Monday, 11 July 2016

France Day Cinq: C'est La Vie

Bonjour! I've just returned from a vacation in France and now for the travel diary because my memory is terrible so I need to recap it all. This was a family vacation to catch the Euro Cup courtesy of my aunt and uncle, without them, this trip wouldn't have happened.

France Day Cinq 
So our fifth day fell on a Monday which ended up being a bit of a bother because I decided to be helpful and drive to Beauville to buy some bread for breakfast only to find that it was shut on Mondays. No croissant = sad Alex. Clearly just being dramatic because actually we still had plenty of food in the Chateau to make a lovely breakfast, just minus the fresh bread.

After our carb-reduced breakfast, we drove an hour and a half to Toulouse to have lunch at Restaurant Emile before the guys ran off for the game. Restaurant Emile is famous for its Cassoulet, which is a piping hot stew of beans, a duck leg, a sausage and pork. It's a dish that originates from the South of France and I think it's really the perfect dish for a cold winter's day. Thankfully (or not), it was proving to be yet another rainy day wherever we went so the dish was well-received. Also because it was DELICIOUS. My favourite bit was the duck leg which was a little crispy too. My uncle's cousin's husband and the boo kept talking about making it their mission to recreate it.

Starters... Bleaugh.
Here's a spork for you

Anyway, the guys then abandoned us ladies for another match at the Toulouse stadium and we decided to take a little stroll down the shopping district which leads me to my best find for the trip... ANDRE! Obvs if you know me, then you'd know that's a shoe shop. There were so many cute shoes but I controlled myself (WHY???? Post holiday regret is strong here) and only got a pair of shoes for myself. But WHAT A FREAKING PAIR THEY ARE. BEHOLD!


Anyway, if you're a more fancy person and want more branded goods, then check out Galleries Lafayette instead. It's a department store carrying a large range of mid to high street fashion (depending on the city probably, the one I went to in Paris was super posh but this one seemed more mid-range I think) French fashion is just so chic and all the clothes were pretty much fabulous which means I didn't buy them because I'm on an austerity drive (WAAAAAAAAAAH!).

Sorry I didn't take any photos of the shops... I was too engrossed in shopping. Here are some photos of me pre-shopping posing about. You can see how wet it was! UGH!

Anyway, to spoil my dinner of roast chicken and rabbit (sob poor bitbit - couldn't bring myself to try it anyway), I had a quick tea break at a dainty cafe called Perlette where I inhaled a banana eclair that was seriously to-die-for.

Spoiled for choice
Not all mine.
 Key learnings: 
  • It's good to check whether places are open before going to them, I think French people like to party or something because I came across this issue of places not being opened quite a few times
  • If you're interested in the Cassoulet, you have to call it and order it in advance because it's slow cooked. 
  • You get to eat Cassoulet with a spork. It's truly a clever invention for lazy people.
  • So if you're keen on more discounts, not sure if this applies to all shops but Andre had a loyalty card system that I could sign up for on the spot to enjoy an additional discount. All I had to do was give them my name, email address and birthday and I became a member. Galleries Lafayette was allowing for membership registrations to enjoy discounts too but required a French address for the registration.
  • Galleries Lafayette is a good place to go to the washroom if you're expecting a long ride home but you have to pay 50 cents (euro) to the toilet attendant.
  • Don't go to France if you're on a diet or you're trying to save money. It will not go well for you.
Thanks for reading!

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