Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Removals to France: French Food, Wine and Eating Out

As more UK citizens opt to live abroad, France is still one of the most popular destinations to relocate to and here at Hamiltons Removals we have had regular requests for removals to France.

Recent statistics show that more than 200,000 British expats have settled in France, so if living here is a dream come true you will benefit from an experienced company offering high quality removals to France.

Hamiltons are removal specialists dedicated to providing a professional, tailor made service for removals to France and other European and international destinations.  We are a UK based firm with over two decades’ experience in the removals industry and are committed to providing a friendly and efficient service with a personal touch.

Our removals to France service is designed around your individual needs and requirements. It is ideal for domestic relocations, commercial moves and corporate clients who want a good value service combined with high standards of excellence.

Most of our requests for removals to France are to the bigger cities such as Paris, Lyon, Marseilles, Toulouse, Nice and Nantes although we provide removals to all areas of France including all the towns and villages.

Removals to France - click here for full information on our removals to France service or click here for a free European removals quote.

Here at Hamiltons Removals, we understand that moving to a new country can seem overwhelming at first, which is how our experts can help. We are specialists in removals to France and this blog contains all sorts of tips and information on living and working in France - this one is about food and drink.

Moving to France: France's World Renowned Cuisine

The history of French cuisine starts from the Middle Ages and has developed over centuries. Now, together with Mexican cuisine, French gastronomy has been added by UNESCO to its lists of the world’s cultural heritage.

French food is rich in tradition and full of flavour with many regional variations; very often, meals are prepared using only fresh ingredients readily available at local markets.

Meals in France can be a lengthy affair, as a traditional dinner is made up of three or four parts: an appetiser (or starter), main course, cheeses and bread and/or a dessert followed by an alcoholic drink or coffees. French lunch breaks are typically two hours long with restaurants opening at lunchtime between 11.30 am and 2.30 pm.

The country is known for its wine and cheeses. In fact, France produces over 400 different types of cheeses, although, as there are varieties within these types, there are thought to be more than 1,000 cheeses in France.

As there are so many regional dishes it will be hard to cover them all in this article: but some of the well-known ones include: Cassoulet, (a slow cooked casserole from the south of France containing meat, such as goose, duck, pork, sausages etc, served with beans), Coq au Vin (chicken cooked with wine, mushrooms and lardons) and Pot au Feu (again a popular French dish made up of a beef stew with vegetables).  Crêpes are common in the Brittany region and are a thin pancake which can be either sweet or savoury.

Of course an article on French cuisine cannot go without at least a mention about Foie Gras (a goose liver pate), escargot (snails) and truffles, an ingredient which is held in high regard in French cooking. 

Moving to France: Eating Out in France

Again, as French food is so varied, so are the restaurants. Few offer children’s menus and, as evening mealtimes generally start quite late, if you have young children, you may want to consider bringing them out to lunch instead.

Lunchtimes can start any time between 11.30 - 1 pm and many restaurants offer a fixed price menu as well as a la carte dishes. The fixed price menu is often very limited but offers very good value for money. The evening meal is generally eaten between 7.30 - 8.45 pm and is not always the main meal of the day.

Typical meals follow the pattern mentioned in the section above: a starter and main with cheeses served before dessert. You would almost always expect to see a bread basket served alongside your meal.

As in all restaurants, the food quality and price will vary and, if you are on a limited budget and travelling in a big city, head for the back streets to avoid the tourist traps where you can enjoy a meal with wine for round about 15 Euros (or 25 Euros and above for a three and four course evening meal with drinks).

Higher end restaurants have generally adopted nouvelle cuisine with the focus on quality, taste and presentation, rather than quantity.

Among the other places to eat in France are cafes, self-service restaurants, fast food, pizzerias, some oriental restaurants and North African restaurants.

Moving to France: French Wine

France is famous for its wine and in 1935 various laws were introduced to control the quality of French wine. The categories for French wine has recently undergone an overhall and there are now three  instead of four categories including Vin de France (table wine), Indication Géographique Protégée (IGP) an in-between category, and the highest one is Appellation d’Origine Protégée (replacing AOC wines).

Many grape varieties, which are now planted worldwide, originated from France, including Chardonnay, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon and the country also pioneered many wine making techniques.

There are many good wine producing regions in France but among the most famous are Bordeaux (known for its red and white wines), Burgundy (mainly red) and the Champagne region, which is home to the world renowned sparkling wines.

The choice of wine is extensive. France has more than 27,000 wineries, so there are many different wines to choose from. More often than not wine, is drunk alongside food and is specially chosen to complement the meal.

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