Posts Tagged ‘Channel shopping’

Steak frites
Wine stocks were getting perilously low and with no trip to Nice on the horizon and a brief interlude between French workers’ strikes, time was ripe for a quick jaunt to Calais. A choppy crossing each way rendered walking about a poor idea, so on the return leg, for just under £20 I enjoyed a proper dinner with good wine, starched napery, professional waiter service and sea views in a sanctuary from the staggering hordes.  With perfect timing too: we docked at Dover just as I washed down an espresso with the last of the San Pellegrino.

Being insufficiently hungry for the £15 2-course deal I opted for the £11 pièce du boucher (unidentified steak) with 3-peppercorn sauce and chips.  It came quickly, was cooked as requested, reasonably tender and tasty;  pretty good in the circumstances.  Even better was the half bottle of Chapoutier Côtes du Rhone at £6.  All in all it made the 90 minute ferry ride sheer pleasure for once: well done, SeaFrance.

A motley assortment of Good Things to buy in (northern) France

  • Dijon mustard
  • Marseille soap
  • fruit tarts (pack carefully)
  • Guérande salt
  • an enamelled cast iron pot
  • boudin blanc
  • Belgian endive
  • tomatoes (Summer only)
  • garlic plaits
  • espadrilles (Summer only)
  • cheese
  • frozen flageolet beans
  • crates of oysters (Winter only)
  • interesting non-alcoholic apéritifs
  • pastis
  • wine, wine, wine and more wine (French only, please)

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