Shopping in and around Montcavrel
Sur place, profitez-en pour rendre visite à la Fromagerie Caseus... une crémerie - fromagerie d'une incroyable beauté. Nous sommes ici à l'opposé des armoires réfrigérées et du carrelage blanc. Côté référencement, tous les fromages du Nord sont proposés comme le Vieux Gris de Lille, le Maroilles bien entendu, la Boulette d'Avesnes sans oublier la Brique des Flandres et bien d'autres encore qu'ils soient du Nord, de Picardie ou du reste de la France.
Adresse incontournable !
28, place du Général de Gaulle - 62170 Montreuil-sur-Mer. Tél : 03 21 06 50 88.
Fish in cans
Great place for canned fish (we eat what we can and what we can't we can). Really nice!
Party time | X-mass | Any time |
A guest from Australia asked me where to get his X-mass shopping on December 24th.
Here's the answer:
This is France so your question is a challenging question!
I will try to answer as detailed as possible. I am sorry that my control of the English language is not 100%. I tend to mix up ‘than’ and ‘then’. December 24, X-mass eve, is the most important X-mass day for “ the French”.
This is when they eat huge meals with 7-8 courses, drink expensive aperitifs, wines and digestives and try to stay awake during boring sermons at long midnight masses. By the way, after church the feast will go on, open bottles will be emptied, and if no open bottles are left, new ones will be opened.
French families will start discussing their X-mass dinner many weeks before the actual event. Many of them will reserve a turkey or other type of fowl, a festive cheese platter, a plateau de fruits de mer long before the 24th so that the only thing they have to do is stand in line at the various shops to pick up their orders (fowl usually one or two days earlier).
Shops will close earlier than usual at between 17:00 – 18:00 hours. Ohh and don’ t forget! The French have lunch between 12:30 and 14:30 hours so many shops are closed (not the supermarkets).
SHOPPING FOR X-MASS
Many basics are in the house, check it out before you go shopping and please use as much as you want.
AT 5 MINUTES WALKING
In the village, at 5 minutes walking, there is a small boulangerie. They sell basic bread, cheese, wines, ingredients, fruit, vegetables, cigarettes, dairy, soda´s canned food etc. It´s not only small but also struggling to survive in an aggressive market place of hyper supermarkets. Prices are typically a bit higher then mega sized competitors. Opening hours are 08:30 – 12:30 and 15:00 – 18:30 but sometimes unexpectedly closed, the shop owners are getting a bit frustrated by the no-win competition against the SUPER BIG ONES (See below.. )
AT 10 MINUTES DRIVING
(5-10 minutes): Eduard Leclerc / megasupermarket…the French call it hypermarché. Here you can get everything (!). The quality is good, prices are competitive. Definitely worth a visit. But, it´s big and boring. http://www.e-leclerc.com/magasin/attin
FOR FOODIES AND FUN FOOD SHOPPERS
-- Best cheese (must go!):
Definitely CASEUS: Place Charles de Gaulle in Montreuil-sur-Mer. A 10 – 15 minutes drive: http://www.tourismemontreuillois.com/uk/bonnes_adresses_details.php?id=3&idrub=5&id_detail=4
May be go there on the day of your arrival; the 23rd. Taste some of the cheeses and order a cheese platter (plateau de fromages) to be picked up a day later. Will Cost about 35 euros but is definitely an unforgettable experience.
-- Best Bread:
Next to the above cheese shop is a bread shop that has fantastic bread. Remember that French bread (white bread / baguettes etc.) will be stain and old after about 6 hours. Most French buy bread twice a day, the bakeries are usually open every morning and late afternoon 365 days per annum.
Brown bread like pain de champagne stay OK for a much longer period of time.
-- Best meat:
Even though this supermarket is big and boring, Leclerc (see above) has a good choice of fowl. Make sure it fits in the oven. The last couple of years shopping on X-mass eve, we have been successful in getting a good quality capon or guinea fowl. And I mean a good one!! Not one of those 5 week old chicken look-alike growth- explosions containing more water than taste.
By the way, if you have any questions about the oven (combination grill / oven / microwave) give me a call, I will try and guide you. Of course we also have a variety of frying pans.
Surprisingly Leclerc also has a good selection of fois gras de canard, both ‘whole’ (entier) as well as canned or otherwise preserved and packed.
-- Best meat (other than fowl):
Opposite on the square where you will find the cheese shop and the bread shop, there is a butcher. If you’re not used to the French butchers, here is a brief manual:
French butchers are moody people. They tend to take life too seriously and are very status conscious. Other thean Monsieur le Maire and the local Notary – NOBODY – is more important! A good French butcher is also quality conscious, providing good meat for them is a matter of honor, a matter of national importance. So, if you can manage to make a joke about the seriously good quality of Australian meat, this butcher will have a sleepless night and you’ll get a fine steak.
Best is usually to order so that you can pick up the next day (maybe after your visit to the cheese shop?)
-- More about French beef:
The best cuts -- tenderloin (filet de boeuf), rib steaks (entrecôtes) and sirloin (faux filet). For me personally --- I dug into my first real French steak, pan-seared, at a noisy, brasserie near Montreuil-sur-mer about 20 years ago. It was onglet, and I was struck by its ropy, not too tender but also not too tough texture and its strong flavor. This was the usual pale sirloin or rib-eye or slab of filet mignon. This was a cut of meat I'd never tasted before. The pepper sauce and French fries on the side, served with homemade mayonnaise made it a perfect experience. This, I thought after my second glass of unpretentious but honest Bourgogne, was eating.
For people from down under:
In Estree, as small village next to Montcavrel - a 5 minutes drive - you will find an ostrich farm. They sell ostrich steak of absolutely fantastic quality http://www.producteurs-7-vallees-et-montreuillois.fr/lautruche-du-marronnier
THE SUPERLATIVE DEGREE
Le Touquet (at 20 –25 minutes) this is where successful Parisians have their secondary house. Not only Parisians by the way, the small airport is big enough for private jets from London. There is lots of “old money”. The Casino (same group as Monaco). Le Touquet – Paris Plage, where you will find expensive hotels, high fashion, expensive clothing, jewelry, fantastic shoes, great starred restaurants and ….. the best of the best butchers, bakers, lobster and oyster bars, “boutique vegetables” stores. This place is a must for foodies and food shoppers, definitely a 5-star experience.
Le Touquet is a buzzing luxury seaside resort, great beaches at the Atlantic. But during X-mass you will find that the seaside and beaches don’ t seem to matter much. Other features are more important during the X-mass season. Le Touquet during the X-mass period is even more lavish! The magical lights in the whole town, the enlighten park, the X-mass market (also in the park).
This is where to get fish, lobster, oysters, and a “ plateau de fruits de mer”. This also can and should be ordered in advance. Just indicate how many people (adults) will be at your dinner party and the shop will do the rest. Count on 60 – 80 euros for an (again) unforgettable experience.
I have a small secret that I will share only with my best friends; don’t go to Le Touquet for fruits de mer and fish, don’t tell anyone else. Go to the much smaller and more mundane town of Etaple (you will pass it when you drive from Montcavrel to Le Touquet. Get your fish / oysters / crabs / lobsters / etc. at “Les Pecheurs d’ Etaples”. A group of formerly independent fisherman who organized their logistics and trade in a collectively owned cooperative. http://www.auxpecheursdetaples.fr/en.htm Etaple is a 15 minute drive from Montcavrel , right at the sea with it’s own little fisherman’s sea port. The quality of produce is probably better thean in Le Touquet, the cost certainly lower.