I think my comment about the “open-hearted” French may seem a bit starry-eyed by those Brits (or former Brits perhaps like you Peter) who have to earn a living in a very competitive market, as distinct from us retired, and I can only say my own experience, and my wife’s, has only ever been positive.
I was in a local pôle d’animation today and while waiting got into conversation in French with a woman who told me she was an anglophone Canadian, but we continued to chat in the local language. The staff beamed at us, and I wouldn’t have been surprised had they broken into applause. It may be our age that counts in our favour, but no-one has ever been anything but friendly and affirming. Of course we may one day be disabused of our naïveté, but an occasional snub or insult wouldn’t change our overall impression.