If only I knew beforehand

Elaine,I am staggered to find that they now sell - and you own - garden furniture in Ireland. Gone are the days when one dragged a kitchen chair on to the pavement for a few rays of sun before whipping back in as the rain started. Bring it with you by all means: I shall be the first to visit you in the Ariège to have a look!

Otherwise, I wouldn't bring anything except a couple of suitcases. You have one of the best EMMAUS in France at Labarthe-sur-Leze on the outskirts of Toulouse where you can buy anything from second-hand crockery (some lovely stuff) to wardrobes, tables etc. And the only IKEA in the South-West is just a mile away.


Whatever about the rain, I'd say even the humidity here is torture!! We have garage, cave and spare rooms :)

Oh wow Kate!!

Lots of edibles there!! Sounds like you're a bit of a chef? I will be referring back to that list I think, a couple of things there I would like, lentils, oats, spices and soy sauce

Yes, everyone is agreeing about the paint and varnish.


I presume your road bikes are legal too Henry ;)

thanks for the tip on synthetics

great tips thanks Nick

Definitely a consensus about the paint and varnish in particular

We've just been doing the same - a total renovation project - and brought [or wished we had!] the following from the UK for reasons of choice or cost:

Paint -- can be 3 times the price for the SAME product (like Dulux Magic £19.00 in UK, 72 euros here), particularly outdoor paint or 'metal' paint. Wallpaper likewise --- and a very limited choice here.

Tiles, light fittings -- choice and price. If you want a rangecooker they are double the price here (or more) for the same product. Small electricals, like kettle or toaster etc all much more expensive here, but the larger items like washing machines are very similarly priced.

I would also bring bedding as there's more choice in the UK and I think it's a bit cheaper. And you can't get UK sized pillows here (the 80 x 50cm size).....closest here is 70 x 50.

Otherwise my UK shopping list consists largely of stuff you can't get here: good teabags, spice mixes, red lentils, barley, oatcakes, ham stock cubes, horseradish sauce, haggis (yes, I come from up there), dried porcini mushrooms, rice and pasta in bulk bags (just so much of a saving), porridge oats, meusli, paella rice, seeds for breadmaking, lemsips, mango chutney, big bottles of soy sauce, green tabasco, oyster sauce, golden syrup, dark marmalade, kippers, mixed crackers for cheese, dry sherry and marsala for cooking, Pimms, Tanqueray gin (NOT for cooking!).

All the best, Kate

It is my experience that paint and varnish are far more expensive than UK and poor quality. Most DIY and gardening stuff seems to be more expensive over here. We also buy sun-cream and mozzie spray on the internet as its far cheaper than in the shops here.

Yep, point taken Sheila.

I have different "tog" duvets and yes they will be utilised during the move!!

I have an electric blanket - I just send him to bed 10 mins before me ;)

I also have various motorbikes, some offroad (legal) and road. It's a much, much nicer place to own bikes here.

You can buy fully synthetic oils in the supermarket. (If I had a 'cool' smiley, I would add it here).

I do love Marmite, but never buy it anymore as I don't eat bread anymore, and now just don't miss it! If it's available on toast when visiting a B&B here, I demolish it :)

Hi Fiona,

You made me smile - with all the modern beds available now, and different mattresses, even here at home I have mismatches - double bed seems to have about 3 sizes!!

Thanks for the heads up! Am bringing whatever good quality stuff I currently have.

Good suggestion Fiona. However, beds and mattresses are measured in centimetres in Ireland, so shouldn't be a problem. Elaine, I'd bring extra duvets as well - they are horrendously expensive here. You can probably use them in transit as protection for fragile items. One item I'd hate to be without is my electric blanket. They do not seem to be commonly sold here, so if you like and use one, bring it! Hopefully it will only be needed for a couple of weeks each year!

Bedding, especially English style oblong pillows are difficult to get and very expensive (but M & S online a godsend) measure your beds in Ireland as mattresses etc are different sizes here, and Ikea also different. However there are some lovely bedding to be bought, just check fits!

Cheers Jackie,

Nice one on the beans!! My husband made homemade beans (not pre-baked tho) and they were quite nice too!! I actually only eat them at home for nutrition (sounds ironic i know) and quick lunches

Thanks Christine,

Garden furniture - I would have thought easy enough to get because of the weather? No?

We are bringing whatever stuff we have (all plastic and foldable) as it's all in good condition.

Good call on the Sprinter van, this is probably what we will have, so we need to be quite strict and prioritise :)

Thanks Kirsty,

wow - sounds like you have had big job of it. We spent 10 years renovating our cottage here in Ireland, so not doing that again.

Basic redecorating and maybe some fittings and upgrading is all we'll be doing - certain stuff we could remove from our house here, if we thought they were very overpriced in france - or hard to find.

Will be interesting!

Thanks Liz,

Sounds like the basic models of appliances are well priced in france. We are only bringing the washing machine, as it's quite new and a good A rated model. Not sure about the dryer - are we assuming we won't need one with good weather? I use mine all the time at home as I cannot bear the damp smell of clothes on the line for days, even in summer!

Dryers are good for feather pillows and stuff like that - hmm you see I am assuming we can launder the big stuff in summer and make use of warm temps and dry air - am I being a little naive?

Thanks Annette,

recurring advice on the paint - so cheap to buy large buckets of white and cream here for indoors. I have had many wallpaper hells when house hunting = thankfully none in this house, but they do colour their ceilings which I find interesting.

Our new house is actually not too bad - just needs updating (over time) so will be a car trip home to stock up on essentials, after some research locally down there.

Hi Henry,

Interesting point about motor oil - as we'll have a few motorbikes with us, and some of them take special oil - hubby will probably source it online as usual.

Loving your tip about the french TV - our levels of french are very low, so thats a good point - not sure about the success of submission but we'll give it a go!!

Hi Doreen,

Thanks for all the great suggestions - I think we'll be doing a lot of research online too :)