In rural France you don’t get bars or pubs as we know them. In England we get home from work at 6ish, get the tea straight on and get down the pub for about 7.30. By 10 we’re a bit tipsy – if you make it to 12 things have probably got out of hand. Possibly because they all have a 2-hour lunch break and they’ve got work to catch up on, or possibly because they’re enjoying the weather or napping, in rural France no-one emerges from their homes until at least 9ish, when they usually go to a restaurant for a long late dinner with a few drinks. The continental way, you start drinking later and it’s with food so you don’t get drunk. But where’s the fun in that? Continue reading “Drinking in France: Showing Them How To Do It”
Eating in France: Jaffa Cake Revolution
When my boyfriend first asked me to fill any gaps in my hand luggage with packs of bacon and cheddar cheese, I thought he was joking – and a bit odd. But he’s right that the bacon is not the same in France, it’s streaky strips or fatty lardons. I’ve also found it hard to find a decent fat juicy sausage – many of them are thin long things that pinder up under the grill and don’t have much taste. There’s a heck of a lot of cheese and it’s served with practically every meal – not just after Christmas dinner when it’s opened and hardly touched as in England – but you won’t easily find a strong mature cheddar taste equivalent. I know these are the types of things you can hanker after when you’ve lived away for a while, but when I told him I had no room left in my suitcase and he exclaimed “Well strap it to your thighs then!” I thought he’d gone a bit far. Continue reading “Eating in France: Jaffa Cake Revolution”
Drinking in France: Sadly Lacking Jaegerbombs
The small village we live in is dead during winter. There were a couple of restaurants open on certain days, and no bars. In France if your business is dependent on tourism, like a restaurant or bar, the government gives you a subsidy of two-thirds of your summer income during the winter to keep you going – so most of them close of course.
So when the weather started picking up in April and some establishments showed signs of preparing to open I was excited. Continue reading “Drinking in France: Sadly Lacking Jaegerbombs”
Drinking In France: Wine Not?
You have to keep your wits about you in France as it’s easy to get suckered into drinking wine and forgetting you have work to do. It was common in the days of Fleet Street for everyone to get a bit plastered at lunchtime, though now any sort of day drinking is much frowned upon in England except when it’s someone’s last day or birthday or around Christmas or a Friday. In France that proud tradition is not dead, particularly among the manual workers who drive heavy machinery. Continue reading “Drinking In France: Wine Not?”