When to Go
How to Get There
To See & Do
Food & Drink
Food and wine shopping in France can be a real pleasure with a whole variety of hypermarkets (Auchan, Casino, Carrefour and Leclerc), department stores (Monoprix, Prisunic, Intermarché, Printemps and Galeries Lafayette), specialist shops and local markets; unlike many other places in Europe, the specialist shops and markets still thrive and are excellent places for picking up fresh, local produce. It is also often possible to buy fresh produce direct from farms, mills and co-operatives. These will normally be sign-posted and tend to sell things like oil, olives, cheeses etc. Most shops are open from Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 7.30pm (supermarkets tend to stay open till 10pm), although some food shops will be closed on Monday and open Sunday morning instead. Some smaller shops will close for lunch and bakeries normally close by 1pm.
As well as buying wine from supermarkets or specialist shops (cavistes), it is also possible to buy it from the chateaux and co-operatives, often in 5 or 10 litre containers as well as by the bottle, and these places will often offer tastings before you buy. Supermarkets hold wine promotions in the autumn called Foires au Vin where wine can be bought very cheaply.