Many thousands of travellers choose self catering in France, as it offers families greater flexibility for their holidays. But what does the term self-catering actually mean?
A self-catering holiday involves looking after oneself in terms of cooking, basically – making one’s own meals – preparing one’s own food.
Independent self-catering holidays make for flexible and inexpensive family travels, but there are a few tips you need to bear in mind to make sure you don’t end up making life harder for yourselves.
Lets take a closer look at self catering in France
Select holiday accommodation that is well-equipped
Choosing a holiday cottage in France that has a fully-equipped kitchen will definitely make life easier for the main self-caterer. Look for equipment such as:
Usually, you will provide your own linen – tea towels, dishcloths - but a good selection of labour-saving home comforts will make a world of difference. Some types of accommodation for self-catering in France will even offer such luxuries as a dishwasher and washing machine!
Speak to the owners about shopping
Before you embark upon your journey, spend a little time chatting to the holiday cottage owner if you can, to find out more about the nearest shops, or the best places to shop when you arrive.
Some rural self catering holiday cottages can be ‘off the beaten track,’ and a fair way from the shops. It is useful to know this type of information, to enable you to take some items to keep you going for a few days. Most towns in France host a weekly market, where you can buy some traditional, local foodstuffs and fresh fruit and veg.
There are some items that you will be glad you brought from home, particularly if you are from the UK, such as tea bags, for example. French tea bags can leave a lot to be desired, especially if you are used to a strong, English cup of tea. You can source certain favourites in the English aisles at the larger supermarkets, but items such as gravy, custard and tea bags can be shockingly expensive.
Bear in mind that the French keep ‘odd’ opening hours
English visitors are often taken by surprise when faced with the French opening times. Some of the larger supermarkets do remain open all day, but most of the smaller, independent stores will close for Midi.
Midi runs from 12pm until 2pm, and most shops take this time, as the French do adore their lunch.
Of course, you can eat out during this time, but the lunch period is pretty strict – so much so that you may struggle to find a place to eat a meal out after 2pm.
How Gites Le Bisson makes self catering in France a dream
Here at Gites Le Bisson, our comfortable, affordable holiday cottages are just perfect for your holiday, self catering in France.
We have made sure that you have everything you need to feed yourself and your family apart from the food!
We do provide a welcome pack for when you arrive, containing a few essentials, but can point you in the direction of some great supermarkets and local shops when you are ready.
Our largest gîte, Jonty de Veille, is fully-equipped with all full-sizes cooking facilities, a dishwasher, microwave, fridge/freezer and a washing machine.
Papillons sleeps up to 3 and also has a full-sized cooker, fridge/freezer and microwave oven.
We have made every effort to provide as many home comforts as we can for our self catering guests. Come and see us in north France – we can’t wait to meet you.