If only I knew beforehand

Hi all,

We have purchased a house are hoping to move down to Ariege in May. I have heard that items such as paint and gardening tools are better quality in Ireland than in France. Whereas certain things are cheaper to better to buy once there.

leaving out specific food items (Barrys Tea and Taytos) what are the absolute MUST BRINGs and LEAVE BEHIND items when moving to France?

For example, the following:

Kitchen appliances, cooking dishes, pots

Fittings - for bathroom example, door handles etc

Bedding - quilts, covers, sheets, pillows etc

Outside furniture - chairs, sun loungers cushions etc

Toiletries - shampoo, face cream, cleansers sunscreen etc (I don't use big brands like Lancome, more like Olay)

Specific clothing - Coats, boots, shoes, winter woolies (sounds like I need them next year, judging by current weather conditions!!)

Have you any experience with any of the above?What do you get posted to you regularly from home?

Also, is my standard digital arial any use ? And my Eircom handsets?

Thank you so much, I am trying to gauge what I could possibly leave behind and replace pretty easily, and what I absolutely should take with me.


Celeste - sounds like you could well fill a van for a "car-boot" sale :-) You could have your own stall at one of these markets, and get rid of those boxes of "clutter"

We just attached a TNT box to our old analog aerial when the cut-over happened Elaine so I think a bit of old wire sticking out out of of the window would probably do as well :-)

Good luck with the move.

Thanks John,

I'd imagine fittings etc are different alright - we are not renovating, just updating a few things, and they can wait for next car trip home - we will be better edumacated by then :)

bringing 2 mattresses with me and their own sheets (for now).

The TV thing - sounds like a box (freesat) from home (or Amazon) and a french dish will suffice. We can bring our digital aerial for the french TV :)

Thanks Norman,

Yes I agree - bayonets are pretty much defunct in Ireland too - emphasis is on eco -friendly - problem is most of the "eco" friendly bulbs may use less electricity, but are not very eco themselves to dispose of!! Thankfully the quality and variety is improving - but also creates MORE choice, and one can end up with fittings and no bulbs to fit anymore.

So, it's all moving away from the incandescent to wartery light but has to be done!

Good tip on the Le Crueset - my hubby actually salivates when he is in a shop looking at them - he is the real chef in our union, so weightlifting not a problem with the bigger pots - delighted to hear you can pick them up at the markets :)

Thanks John,

will do! I had a little giggle when I read it first - you baldy!! (clearly we both have hair)

Hi Liz, Elaine,

Just a small point on the bulbs bit, (electric) I have been told that soon it will be illegal to buy anything other than these new long-life eco-friendly things. Thank goodness some stores are now providing comparisons with wattage as before it was impossible (at least for me) to understand what compared with what (or should that read 'watt').

I have changed all the old bayonet-type fittings to screw fittings anyway, as they are now the 'norm' here. ( I really must stop this business of Norms and Watts shouldn't I?)

Cooking pots? Ah well, our house (being French in the important bits, such as the kitchen) is replete with La Crueset pans, which you might be surprised to find are often on sale at ridiculously low prices in Puces. Many women find them too heavy to use, particularly the bigger ones. They also work perfectly on induction cookers, unlike several others we have tried.

So my fellow 'Clark' where are you based in this wonderful country?

Norm Clark

Thanks Celeste, I have just had an updated 'thing' done on our Free box (Orange?) and have now about 50 channels now but with a massive gap between Channels 21 - 170 when the English language ones kick-in - all news ones though, not general entertainment. We DO get all the regional ones though and I admit I never though to look there, so I will investigate.

After you've selected your appliances in Darty or wherever Elaine check out the same articles on the Ubaldi website. We saved about 30% on a new induction hob last year.

Paint is tricky topic Sheila. Average interior paint in Ireland is much better that an average brand here. We found that out when we had the interior of our house redecorated with local rubbish. But exterior paint in Ireland isn't up to the weather here. A pal of mine brought down an Espace full of Farrow and Ball from Dublin to paint his (many) shutters. Same stuff that had lasted a decade on his house in Dublin. The shutters turned out very nicely but now the paint is tired after only a year due to sun, wind and sea air. I think the only solution is to buy top quality paint here for the exterior. Tollens for example. Anyway, that's our plan for our shutters.

A French dish will do fine Elaine. You need to be careful that the decoder (i.e. the box) you buy before you come is a "FREESAT" box (not Saorview). I eventually bought a Humax combined Freesat decoder and recorder from Amazon.co.uk (free shipping to Ireland) and it works perfectly with my French dish. Like Celeste we use a normal roof TV ariel for French TV.

Beds are a different size too so no point in bringing fitted sheets :-) Bathroom fittings are also different so you might have a problem getting a plumber to fit Irish connections etc.

.......even FIGURE out!

Hi Celeste, which is the system you use to watch the Club Rugby? That is the one thing I haven't been able to fugure out here. Doesn't really matter if it is French Club Rugby or English - I just LOVE my Rugby!


EMMAÜS is a Christian charity of some sort run by devotees of a French 'social' priest called Abbé Pierre. People give them stuff and they sell it on very cheap to the rest of us. A lot of it is without interest but as they clean up and repair most of the items you can find extraordinary bargains. Furniture mainly. And, as I said, you've always got IKEA next door for the up-to-date version!

Yes Simon,

I can confirm that's why they are in such good condition! Is EMMAUS a market? Sounds very interesting!

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