Moving to France... Things you WISH you'd put on the removal lorry

Our move to France is imminent - 8 weeks to go and a frenzy of activity is clouding my mind. What to add to the removal lorry other than the husband, dog, and composting worms?

I know I can reduce my marmite intake, or pay the earth. the husband is preparing to be brave about sausages, and we have the mantra of Paint! Paint! ringing loudly in our ears... But what did you wish you'd brought with you ?


Up Stix To France

Things you cant get Gooseberries, grow your own

Currants make friends with someone who runs a restaurant but they arent impossible to get

Broad beans try Leclercs

haha! the same with Cognac though....and Calvados...more expensive in France....cheaper in the UK....seems that the products are more expensive in their home country...I buy Pastis in Tesco for £11 a bottle and 16 euros in Carrefour!

Sorry Carol, that reply was in response to Joan's comment re tax, not rough whiskey!

Same story for me. Baileys Irish Cream is twice the price back in Ireland (where it is made) than here in France. Tax!

I drink Scotch and Brandy...and find them both cheaper in the can buy cheap brands in both UK and France....I dont buy expensive as I use it in coffee...but here (UK) pay around £9 in France, nothing under 14 euros in my supermarket....and that is rough!

Did someone mention Whisky?!

They may have said Scotch....well a good malt here in Scotland, is much more expensive than most in France, just speaking from local experience. It's taxed to heck in UK, much cheaper enc France.

A useful guide to French sugar.

I think almost everything is sustitutable (is that a word?) but I dont like the underwear...agree Catharine...or the shoes (I take a size 8)...apparently French women are more petite...Im also 5ft the trousers are too short...other things...Tea Bags..I like the extra strong PG tips and marmite...anything else I dont mind swapping...

I find Scotch much cheaper in the UK...but have found using my food processor I can just about produce pin head oats from rolled oats.

Look for Vergoise Brun . . . maybe not correct spelling but I've run out so can't go and look . . . orangy/brown packet - it's a soft dark brown sugar, great for fruit cakes :)

I know it won't help unless you live in Brittany but there are two market stalls in Rennes market (Place des Lices) which sell fresh herbs including coriandre . . . so maybe worth checking out the larger markets in your area?

Yes Catherine, I have found the very pale coloured sugar but not the dark brown... in case anyone was thinking of making Christmas cake or pudding :)

yep, dark demerara (however you spell it!) sugar if you bake. Hard to find.

Do you source those dry walling hooks that are brilliant for plasterboard? They are really expensive in the uk (from Amazon) and called hercules hooks there but previously I've had mine bought in USA for next to nothing (called monkey hooks there I think). Just a hook with a sharp point that you pierce your wall and it all but disappears leaving a tiny hook that will hold an awful lot of weight.

@Lesley. if you want Coriander then I would recommend Seeds of Italy

The French don't seem unduly fond of fresh coriander leaf though we can get it from a N. African lady on the market. The leafy kind tends to be called cilantro but confusingly Seeds of Italy call their's coriandolo. It's dead easy to grow and I would have thought you would have no difficulty growing it in Ariège. You can grow it indoors in pots but the results are likely to be disappointing. The pots of fresh coriander that one can buy in UK tend to be raised in polytunnels in Holland and are pathetic little things compared to coriander grown in the open ground. We're talking about a plant that in open ground is bushy and reaches 75cm to 100cms in height before flowering and seeding. For the winter,harvest and freeze mature leaves; It will be a bit soggy when it thaws but the flavour and colour will be there.

I have solved the bacon problem and have learned to make my own dry cure bacon - dead simple and loads of help in the internet where you can buy ready made cures fore all sorts of meat preserving (including sausage making) but strongly recommend a vacuum sealer with loads of bags as is incredibly useful for bacon making/storing and superb to re-package things in the freezer.

We will be moving permanently to the Ariege in the new year but have already Sussex most of the things on the very helpful lists already as have had the place for 5years so have tried and tested at both sides of the channel. Beware of shipping paint as our shippers absolutely refuse to allow us to include paint in our final shipment so the car full of paint seems to be our only option.

Also re coriander - it is not grown in our area at all and neither seeds or fresh can be found. I dropped into a friendly UK garden center a couple of weeks ago and have been advised to grow small and very regular amounts in pots throughout the whole year inside the house in a light and warm room as apparently as a plant it is not very hardy or long lived - so take loads of seeds with you

Yup - Quaker Oats are a lot more expensive.

No Steve, absolutely everything is dearer than it was. I don't mean inflation @ 4.5% pa we've seen hikes of 50% pa. ( I like a good whinge too )

HI, Sweet and Sour sauce is easy to make, I do it all the time, no, not all the time, only when I do sweet and sour.