From Europe Viewed Through American Spectacles by Charles C. Fulton. Text written in 1873.
“You must not drink water,” is the constant cry of the hotel-keepers in Paris, and the addition of ice to it, we are assured, makes it rank poison. It is pretty much the same all over the Continent, water being regarded as of no manner of importance except for fountains, cascades, and to drive water-wheels. If at dinner you tell the waiter that you do not wish any wine, he looks at you aghast, and repeats the question two or three times to be sure that he has properly understood you. He reports the fact to the headwaiter, and he, confident that the stupid fellow has misunderstood, comes himself to inquire, “What wine will monsieur have?”
The wine furnished at the hotels is so horrible in quality that it is not fit to be drunk. They evidently export all their best wines, and keep the common kinds for home consumption. The prices are also exorbitant, and it is evidently the large profit that the hotel-keeper makes which occasions so much anxiety that all his guests should have large wine-bills, and that all shall dine at the table-d’hôte, where it would be rank heresy for any one to fail to call for wine. When water is called for it is brought so warm as not to be drinkable, and it requires a half-hour’s notice to obtain a few small lumps of ice to cool it. […] If water is called for in a store or private house, they bring the sugar-dish with it, the idea being that water is unhealthy without being mixed with something else.