What do you wish you'd bought before you got to France?

Is there anything you wish you’d bought in your home country before moving to France? I’m thinking about anything needed for your home or business (particularly if it involves B&B or gites) such as furniture, kitchen equipment or decor for example. I’m trying to think ahead so that we can have things bought and ready for the move, taking extra removal costs into account of course.

A roll of bitumenised roofing felt. Seems very hard to source here and very expensive. :confused:

And tacks to tack it down on the hen-house roof.


I was told by a friend that British towels and linen are cheaper and much better quality so for a b & b this will probably be something to think about.


Simple - more money!:grinning:

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Of course!

Good quality rectangular pillows (if you don’t like square ones).

Beds and bed linen are slightly different sizes so if you are bringing UK beds and UK duvets you will need the appropriate sized bedding. If you will be buying French beds and French duvets then buy French bed linen. If not then nothing will quite fit.

If you are going to be catering for British guests then maybe some store cupboard supplies like marmalade, marmite etc and definitely large boxes of PG Tips! You can order theses things online easily enough but they are very expensive.

I’m sure others will come up with some great ideas.

Good luck!


Over the years I’ve regretted several things I’ve bought elsewhere like mowers and chainsaws because even with the Internet it’s been a nightmare getting some spare parts. I’ve replaced them with locally bought quality items.

And even that will not be enough,:rofl:

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Greetings cards, birthday cards, Christmas cards. If you are into sending cards then bring them with you! Here you will get kittens with balls of wool, or pots of poinsettia, and that’s it.

For the gîtes depends if you are aiming for English clientele or not. If so, then rectangular pilllows, decent teapots and double oven gloves. In terms of value, things like mattress protectors are £8-10 cheaper in U.K. and are light, so don’t add much to transport costs and you can use them to wrap stuff like pictures during the journey. We also brought curtains with us, as had lots anyway, and we like having curtains. I’ve found the choice here is much more limited. We did bring a load of furniture and some electrical goods with us, but that was because our parents had died so as well as our house we could select decent stuff fromthe contents of both of theirs which made the transport costs work.

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Pillows!!! Oh … Mexican food too. I know ya cant bring food so much…but i do miss some of the foods i had in Cali.
I prefer american shoes as well…and if ur tall and cury like me (im 6ft)…u better do a lil extra shopping for yourself! Having a hard time finding a fit for me up here in Northern France.:dress:

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Yep there’s differences between uk/us/European sizes…I’ve got to grips with footwear by ordering my doc martens off eBay.,…(used but in perfect condition)…

Really struggled with bras…bought two here but hanging out all over and thankfully the wires have now escaped in the washing machine…well at least one cup on both has…feeling a bit uneven…x :slight_smile:


Mexican food? I grow my own chilliest and peppers. Marvellous! Every supermarket around here has commercial Mexican mixes as standard fare as well.

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I agree about the lack of choices for greetings cards. They are expensive and not ‘tasteful’. I now make my own during the Winter months when I can’t work outside. It’s relaxing, and friends have asked me to make one or two for special occasions.
Rectangular pillows can be bought in France, as can pillowcases.
I have made curtains from pretty sheets bought during sales and there is a good choice of materials on local markets .

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+1 to that

Im up in Northern France…a lil harder for me! Plus im not such a green thumb!

I hear ya!! Lane Bryant was my fav go to place for bras! Im not sure if i can order and have delivered here, but thankfully i bought a few before i arrived!

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I was offered a lhd golf gti for £100, i wish I had brought it, but it meant I would have had to driven it for 1000 kms, on my first journey instead of flying here.
Also I left a LADA niva convertible which I always regret not bringing here, they do not rust so much in France.

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We obviously have different tastes in what constitutes pretty!

I don’t get many things from the UK now as, as you say, things like rectangular pillows are available. However we found it useful to fill up the nooks and crannies in our lorry, and pack our pictures, in lightweight household goods.

Yes Ann I have bought rectangular pillows in France but there is little choice and they are extremely poor quality. Having said that, if you like memory foam pillows then I managed to find a good one here.

With greetings cards I agree. There just isn’t the same tradition in France for sending them. I love your idea of making them Ann. It’s also worth rummaging around in Noz as they often have reasonable quality English ones at very cheap prices. I’ve bought Mother’s Day cards, husband birthday cards, and just ordinary ones. Usually they are 75c each. I have also used Cym cards who supply British cards but here in France. Here’s a link to the website.


@Helen6 Ha! I thought it was just me with French bras. Either I’m an odd shape or women in France are built a little differently :wink:

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Have finally found a bra in an A cup for mum and one that won’t break the bank either :clap::clap: Awaiting deliver from Blanche Porte with baited breath :pray: