Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Monday, July 28, 2014

Cornish culture, the pasty in Brittany

In all the years we have been visiting France and our Brittany Gite in particular we've noticed that despite Europeanisation there are still some definite food cultural differences.

Take the Cornish Pasty for one. It just doesn't seem to exist across the Dover straits.

I'm not exactly obsessed with the Cornish Pasty as a must-eat item, but I do quite like them, and I've noticed that whilst the British supermarket always stocks a reasonable range of pasties, pies, sausage rolls, etc, there just doesn't work seem to be any French equivalents.

When we're working on renovating the Gite a Cornish Pasty, a pork pie or a sausage roll comes in handy as a quick snack food, but since you just can't buy them abroad we end up taking some in the chiller box with us when we go.

But I've just read that an enterprising Cornish company is sending 6000 of the humble pasties across the border to the annual festival intercultural in Lorient.

With so many pasties going they must be a popular item but I wonder what the French really think of such English food?
Unfortunately I'm not going to the festival so I'll have to continue my personal export activity on my next trip.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tour de France passes by

Well after years of the Tour de France going round France, with the Tour sometimes coming nearish to our Gite, and sometimes not, I finally last week got to see the live action in person.

However I wasn't in a sleepy French village or up in the Pyrenees mountains, I stood in the cycle lane of Trumpington High Street in Cambridgeshire, about 10 miles from my home as the early stages of the tour came to the UK.

First came all the advertising and sponsorship cars and to be honest this was a bit of a disappointment as they sped through, must have been doing 30 mph or more, so it wasn't even easy to see the decorated vehicles.
The only one that we did see well was the official fan van that stopped in front of me to sell a goodie bag with T shirt, cap, stickers for £20. They did well but I wondered if the price would be €20 on the other side of the Dover straits?

Then for the next couple of hours the people standing alongside me on the pavement grew as the occasional car, police motorcycle, official vehicle and even the gendarmes went through.

Finally the waiting was over and without much fuss or noise the peloton shot past in a blur of cyclists. Impossible to even see the previous stage winner in the yellow jersey let alone recognise anyone.

Then as soon as they had gone by it was a flurry of French ambulances and then car after car of the different sponsor teams, each one stacked high with replacement bicycles.

I've filled all my photos and videos of the Tour de France event on a public Google photo gallery so hopefully you will be able to see them ok.

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