Fantastique France!

If you've discovered a wonderful eaterie in the foothills of the Himalayas or want to know the hip place to eat during your forthcoming trip to Cape Town, here's the place to post!


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Life in France Profonde......

Just finished reading all the fascinating comments, questions and thoughts from others about moving from the UK and living in France. We did just that exactly 3 years ago after holidaying in the same region for many years realising that this is where we wanted to be. So we planned and worked hard to get here.
Before and since getting here we've had lots of "challenges", adventures and highs and lows but I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. It just doesn't come easy!
I'm now retired but he who must be obeyed, ha, is self employed and a few months ago registered as an auto-entrepreneur - new scheme. So he's now a fully paid up French tax payer and eligible for all benefits. The health system is still really effcient, despite Sarko's efforts. It's not as in the UK free at point of delivery, eg you pay a flat consultation fee of about 24 euros to a GP but most of that is reimbursed within a few days.
Here in the very wild and rural south folk are very friendly and hospitable. We've made lots of friends but we have made lots of efforts too. I struggled with the language - still do, but I found it really important to throw myself into local life and activities. (Comic scenes at the yoga classes!)
We've tightened our belts but we had already committed to down-sizing anyway. We grow a lot of grub and as it's not possible anymore to drop into a supermarket en route home, for example, I shop once a week and have to be pretty disciplined. We buy a lamb, (dead,) annually from a neighbour and local hunters are generous with their bounty; so I have boar and venison in stock.
Life here wouldn't suit everyone. As someone else noted, winters can be harsh, and very quiet. You need to like your own - and your partner's company, or you could hit the bottle. (Wine is still very cheap!) But overall life is good in a beautiful part of the world.
So I guess those original 3 questions posed at the start are pretty relevent to anyone thinking about moving here - France is a big place and it's important to pick a part that will suit - taking it all into account, not least the folk.

Gillian King

Fantastique France!

I'm a Brit but not proud of it but I'm proud & very privelidged to be living in beautiful France.
If you decide to move to France it has to be your dream & you want that dream so much. It's not all a bed of roses but the UK isn't either.
We have lived in the south of France for the last 5yrs & love it & would not change it for anything.
la belle France.


Few months in France

Hallo there!
We will be staying in France (Normandy)for about six months after living in Asia for a few years.
I am looking forward to shopping for French cheese,bread,salad etc. Anything that you would recommend buying in France?

Gillian King

Bread & Cheese

Hi, the best advise I can give you is, fresh fruit & veg are best from local markets & some cheeses but can be more expensive than the supermarkets. The bread & cheese in France are to die for but watch your waist line!!! France has very good vines too! We buy our vin rouge from the local cave & its pretty good. You may have to shop around to find the ones you like. Happy shopping.

The Cat's Mother

Living in France

Having read all the previous coments on life in France, I must say that I agree with most of it. We have been here in SW France for 7years now - we struggle with speaking the language still (which is rather pathetic, but we are in our 70s) You have to adjust,but it is really worth making the effort to have no traffic jams, beautiful countryside, peace and quiet and longer hotter summers (as a rule) - I am not totally convinced that the food is as wonderful as it's reputation would have you believe. Beef is awful, lamb expensive but other things are good!! We have had lots of experience with the medical services and I can only agree that this is so much better than in the UK (it can be expensive depending on your age and insurance schemes - but no waiting lists.

I could go on, but all in all would really recommened moving to France if you can afford it in the current financial climate. Good Luck

Biggles !

A difficulty in France, perhaps..

If you are driving do identify where you can put air into your car tyres or have your own air pump !!

This can generally be done at most garages, but you have to ask :0) Biggs, learning the hard way!

I have got into such a routine and usually don't have a problem. However, I was totally perplexed as to where to go when I discovered the car had a slow puncture and I was 80 kilometres from my garage. All sorted now and I will be buying a pump after the holidays :0)

Whilst on the subject of cars I turn to fuel. Now I have a carte bancaire I can buy fuel 24/7, super. However, before moving here I found it just a little bit stressful when the fuel guage was reducing and we were in the middle of nowhere, especially on a Sunday. Travelling on the peages is, generally, not a problem for using a non French bank card.

Grumble over but I still enjoy living here :0)

Ah yes, heard our first cuckoo this morning, late this year !!


Katein the Cevennes

Just un mot re what to look for when food shopping......

I'd really urge anyone going to supermarkets and local butchers to look for produce with the "Label Rouge" mark of quality. This means free range for poultry, pork and eggs, (if you can't find "bio"), and is also a guarantee of quality assurance. If staying here for any time get a salad spinner; not so many of those bags here and lots of lovely types of lettuce that last longer but need washing!

We've just been out for a meal with friends; local restaurant on a farm producing their own food - talk about sourcing locally. Also is a training and residential for severely autistic youngsters who learn to cook and wait at tables - do so really well too! These places, we are told are to be found throughout France.

Also - look for artisan bakers locally rather than the ones in supermarkets.
We're just coming into the asparagus season - weh-hey.....
Yes, first cuckoo heard here too but still no sighting of swifts. It was a long winter here too.

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