Eating out in France  19/10/2014
France is well known for its chef’s, traditional regional dishes, markets full of local, seasonal produce and high quality restaurants. Many of the millions of visitors that head to France each year are tempted to the country by French gastronomy. Whether you are keen to try freshly caught oysters, creamy cheeses, locally grown asparagus, sweet tarte tatin or even brave a plate of escargot, there is plenty of choice for where you eat.
Whether you are staying in a city hotel, or are self-catering in rural gite or at a coastal campsite you may want to try some different dining experiences during your French holidays. Depending on your budget and who you are eating out with, the following options may have their appeal.
All towns and cities have a selection of restaurants where you can experience the highest quality of food and service. These are the most expensive option for eating out, but offer the ideal place to sample regional delights and specialist menus.
Bistros are less formal restaurants and the most popular place for diners in France. They offer good food, generally from a traditional menu of entrée (starter), plats mijotes and grillades (main dishes), followed by dessert and cheeses.
Traditionally associated with the breweries of Alsace, Brassieres are more typically found in large towns and cities. They sell simple dishes of grilled fish, sausages and other meats, which are usually eaten long with a pint of beer.
France is famous for its café culture and they can be the ideal place to pick up a lighter meal or snack. Cafes are usually open from early morning until late evening, so you can sit in a café to enjoy breakfast or a coffee and cake before bed.
Picnics and BBQs
If you are planning a self-catering holiday at one of the many French Campsites, it may seem convenient to head for the local supermarket to stock up on food. However, you are more likely to find fresh produce in the local town. All towns in France have independent shops including bakeries, butchers and fishmongers. They also have regular markets which are ideal places for picking up fresh local produce. Couriers on the Carisma campsites //www.carisma.co.uk/ are happy to let you know where and when the local markets will be on.
Using these places, rather than the local supermarket will encourage you to try something new and typically French. French bread, cheeses and tomatoes is a simple yet delicious start to a perfect picnic and local sausages, meats and fish make the perfect ingredients for the BBQ.
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