from Paris to London in 1906 it is reasonably certain that he had little idea of becoming a restaurateur and food writer. Born in Poitiers in 1878 he was brought up by his mother and maternal grandmother, visiting his father only in the summer at his property north of Périgueux. At school he developed an interest in theatre and music. At the age of 18, after both his mother and grandmother had died and he was left a small income, he moved to Bordeaux, intending to study law, but instead became a regular concert-goer and contributed articles to a national journal, Courrier Musical. After national service in 1899 he moved to Paris to become secretary to the humorous writer Willy (Henri Gauthier-Villars) and became part of the tumultuous Colette-Willy ménage. He enjoyed the anglophile society of Paris and Dieppe, became friends with several English artists and writers, translated a book by Max Beerbohm in 1905, and by now thoroughly enchanted by all things English, including some of our food, he decided to move to London.