Some say that British tourists love a booze cruise but the truth is there’s quite a lot of French life, food and culture to sample in the humblest of French supermarkets. If you’re on a self-catering holiday then you’re going to need some serious supplies. Here’s my guide to French supermarket shopping for holidaymakers. Wine and beer If you’re not a wine buff, the simplest trick is to subtly follow a French shopper on the wine aisle. Buy what the French are buying. Avoid the full sections on the shelf, instead take from the areas which have already had a…

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This post contains affiliate links which help pay for the running of this website. You don’t really need to know a lot before setting off for the beach or swimming pool in France but they do have some rules that may surprise you. It’s best to be prepared. I get the impression that French people spend a lot more time at the beach than we do. Not only do they have a lot of lovely coastline but also the weather is just that bit better. (Okay! Quite a lot better!) Lifeguards and “baignade surveillee” Public beaches have monitoring stations and…

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I have made a pretty hypocritical mistake with my holiday planning this year. OK, that is a bit too harsh but I have essentially ballsed up because I didn’t follow my own advice. This year we – ok, I – decided to see a different part of France. We are the original itchy-feet holiday makers, we rarely go anywhere more than twice. For some reason I was taken with the romance of Brittany, the endless sea coves, the quaint villages, the mysterious Celts, the standing stones, the druid’s forest. I completely ignored the Reliable Prophesy of the Map of Google…

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While we on holiday in France last year we made plenty of observations about French people and French culture. I disapprove of generalising or tarring a nation with one brush but it looks like I’m going to do it anyway, and I don’t think anyone will mind just this once. 1. The French aren’t fat. They spend two whole hours eating lunch and another two eating dinner but they’re not overweight, it’s incredible. They eat after 8pm which a nurse once assured me was a guaranteed way to gain weight, but this doesn’t affect the French. They eat cheese and…

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We had a fabulous family holiday to France last summer. We took our car on the ferry and stayed on a campsite, in a gite and a hotel. After sharing a few photos and details of our adventures on Facebook, several friends said to me “I’d love to have a holiday in France but I don’t know where to go.” Well my wish-list included not going too far, finding chateaux, cycle paths, sun and swimming. If that sounds like your thing, here are my four top tips! Loire Valley The central area between Angers and Blois is full of stunning,…

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