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France - meal planning, ideas please!

(23 Posts)
dannyboyle Sun 31-Jul-16 21:28:39

Heading out to France with eurocamp next week. Want to make the most of French food and also want to do some meal planning before we go and lacking major inspiration..........two adults and two young children. Any ideas please!

frenchfancy Mon 01-Aug-16 18:03:27

Use the seasonal food to your advantage. Loads of lovely tasty tomatoes for salads, and Melons for starters and peaches for dessert.

Lunches that revolve around bread + cheese + paté + sliced meats make life easy.

If you like seafood then things like oysters are much much cheaper here. And mussels makes for a cheap dinner. Often the campsites will have take out chips so you just have to cook the mussels.

Canned cassoulet makes for good camping food - make sure you get one with confit de canard in it.

MerryMarigold Mon 01-Aug-16 18:06:50

I usually take a few packets of noodles and herbs/ spices rather than buy. I agree with bread/ sausage/ ham/ cheese. You can buy everything out there, it's just if you don't want a bulk load (eg. herbs/ salt/ pepper) and if you have a particularly difficult child, "I don't want this Actimel because it's FRENCH!". If gluten/ dairy free, it may be easier to find the stuff here and take it just in case you can't find as much over there.

mouldycheesefan Tue 02-Aug-16 08:01:40

We had bread, cheese, salad, charcuterie for lunch. Bbq or ate out in evening. Most sites have pizzeria, creperie or something. The kids couriers will babysit so you can go out if you want to go to a romantic restaurant.
Keep it simple, it a holiday!

lovelybangers Tue 02-Aug-16 11:04:03

When we go to France we eat a lot of salads, with cheese, meats and bread.

I also love the Merguez sausages - they are v tasty and go down well with DC.

Are you in a tent or a mobile home ?

A simple pasta dish is a winner too.

2StripedSocks Tue 02-Aug-16 16:51:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jenpetronus Tue 02-Aug-16 17:08:16

Of course it depends what you eat and like. If you eat seasonally, there is an abundance of fruit and veg, & as someone said above seafood and fish is good value. We've lived here 13 years & all income is in sterling, so the exchange rate affects us massively too, it's been almost parity at one point so I guess it's all relative.

MerryMarigold Tue 02-Aug-16 17:10:23

I've always found meat in France is v expensive. How about a jar of pesto?

2StripedSocks Tue 02-Aug-16 17:23:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jenpetronus Tue 02-Aug-16 17:29:07

Tomatoes are €1.49 a kilo (lovely local ones) Melons are about €1.60 each, Mussels are €2.99 a kilo - this was in our local Carrefour Market this afternoon, nowhere special & I don't know how it compares as I'm not in the UK, but it doesn't seem that bad to me. Perhaps I'm out of touch.

MerryMarigold Tue 02-Aug-16 17:39:49

The basics aren't bad, but if you don't like mussels and have non adventurous kids, it's difficult to buy cheaply. Take marmite, marmalade and peanut butter. Yummy on baguette, and they're pretty cheap.

frenchfancy Tue 02-Aug-16 17:41:34

I wondered the same too jenpetronus so I've just compared the price of pasta and pesto in France and the UK (Ocado). Same brand, 2,70€ in France, 4,48€ in the UK. (I'm not saying it is the cheapest brand just that it is the same).

If you shop at the small shops near the campsites then the prices will be higher, but that would be true in the UK.

MerryMarigold Tue 02-Aug-16 17:44:42

Ocado. Nuff said grin

jenpetronus Tue 02-Aug-16 17:45:55

It's an interesting comparison frenchfancy I'm guilty of not paying attention when we're in the UK & only buying things we really can't get here. As you've just pointed out, all the major supermarkets have their standard ranges on line so anyone can check prices if they're worried too.

2StripedSocks Tue 02-Aug-16 17:46:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jenpetronus Tue 02-Aug-16 17:54:45

Not sure where you are 2StripedSocks here in Brittany onions are (ahem) rather cheap. €1.99 for 5 kilos was the last I paid. Lidl is in France too, but I can't remember the price of pesto off hand.

2StripedSocks Tue 02-Aug-16 17:57:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jenpetronus Tue 02-Aug-16 18:03:38

No of course (imagining trying to take a car full of onions home hmm)

S0dabread Tue 02-Aug-16 18:09:39

We love the merguz sausages too. Will you have any markets near by ? They do amazing rotisserie chicken with new potatoes basted below. They often have lovely quiches/ pies/ perpared food too. Lidl stocks regional dishes and we got some great tinned food there. Dauphinose potatoes and boeuf burgignon. Corned beef hash with tinned beef and spuds and a fried egg on top is pure comfort food and good for a camping dinner. Hopefully you can go low stress on the food so you get a break. Everything is more fun if it's cooked outdoors ! Enjoy your holiday.

Muddlingthroughtoo Tue 02-Aug-16 18:15:44

We are off to Eurocamp on the 17th so this thread is very helpful thanks for saving me the job grin

EtinOcadoEgo Tue 02-Aug-16 18:24:41

Just back and completely forgot to take basics- fortunately the house had oil dressing etc.
We didn't eat out once and had chocolate milk and croissants for breakfast then salad, charcuterie and a tarte or little yogurts/ creme caramels for pudding. We had raclette twice many supermarkets will loan you one and baked Camembert with carrot sticks and bread another night. We had artichokes and I baked endives with ham- we really ate like kings and cheaply!
I did grab a jar of pesto and several mozzarella before we went and then sliced into a baguette + tomatoes made a lovely baguette sandwich. Top tip for baguette sandwiches- make them whole slicing lengthways and cut in situ when you're at picnic destination.

dannyboyle Tue 02-Aug-16 20:00:26

Ooh thanks all. Will be finding those sausages mentioned above.

French Eurocamp I am used to so baguettes, cheese etc Are fine. Will be taking basics inc pasta, baked beans etc which kids like.

Kind of want to be a bit more adventurous with French food. Moules def on menu and like idea of dauphinois with salad. Also found recipes for French beans with shallots and croque madam. Want to show the children a bit of meal variety!

dannyboyle Tue 02-Aug-16 20:05:48

Should also have said thanks for heads up on prices, not loaded but some flexibilty. Prefer seasonal stuff but limited a bit with unadventurous young children.

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