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-   -   Beautiful Nimes (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/beautiful-nimes-1672334/)

cheska15 Oct 20th, 2019 09:31 AM

Coqueliot always thought I was a trendsetter lol.
StCirq Thanks for the tips on Lyon. When you are here permanently I can imagine events become too much. It was interesting talking to the wine makers. They face the same issues as Aussie winemakers in trying to get there product into different markets. We are enjoying the wines here and are trying different ones every week. I probably wouldn’t go on a winery tour though.

kerouac Oct 20th, 2019 09:37 AM

My main regret of my last trip to Lyon was not going to the Musée des Confluences. So I do not personally know if it is wonderful or not, but most people seem to say that it is. In any case, the building is quite impressive.

However, I did go to a quirky little museum that I highly recommend: Lyon: Musée Miniature et Cinéma | Any Port in a Storm

gooster Oct 20th, 2019 10:22 AM

Been following along in silence, but have to say the local fete sounds fantastic. I always love the local festivals, whatever the location.

YankyGal Oct 20th, 2019 10:34 AM

I’m really enjoying your report and as others have said, I’m envious of the time you have. Some of my favorite wines come from Costières de Nîmes - that event sounded amazing. Keep it coming and thanks.

cheska15 Oct 20th, 2019 10:47 AM

Thank you all for the words of encouragement. My first time of posting a TR and I don’t want to bore everyone to death.
kerouac thanks for the suggestions, you and Stq are always so generous with your time and it is very much appreciated

Adelaidean Oct 21st, 2019 01:40 AM

You are not boring! Enjoying your experiences very much.

cheska15 Oct 23rd, 2019 07:06 AM

Like most of Southern France the weather since Saturday has been heavy rain wind, and thunderstorms. We have been at home mostly with the only trips out to get food. Terrible state of affairs when you have no wine or cheese in the house. Our first four weeks have gone very quickly, and we have settled down really well.

i am not a great cook and our intention was to cook very few meals at home and to eat out. We have only just found a couple of reasonable restaurants, which means we have cooked more at home than expected. The price of meat is more expensive than Canberra, with 700grms of roast lamb, and two pieces of fillet steak cost €54. We purchase meat from Les Halles and it is fabulous quality. On Sunday we had chicken and I have never tasted chicken it. A plain roast chicken, with roast veggies was delicious. I pay a lot for a free range, or corn fed chicken in Canberra, and it is tasteless compared to here. I thought for €12 it was such good value. Tonight we are having veal schnitzel and although expensive at €34 for 2 escalopes we will get four meals from them. Same as we pay in Canberra.

The cost of fruit and vegetables is minuscule, and I have very rarely spent over €4 for beans, pumpkin, potatoes, carrots, snow peas, and the pears a few weeks ago were like when I was a child. Admittedly I am only buying for two.

As most of you know wine is really cheap, and we have spent between €7-9 per bottle. That is probably considered mid range here. I only drink white wine, and I don’t know what the €3 would be like. A really surprising thing here is you see a lot of cask wine in the supermarkets. I might even try it once to see what it is like. I have noticed at the checkout that quite a few people buy the casks. Maybe for cooking?

My only issue with cooking is that you do have to be a bit organised. The markets are open 7-1, and shops like Monoprix and Carrefours are open until 7.00pm. I haven’t purchased any meat or veggies from the supermarkets so don’t know what it’s like. So I do have to think about food, as we don’t have a lot of capacity to store food( no freezer, or lot of cupboards) and we are tending to eat at home early in the week, and eat out later in the week. Although yesterday we braved the awful weather and went out for lunch to La Piazetta. I had tagliatelle carbonara, DH had a pizza, half litre of wine, 2 creme brûlée’s and the cost was €42.

I guess the best of all is Happy Hour has been known to start at 4.00- 5.00 pm That’s the beauty of holidays. I’m expecting that I will get out of the holiday mindset soon.


geetika Oct 23rd, 2019 07:51 AM

Cheska, in France you get some very decent wine for €5-8, last year in Provence we were buying méthode champenoise bubblies for a couple of euros. One of our neighbours sold the local Gigondas reds and they had five litre casks which were excellent. The lady told me the same wine was bottled, as well as sold in casks, which was of course cheaper and that she bought it herself for her home. Of course you need to know which kind to buy, I’d rather buy it at a wine store than at your usual supermarket.

TDudette Oct 23rd, 2019 08:23 AM

Sorry about the weather but glad to read that you are settling in nicely. DH and I had a breakfast in Les Halles and met an English couple who were spending a long time in Nimes for work. Keep it coming, please!

cheska15 Oct 23rd, 2019 09:13 AM

geetika we had an interesting experience buying from Nicholas here. I gather it is a chain store for wine. The first time was cash only, even though others had paid by card, the
second time the guy serving was not at all interested in suggestions, as he had to leave a very attractive woman who didn’t seem to be buying anything to attend to the queue that had formed while we were waiting. Even the French people were getting annoyed. We have discovered what seems to be a nice shop, just have to be there when it is open lol.

TDudette we haven’t eaten there yet but will give it a try.

StCirq Oct 23rd, 2019 10:18 AM

It's been near-hurricane weather here today - winds of 72 kph and driving rain. Our plans to meet Zebec in Périgueux tomorrow have been foiled by train track issues and just horrible weather, and maybe we can reschedule, but maybe not; depends on the SNCF and weather. If I were on vacation here right now I'd be pretty depressed. For us it's a chance to hunker down, get some in-home projects completed, and sleep well. Our train tickets to Périgueux cost euro 8,50 for the two of us, so not much of a sacrifice if we don't use them.

We don't have Nicolas chains here, but I have mixed feelings about them, just like Total Liquor in the USA, though I think the Nicolas personnel are more knowledgable. We rely on local wine producers we've come to know (you can find them in the local markets here; it's not like it's a secret society or anything), and at any of the Julien de Savignac outlets. We're not big spenders on wine, and we appreciate places that will give us comprehensive information about our plebeian tastes without approbation.

I'm sipping a rather nice dry, white Domaine des Freithillères right now that cost 13 euros for 5 L. It's perfectly palatable but Robert Parker would probably have my head. There is so much hype about wine that just drives me over the edge, and the French and the Californians are the worst at promoting it. It's fermented grapes; some of it works and some of it doesn't, depending on the soil and the climate., and normal people have been doing it for centuries. But it's just fermented grape juice.

cheska15 Oct 23rd, 2019 10:25 AM

StCirq Thanks for the recommendation I will have a look for that particular one as I really like a dry white. We have purchased some great wine from the markets. Everyone here thinks because we’re Aussies we know about wine. We don’t

StCirq Oct 23rd, 2019 11:38 AM

Well, everyone here assumes because we're American we don't know shit, so I suppose it all evens out. I just know what goes down the throat easily is what appeals. I'm such a simpleton.

geetika Oct 23rd, 2019 12:00 PM


Originally Posted by StCirq (Post 17005013)
There is so much hype about wine that just drives me over the edge, and the French and the Californians are the worst at promoting it. It's fermented grapes; some of it works and some of it doesn't, depending on the soil and the climate., and normal people have been doing it for centuries. But it's just fermented grape juice.

StCirq, I love this, that’s so funny. Many decades back on one of our earliest vineyard visits the owner told us there are only two kinds of wine, the one you like and the one you don’t!

cheska15 Oct 23rd, 2019 12:12 PM


Originally Posted by geetika (Post 17005086)


StCirq, I love this, that’s so funny. Many decades back on one of our earliest vineyard visits the owner told us there are only two kinds of wine, the one you like and the one you don’t!

Thats what we think too

Adelaidean Oct 23rd, 2019 02:06 PM

Cheska, I have enjoyed food shopping in Europe, as where we live in Australia there are decreasing small, family owned fresh greengrocers - the big chains driving them out. Maybe less of any issue in Canberra, than Adelaide.

We tended to buy small portions of meat, and lots of really fresh wonderful veg and fruit (so cheap!) and cheese, and the bread was so fantastic. I do like renting apartments now, so we can wander food markets and cook at our leisure.

Hope the weather clears for you soon.


rhon Oct 23rd, 2019 03:44 PM

If anyone has read my trip reports, you will know that we cook most days when in France. We have found our gites usually well equipped. On only a couple of occasions have we not had a freezer, but we only use that for ice cream a couple of times and to freeze bottles of water for our cold bag.
We do most of our shopping at supermarkets and sometimes from markets and boucherie/charcuteries. We like to have foods that are not as readily available at home. We have duck regularly and spend about 7 euro on a large magret which is big enough for two. Last year we were buying whole trout for around 5 euro for two which is cheaper than we get at home. We also like the chicken from boucheries and delis - lots of flavour. And of course the wonderful smoked sausages from the Jura. We do not spend as much as you have been on meat but we obviously buy different things.
You did say you were getting a barbeque and that is one thing we do miss in france. The barbecues in gites are usually a rusty, wobbly small charcoal version and we are spoilt with a lovely gas one at home. But we do have a gite next year which is brick so P is going to have a go at cooking over charcoal !!
Hard to believe you have been there a month!

cheska15 Oct 23rd, 2019 09:17 PM

We need to buy smaller amounts of meat and now that I’m getting used to life here will do this.In fact probably won’t buy any meat this week.As I’m not a great cook I tend to cook simply and don’t experiment very much. The bbq here at the mazet was exactly as you described rhon. Didn’t look like you could cook anything on it. We are enjoying the fruit and veg, as Canberra has awful stuff.
I hadn’t though of looking for trout as I really love fish and now that we can cook it outside I will definitely get some. Planning lots of day trips in the next week as the weather is going to be great.

kerouac Oct 24th, 2019 04:10 AM

The box wines are the same as the bottled wines, just in larger quantities. Actually, for the non snob, the box wines are consdered superior because 1) you don't have to finish them off quickly if you are not a big drinker (they keep for more than a month without losing quality) and 2) you never have to worry about bad corks spoiling the wine of where you mislaid the corkscrew. The house wine in cafés and restaurants comes out of a box.

cheska15 Oct 24th, 2019 10:03 AM

Thanks kerouac. Might give them a try


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