Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

More France (have been ? 6 times) or 1st visit to UK?

More France (have been ? 6 times) or 1st visit to UK?

Old Aug 8th, 2016, 08:16 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,238
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Still thinking things through. Thanks to the miracle of e-books from the library I was able to spend some time today skimming through a couple travel guides. Wales seems intriguing.

I'll be honest that one of the reasons we haven't visited the UK before is that we have felt we could get a better value for our money and see equally interesting places on the continent. And, no matter what I read about the food situation having improved a lot in Britain, I am still skeptical and kind of suspect that being out in the countryside we would probably encounter the same uninteresting food choices that one finds in small town mid-America. OTOH, in France or Italy I can be pretty assured that I'll have some good food choices.

I appreciate all of your replies and help. And, yes, this is an American who can understand jokes and who can translate hyperbole.
julies is offline  
Old Aug 8th, 2016, 08:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 11,960
Received 26 Likes on 4 Posts
"..out in the countryside we would probably encounter the same uninteresting food choices that one finds in small town mid-America."

I think you'll find that you're very much mistaken. But it seems to me when we begin making up reasons to not go to as thoroughly interesting a place as the UK, we may as well stop thinkng about it and just stick to wherever we're comfortable. Others saying we're missing a great deal if we don't go has no bearing on the matter whatever. We feel like it or we don't.
MmePerdu is offline  
Old Aug 8th, 2016, 09:00 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I certainly think you are mistaken about the food. If it's important to you (it definitely is for us) a little research would show world class food all over the country. Michelin starred restaurants in country hamlets, fabulous seafood in Cornwall, famous chefs. Not everywhere, but a bit of prep and we always eat well here.

But as MmePerdu says, perhaps you should go where your heart tells you. It's your holiday.
jamikins is offline  
Old Aug 8th, 2016, 10:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,560
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Many of my food prejudices (and yes, I'll admit to them and that I really love good food) about Britain are rooted in early travels there in the 1970s and 1980s, and while I've had some really good food there I just don't think you can replicate the "sit down at a local café and have an amazing meal" experience that you can have in France; you can eat well (usually for a price far beyond what you pay in France, but again that may be because I am not an England expert). I think there's a reason so many Brits move to France, and one of them is food, but that may be my particular knowledge.

I would go back to France and explore a new quarter. There are so many. And I agree that, Brexit apart, it's not exactly a cheap vacation to go to Britain. We've been living in France for more than a year now, and despite the fact that we both love Britain and love to travel, there hasn't been a single moment when we've said "Let's go to England."
StCirq is offline  
Old Aug 8th, 2016, 11:36 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 27,541
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Suggest getting a copy of the "good Food Guide". When I left England in the 70s it was a rather thin paperback. I bought this year's copy and it was much thicker.

My impression of prices so far this trip, as on others, is that you pay in GBP what you would pay in USD, so how expensive it is depends on the exchange rate.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2016, 12:10 AM
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

It is amazing that you love France, it is such a beautiful country with beautiful weather.

BUT, please, visit the UK! The great thing about Europe is that every country offers such a difference in culture, and you don't want to miss out on the experience of visiting the UK and their culture. Especially if you've never been.

It is beautiful, in a different way.
LocalBini is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2016, 12:55 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 314
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would definitely consider splitting the holiday and spending some time in France and some in England. It is very cheap indeed to get between the two at that time of year and there are many short flights between multiple local airports in both countries. You could for example go cycling in the Tarn valley, which is simply superb place for a slow rural wander, and then hop on a flight to UK from Rodez or Toulouse.

Rest assured that UK food is as good as it gets these days and is endlessly varied compared with parts of rural France reflecting as it does the food heritage of our multicultural population. As Jamikins has already said the Michelin is a reliable restaurant guide for the country as a whole and definitely check out Time Out for London http://www.timeout.com/london/restaurants.

Hotels can be expensive in UK but country pubs and B and Bs can have lovely rooms with much local character at half the price and at that time of year you should find a few good deals. The English countryside can be fabulous then too with the Autumn leaves turning and most of the National Trust properties, gardens and land still fully open but not crowded.

So much to enjoy !
loncall is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2016, 01:29 AM
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 728
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I fell in love with England and that surprised me. It is a beautiful country and we had some great food. It is expensive but worth every cent. To be fair France is not a country we would go back to. Everybody's different.
cheska15 is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2016, 02:29 AM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,418
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
bet you can't get a decent chip butty in France
sofarsogood is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2016, 02:42 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 41,674
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Some are going to say that the terms "decent" and "chip butty" are oxymoronic.
Dukey1 is online now  
Old Aug 9th, 2016, 04:08 AM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 747
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re weather: a couple of years ago we went to England in November, prepared for all kinds of weather. What we got: mostly sun, a little grey, scattered rain a couple of days = time for the pub!

Two months ago we visited England and Scotland, weather prediction before we left was for much much rain. What we got: brilliant sunny weather except for our last misty day in Scotland as we traveled around the western Highlands. Perfect. The unpredictable weather is part of the fun.

The food, imho, now surpasses most of France. Not as fussy. Our highlights: a bacon butty with brown sauce on the train from London to the Lakes and a regal wild boar and venison pie with onion gravy and mashed, washed down with the best ale. And a big lazy Lab sleeping on the floor next to us. Perfect.
EYWandBTV is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2016, 06:16 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,238
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I should have clarified about the food bit. I would never make a decision about whether to visit a country solely based on the food choices. We are not the type of people whose main focus is on food when traveling, and we are not ones to spend a lot of time or money on fancy restaurants. What I was referring to is what types of food we'd find for informal lunches and lowkey casual evening meals or take out etc. We could eat ethnic food all the time, so if that is available we'd be set.

It has also been very helpful to hear from many of you that the current exchange rate makes prices lower than they have been in the past, the UK is still a place that is not considered an inexpensive destination. Our style is that we definitely prefer pubs and B&Bs rather than fancy hotels. Pricing is not a decision maker on this trip; it is where we'll most enjoy ourselves overall. I am suspecting we could have a good time either place.

As I have been doing my research I have also reflected that one of my weather apprehensions is based on some absolutely horrible weather we had in Krakow one year in the beginning of October. It was raining and not much above freezing; that is what I do not want a steady diet of. Changeable weather is fine.

Now to check out those airfares again.....

Thanks much.
julies is offline  
Old Aug 10th, 2016, 05:20 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,297
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Paris is my favorite city but I love visiting both France and the UK. I hope you will visit the UK this fall. We often travel in Sept/Oct and found very warm weather one year while in Paris, the Loire and London. We ended the trip in London in October and enjoyed a warm 3 mile walk along the Thames from Richmond to the Original Maids of Honour in Kew for tea. We were in the UK this past May and visited Bath with a day trip to the Cotswolds and then spent nearly 10 days in London. We did several day trips to places around London following in my father's 8th Air Force footsteps. Over the years we have visited Canterbury, York, Rye, and Edinburgh. York has lured me to visit 3 times and I could easily return. I would also like to spend more time in the Cotswolds.
Scootoir is offline  
Old Aug 11th, 2016, 03:57 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,644
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Do yourselves a favor and try England.

I've been to London a number of times, mostly in either late September or mid-October, and have usually experienced "sweater weather."

The Indian cuisine is great. Try Steak, Mushroom & Ale Pie, and by all means, try Sticky Toffee Pudding.
carolyn is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Feb 17th, 2010 08:32 AM
Sep 16th, 2009 06:16 AM
Australia & the Pacific
Oct 11th, 2007 04:38 AM
Sep 11th, 2006 06:12 PM
Jun 8th, 2002 09:24 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -