Buying from UK and using delivery company to Dordogne - recommendations

Hi all, anyone do grocery shopping in UK and have it delivered - and buying from builders merchant in UK and using delivery people to here? Any recommendations at all? I am gobsmacked at the prices of everything here.
TIA

Yes, things can be expensive, especially white goods. However, do be careful; if you are going to use a company to deliver, it may cost a lot more than it would do if you were to buy here. Why not give us an idea of the kind of things that you wish to buy? In that way we may be in a better position to give advice.

Hi Verity,
A pallet (1 x 1.2m) will usually be in the region of 3-400 GBP on a 3-5 day delivery. Wyvern Cargo may be cheaper if you take a 7day delivery schedule.
(Our company is usually shipping high value electricals at around only 300kg to a pallet so this won’t apply to 1,000kg pallet)

Usually it’s much cheaper to buy in France once you’ve considered freight costs.
Shipping low value items from a builders merchants with a disproportionate freight cost is likely to be prohibitive.

You might also want to consider local opinion. Our French neighbours are openly critical of nationalities who bring trailers of builders materials every time they visit - it’s seen as not supporting the national (French) economy.

Thank you Ray for your reply. I wasn’t really talking about ‘freight’ just about the ‘man with a van’ companies that deliver all sorts from UK to here for (only an example) £20-40 ish. Lots of companies deliver groceries from Tescos etc and I miss ‘internationally recognised’ products like Fairy and Heinz and Anchor butter (and I could go on!!) And some of the products here are extortionately priced, even the ‘home grown’ products but especially the few ‘English’ products you can find). Same as paint, for example, and Dulux is hard to find and massively overpriced. Same problem with virtually everything else with regards what you refer to with your neighbours - happy to support both local businesses and the French economy if I could find what I wanted at all, websites with English option which would not be so hindering, - or without an hour + drive and not be taken for a ride with the prices (which are more expensive than the UK and even Dubai where I have just moved from - which has to import pretty much everything and still not as expensive as here).

I was hoping to find people who have done or do this - especially the Tescos shop and who could recommend a reliable and well used delivery company from the many that advertise this service. I believe there is one that does a regular drop off at Nontron, I just don’t know which one it is.

Thanks Marc. Grocery wise - doing an online Tesco order and finding the company that then delivers it here. As per reply below, loads of companies do this and one I believe drops off at Nontron - some even do to your door (and not hugely expensive as they are doing a few deliveries in one go, refrigerated vans etc). Was just hoping someone knew the name of the regular, reliable companies that do it.

Furniture wise - I am struggling to find several things here - a dresser/display cabinet and a corner TV unit that I want in a particular wood/style which I can easily find in the UK but sadly not here - and what I have seen here that isn’t even close is, quite frankly, daylight robbery.

Paint for example - Dulux - hard to find and overpriced. Carpet - ??? no idea.

Hope that gives you a better idea. :slight_smile:

I live in France, I shop in France and I do not find things hard to get or expensive. It sounds to me you are very reliant on familiar brands and have found that you need to pay more than you are used to for those. I used to buy Heinz beans and McVities plain chocolate biscuits when I could but bought alternatives locally when I couldn’t. I now find both of those old favourites far to sweet for my liking, after discovering locally available beans and biscuits that were good substitutes I now much prefer them. Anchor butter? Why? Lidl sell the best butter I’ve ever had. The only thing I source from the UK is Marmite and that is not one of life’s necessities. Carpets and English furniture too are in the dim and distant past, thank goodness. Paint? Tollens, great paint more suitable for the conditions experienced locally and as for building materials I’m spoiled for choice locally.

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So where is Tollens (I will google it to explore :slight_smile: ) and where is locally for you, ie what building material companies are there? This is what I am trying to ascertain on my other post. Not many near where I live. The ‘English’ furniture I want is very ‘fitting’ for my French home, country style and have not found - yet - anything like it here. If you have some suggestions as to where and what shops or craftsmen to look at I would be very grateful.

I find even the local ‘own makes’/alternatives very expensive. And have yet to find decent bacon - something I could readily get in a Muslim country (although that was expensive but fair enough on that one but it was available to me!). Any recommendations on that would really be appreciated. :smiley:

As for ‘why?’ Anchor, I find French butter disgusting. I lived in Dubai for nine years (and they have quite a few French supermarkets there that only sell French butter which I never bought) and had every product available to me (from all over the world) and the choice of what I wanted to buy and eat. I wasn’t forced to eat just local produce (and there is a quite a lot grown/produced in the UAE and surrounding GCC countries, just not everything. Dubai caters for every nationality under the sun because every nationality lives there. Very liberal and accommodating.

Hello Verity

Your grocery idea is, quite frankly, super and with respect silly, expensive. Living in France requires compromise. I cook for a living and I am/was English, I have compromised and I cook far better thanks to the compromise. After 15 years away from the U.K, I beg you to look further than that which you are used to. If you have a problem with ingredients/recipes - contact me. I will, with pleasure, offer alternative ideas.

Furniture-wise, it’s all a matter of taste. Check out you local stores. For second hand, check out Craigslist (be careful with craigslist - lots of cons here). For paint - it’s really simple, every person who comes to visit you must bring paint. You can buy Dulux here, but (once again) silly expensive and cheap paint here is disgusting watery, stuff.

I can only finish by writing that I totally understand your frustrations and request that you remember that compromises are always available. This country is a culinary marvel!

:slight_smile:

We are going to disagree here; French butter, especially “Beurre aux Cristaux de Sel de Mer” is probably the best butter in the whole world. In my opinion, “New Zealand Anchor Butter” is seriously inadequate. Beurre aux Cristaux de Sel de Mer is freely available everywhere, but a tiny bit more expensive than the cheapest butter. However and with respect, it’s all down to your requirements. Let me give you an example: I pay a fortune for great cherry tomatoes, because I hate watery tomatoes and I do not want my clients to drop me because I supply rubbish tomatoes.

I am happy to help, but in the end, it’s down to where your standards lie.

We are going to have to disagree on this country being a culinary marvel. I have yet to experience that compared to the 3 other countries I have lived in. However, to be fair there aren’t 5500 hotels within three quarters of an hours drive here, most of which are 5 star and have some of the best chefs, food and service in the world. I am compromising big time to having all day dining (and delivery service 24/7 - and supermarkets that sell choice not 'you will only have this product!!!) to places that can’t even be bothered to open lunchtimes, and in my humble opinion, food and presentation that is of a very poor standard when they do (putting it nicely). And from what I’ve seen of the kitchens and the waiting staff, not the best of hygiene either, compared to the immaculate staff and kitchens (a lot ‘on show’) that ‘my standards’ have grown accustom to in Dubai. (And the supermarkets and their range of choice). I am compromising on what I do not have the choice to buy, I am compromising on what I eat on a daily basis (the bread here is also appalling - which really surprised me - and expensive). If I have the option to not compromise and try a service that provides me with that choice, surely it is my decision to do so.

I will try the butter if I can find it but I’m guessing it will still be ‘unsalted’ butter with salt crystals mixed in. Not quite the same. Anchor may be inadequate but I like it. And would like to have the ‘choice’ to buy it.
I appreciate your offer to contact you. That would be very useful. How do I do that? And where do you cook? I am desperate to find somewhere nice to eat.

When I have the veggie patch up and running at least I will have cheap, organic, on hand veggies to eat :slight_smile:

Furniture - I have tried the local shops and further afield (Trelissac) but furniture is not in the same vein as I am after or for that matter the same quality (mid range stuff) but would be glad if anyone could recommend a specific shop/online company/place/area that, as said, one does not need to take out a second mortgage to buy.

Paint wise - it is not likely that I will have many visitors from the UK and not in the time that I would like to have it hence asking the question.

And hence why this post. I have heard of people who have done it, it is not an uncommon practice by the sounds of it and have heard of and looked up companies that deliver - especially the food. And my (English) friends are interested too. I just wanted to hear from someone who has done it (doing it) and could recommend a specific company. Can’t beat recommendations of someone who has been there, done it and bought the T shirt - or in this case - UK groceries. :slight_smile: So unless I get a reply from someone who has soon, I may just have to go out on a limb and hunt one down and try it. But always quicker if you can get an answer from someone already in the know.

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Differences between people is a wonderful thing. Personally for me the idea of living in Dubai would never cross my mind, I cannot think of anything worse. After leaving the UK in the mid 1980s and working for over 25 years I decided to move to France because of what the country, lifestyle, traditions and architecture offered me. I enjoy a much higher standard of living here than I could in the UK with the same income and much prefer the pace of life here to than I’ve experienced in Holland, Germany or Italy. For me France was the obvious choice but I can’t understand how people like you end up living in a rural location in a country that doesn’t seem to tick so many of your boxes. I’ve told you where I buy my butter, it’s salted, great to eat, economically priced and available close to my home. I cannot understand why anyone would consider buying another brand hundreds of miles away just because the label is familiar.

@Verity - loving your posts Verity - you’re absolutely spot on!! France is incredibly expensive, protectionist and inflexible. Choice and service are not really concepts that have been ‘developed’!

Anyway, try British Corner Shop for your online shopping. OK - it’s more expensive than going to the supermarket but the service is just great. They offer fresh produce and a huge Waitrose range. Around me, a few of us make a group order to minimise the delivery costs.

Ignore the negative responses you’ll receive from some on here. They tend to wear rose tinted glasses and go into hyper shock when anyone challenges their view of things. Some of them behave like kids sticking their fingers in their ears and going 'nah, nah, nah, nah, nah…’!! Have you seen the film LA LA Land ?

Welcome to France! You’ll get used to it or, you’ll move on for a new experience - either way, have fun - I do!! :wink:

I agree with your point Simon about France being expensive. All those cheap houses in the Dordogne and other areas of SW France that people are attracted to are actually very expensive. Very expensive indeed. That is the problem. People don’t do their homework before moving to work out what the true cost of living is in France. I could sell my house tomorrow and buy a village in the Dordogne but I can’t afford to live there. People get suckered in to buy cheap houses in rural areas. Not a good idea. It will come back and bite you.

But in terms of lack of choice and customer service you are very much wrong…of course. In the main prosperous areas of France you have more choice than the UK and the customer service is impeccable. Those who throw these negative comments about live in economically depressed areas (yes the Dordogne is economically depressed) really don’t know what true life is in France. I am sorry for that because they become miserable.

In terms of UK food vans. When I first learnt of them I just laughed my socks off. I told my OH and there reaction was more of bemusement and then anger. I often tell friends about these food vans but they don’t believe me. They think I am on a wind up.

Anyway, if people want to eat English food in France that is fine but think about the ethical and ecological side of it. Half the world is starving. It does not fit correctly with me that people turn their noses up to the food of the country they are living in and have to order it from another country. What about all the food miles !!! I am guessing the OP French neighbours have not staved to death so I assume there is food about in Nontron…wherever that is. Food is food. Adapt.

There is also the economics debate. Why pay VAT to the Uk government and not to the government of the country you live in. You are happy to consume the services but not pay for them. They then complain the services are rubbish to. LOL. It is just plain wrong.

Anyway, for furniture try La Redoute.fr. They might not sell tacky pine dressers though. But that is a good thing.

For paint, well I can tell you that Leroy Merlins own brand ‘axton’ paint is suburb and better anything you will find in the UK. Two undercoats two top coats and you are done. Dulux is probably the worst paint you can buy. Even Lidl paint is better. The trouble is a lot of people move to France and do renovation for the first time and with that they don’t no how to paint properly. That is where the ‘paint’ nonsense threads originate.

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It’s going to be an entertaining thread, for sure :wink:
Very brave (is that the word?), with that attitude, to move to probably the only country in Europe where nationalism is so strong and unashamed that politicians canvassing for the presidentials stand up and promise that if elected they will oppose mulitculturalism and fight to preserve France’s culture, history and traditions undiluted. Simon is quite right, France is expensive, protectionist and inflexible, and I don’t think things will change in the foreseeable future. It’s a bit of a Marmite country, and personally, like David M, I love it for what it is. I respect it for being pig-headed and refusing to bow to pressure because by nature I’m quite pig-headed over some things myself so I see nothing wrong in that, but I have to say that if hanging onto a UK lifestyle had happened to be one of the things I was pig-headed about, I wouldn’t have taken on a battle as basic as that - like Jaffrès says “Il y a des batailles qui détonnent, Des guerres qui n’intéressent plus”.

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I’m firmly in la-vie-en-rose-tinted-spectacles rather than the blinkered-brits camp in this discussion - but to make a serious contribution, perhaps one factor behind people’s different perspectives is the regional diversity of France? (Have you read Graham Robb’s book ‘The Discovery of France’? - wonderful.) Some friends of mine (mixed English-French couple) have just moved up here to Brittany from Cannes precisely because of the cost of living - especially housing.
On paint, by the way Mark, I can tell you are a proper painter, not just somebody who fancies a different colour - that surely is at the root of the difference of opinion there…

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Chacun son truc. I think you have to adapt to wherever you live and that if you have lived in the Gulf where you are definitely not going to be anything but an expat in a bubble, you might need to be a bit wary of bringing the same attitude here to France, where you are an immigrant. Good luck with the deliveries, I can’t imagine what this bread is you mention which is better than bread here, unless you mean packet bread of course (ugh). Marhaba and ahlan wa sahlan anyway…

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@MCA Hi Marky! I appreciate that English may not be your mother tongue based on your posts - I think this may lead you to misunderstand on occasion. Let me help you out…:wink:

Speaking for myself, when I make a post on SFN, I am doing so based on my own real life experiences. They cannot therefore be right or wrong - they simply just are what they are. For example - I generally find choice and customer service in France to be appalling - even near you in Paris Mark! Perhaps that’s why you use M&S - I do hope their prawn mayo sandwiches are made in France and not shipped over from the UK every morning! Luckily for me I can pop over to Spain or into Andorra and fill my boots with the products (and prices!) simply not available to me in France. Fab.

In my view, it is generally inappropriate to lecture on ethical, economic and ecological issues based on your own views. That’s not to say you’re not entitled to express them - just that some people may not give a stuff about them. Life’s too short.

However, thanks for the info on the housing market and economy in the Dordogne - it may of interest to some - you never know :slight_smile:

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I think a lot of people don’t realise that Dordogne was ‘preserved’ by poverty and that it really is la France Profonde, there aren’t many jobs that aren’t directly linked to agriculture etc and that what is lovely and restful and picturesque on holiday can be frustrating and depressing if you live there full-time, especially if you are foreign.

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Same old same old. You are so blinkered yet push your faults on others. I just went to a mouse to house delivery with some neighbours between their house and an appointment at a garage. There was a good turnout of shoppers and although I can understand a demand for brown sauce and horseradish there were people picking up carrots and toilet paper. That, to me is bizarre. I feel so fortunate to be able to live in a location where I do not crave the lifestyle trivia of those living somewhere else. No rose tinted specs, just real, enjoyable life.
Mark, why is my rural house going to bite back? I lived a rural life in England, Germany and now France, it’s a life style that suits me and I have found a lovely corner of rural France to enjoy. My house was and remains cheap but is all I need. I have had no regrets since I bought it over 22 years ago so why should that change? The thought of living in an artificial city in an oil rich desert or needing to drive down the autoroute to get regular a big town fix is so foreign to me and my way of life it sounds awful. Each to his own but what I don’t understand is what these poor souls with such modern, state of the art, Starbucks driven needs have done to end up in the depths of the countryside where they obviously feel like a fish out of water. Poor people, life must be hard.

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Hi Simon, my mother tongue is English. I guess my name would end in a C if it were not. LOL

In Carrefour the shelves are stacked with pasta from Italy. In M&S the shelves are stacked with Prawn Mayo (and the crispy chicken and bacon ones :slight_smile:) sandwiches from the UK. But they are sold in France and the TVA goes to government.

If I did not have an M&S I would make do with a soggy jambon beurre at Monoprix. I can live with that. I adapt. I just make my own chicken and bacon at home It is not hard.

Customer service is actually excellent these days in France. Carrefour, Leroy, Castorama, Darty, Boulanger, Speedy, etc etc… you just can’t fault it. They beat the UK. I hate going to Tescos or Asda because the cashier has been programmed to ask me how my day was, or ask other personal questions. You just want to smack them in face and tell them to mind their own business. To be fair, as soon as your back is turned they will be calling you a @@@@@@ anyway. At least people in France are genuine and not robots.

In terms ethical, economical and ecological issues…I believe you call everyone who voted Brexit to to be Xenophobic. Is that not kind of the same thing ?

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