Holiday in France-eating out with toddlers and general tips/advice please

(11 Posts)
Summergarden Fri 19-Jun-15 20:54:42

We are staying in South west France for a fortnight in August. As we have two young DC, we have decided that most days we will eat breakfast at the gite, have a lunch out in a cafe or restaurant, then evening meal back at the gite. This is mainly because the DC are used to early dinner and bedtimes.

If anyone is able to help answer any of the following questions I'd be really grateful please.

A few questions about eating out in France:
-Are high chairs widely available? One friend told me that she did not find this to be the case which worried me a bit.
-Do many/most French cafes and restaurants still have set menus or plats du jour at lunchtime? If so, is there normally just one dish or a choice of a few please?

Questions on French shops/supermarkets:
-Is it true that the French generally buy UHT milk and pasteurised milk is not widely available? I'm thinking of cereal for the DCs.
-Also, are fresh chicken breasts widely available in supermarkets?

Many thanks.

Siennasun Fri 19-Jun-15 21:34:56

In my experience, most French restaurants have high chairs, only once or twice has this not been the case.
Lots of restaurants have set menus (formules), sometimes no choice, sometimes various choices.
In general I've found restaurants in France to be very family friendly, even high end places.

French supermarkets sell very similar stuff to what you'd get in the Uk. Pasteurised milk is widely available. I don't eat chicken but I suspect you'll be fine with that too.

MrsAukerman Fri 19-Jun-15 21:39:47

Just returned from a week in northern France with a 6.5 month old. No highchair in restaurants, uht milk only (figured a week would be OK for porridge in the mornings) , don't eat meat so can't comment on chicken breasts.

I have to say you sound very organized. We're doing blw and have a much younger baby and all we did was drive to France with a bag of porridge oats and hope for the best!

Monikita Fri 19-Jun-15 21:46:06

Fresh, pasteurised milk is available but generally in smaller quantities (I've never seen 2litres) and is much more expensive.
When I lived there as a impoverished but fussy student, I found the equivalent uht too strong/creamy IYKWIM? I got around it by buying the next step along in skimmedness uht - so if I normally drank whole milk when fresh, I bought semi skimmed uht, and then I didn't gag when eating my cereal wink

Have fun, sounds lovely smile

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 19-Jun-15 21:56:50

The UHT is pasteurised just not fresh, I pop it on the fridge and barely taste the difference.
Fresh chicken easily available in more varieties than here ( different types of hen).
I never had a problem with high chairs.
I have travelled extensively in France and only ever encounter one restaurant that didn't cater for general. Apart from that even in the most high places they happily put together un suggestion pour l'enfant. Usually crudités to start, small piece of steak, chicken or duck ( south west) chips and then ice cream.
In every where apart from the one my DD has been welcomed and in one particular example in Honfleur treated as an honoured guest, a special comfy chair was found, she was brought extra little treats and her apple juice came dressed up with an umberella etc.

Bourdic Fri 19-Jun-15 22:16:55

We have found a dearth of high chairs but always set menus /plat du jour( no choice), willingness to provide something different which is suitable for children . Pasteurised milk in all but the tiniest shops, chicken breasts available

helloalll Fri 19-Jun-15 22:24:09

Always managed to find non uht milk. Generally always found high chairs but you could take one of those portable ones. My kids always survived on steak and chips and ham and chips with mountains of baguettes thrown in.

Summergarden Sat 20-Jun-15 07:55:09

Great thanks for the replies. We will bring the table booster chair for restaurants, good idea.

JugglingLife Sat 20-Jun-15 08:11:03

Summer if you are that bothered about the milk then freeze a load in the cartons in the UK, pack it tight and it will still be frozen by the time you get to the southwest. I second what everybody says about the restaurants. Very child friendly, in most circumstances they will arrange a child friendly dish if there is nothing on the play du jour. See you there! Fingers crossed for good weather.

frenchfancy Mon 22-Jun-15 16:45:13

Fresh milk is readily available in the large supermarkets, but not generally in the local shops. No more expensive than UHT. 2litre bottles easy to get, but you can't get fresh skimmed milk, only semi-skimmed (demi-ecreme) and full fat.

High chairs are about half and half for restaurants.

Fresh (and free range) chicken breasts are freely available.

CrystalCove Tue 23-Jun-15 12:43:09

Summergarden have a great holiday, we love driving to France for our holidays and generally do what you have planned - breakfast in our cottage, and dinner there at night. We take a lot of dried food with us as well as cleaning stuff etc and buy all the fresh stuff like meat, fish, veggies and fruit in the supermarkets. Ive never really eaten out anywhere apart from McDonalds and they've got highchairs grin. We just prefer sitting outside at night wherever we are staying relaxing with wine of course. You will get chicken in most of the supermarkets, depending on where you are you may have a Intermarche, E Lerc, Geant Casino and a Carrefour, thats the ones Ive used.

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