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A little bit about self catering

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
As someone who self caters a lot on holiday I found this quite true and quite amusing:

https://www.theguardian.com/food/2019/jun/13/dont-forget-a-peeler-how-to-prepare-yourself-for-the-hell-of-a-self-catering-kitchen

A flavour:

In a large, well-placed cupboard that you would have used for core business – saucepans, sieves etc – you’ll find stacks of bakeware you don’t know how to use: it is not made of metal so you wouldn’t want to use it for roasting or baking; often, it will have a decorative lemon painted on it with a high glaze, which may or may not be heatproof; or it’s crenelated, or it’s made of clay, or glass, and the only thing any of this was designed for is the thing that nobody makes – moussaka


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Mon 17-06-19 16:02; edited 3 times in total
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Correct linky https//www.theguardian.com/food/2019/jun/13/dont-forget-a-peeler-how-to-prepare-yourself-for-the-hell-of-a-self-catering-kitchen
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Layne, what is annoying is that we have also, on occasion, found that - and yet our own rental units are fully equipped and functional.

Ho hum...
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@under a new name, as are ours.
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We now bring a lot of things like peelers, knives etc away with us. Nothing worse than trying to cook with basic utensils not being fit for purpose. The rule of thumb we employ is keep it simple.
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I quite often make moussaka.... wink
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Oh lord this is the rental we are in now- not one SINGLE cupboard to put actual food purchases in but we’ve got a bundt tin and three different graters
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We once stayed in a small, but excellently located, apartment in St Gervais. It was French-owned and had several garlic-related implements, 5 assorted corkscrews plus some very pretty glassware. However, no kettle (we used a battered saucepan), no toaster or grill and no cups other than 12 (for a 4 person apartment) tiny demitasse coffee cups. We bought some mugs in the Super-U and left them there.
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Montana wrote:
We once stayed in a small, but excellently located, apartment in St Gervais. It was French-owned and had several garlic-related implements, 5 assorted corkscrews plus some very pretty glassware. However, no kettle (we used a battered saucepan), no toaster or grill and no cups other than 12 (for a 4 person apartment) tiny demitasse coffee cups. We bought some mugs in the Super-U and left them there.

One of the reasons for the absence of kettle / toaster might be, and it is true for our "small but excellently located apartment Little Angel (but not in St. Gervais)", is that if you have all the heaters on, the hob, oven and diswasher on and the water heater is on then there is not much left of the electricity supply and a kettle and / or toaster might be enough to tip the balance and something will trip out. A legacy of the 80's alpine building rush I guess. We have mitigated it a bit by having all led lighting and a clever water heater and have no problems with a raclette now so I guess a toaster or kettle would be fine. Can never have enough corkscrews though, better to be looking at it than looking for it I was always taught. Laughing
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Montana wrote:
no cups other than 12 (for a 4 person apartment) tiny demitasse coffee cups.

The convention is to use bowls for breakfast coffee.

I take a sharp knife, potato peeler, sieve, kettle, tool for resealing winebottles. The kettle was bought in Albertville so clearly some French people use them. I'm left handed so most potato peelers in apartments are too sharp and waste a lot of whatever I peel.
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Montana wrote:
We once stayed in a small, but excellently located, apartment in St Gervais. It was French-owned and had several garlic-related implements, 5 assorted corkscrews plus some very pretty glassware. However, no kettle (we used a battered saucepan), no toaster or grill and no cups other than 12 (for a 4 person apartment) tiny demitasse coffee cups. We bought some mugs in the Super-U and left them there.


That used to be pretty standard for French apartments, and the French folk who rented them found nothing amiss. Kettles and toasters were not that common in domestic homes either.

You also often did not get sheets!
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Kettles and toasters are rare (there is one of each in mine), but a coffee machine is more usual. Ovens are a novelty, even in some higher end places like Oxalys in Val Thorens. Mini oven/grills or microwaves and a 2 ring hob are very common. Definitely no mugs, that is what those bowls you normally put cornflakes in are for. When we bought our place, we had to buy a free standing kitchen trolley with wooden top as there was no worktop space (something we had overlooked in our excitement to buy). Luckily we had a good electricity supply so we left the kitchen for a few years, then started to update with proper oven and worktop.
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@CaravanSkier,
Quote:

You also often did not get sheets!



It is quite normal in France to bring or rent your own linen.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@skitow,
Quote:

A legacy of the 80's alpine building rush


I think probably not, more a function of French electricity supply contracts.
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under a new name wrote:
@CaravanSkier,
Quote:

You also often did not get sheets!



It is quite normal in France to bring or rent your own linen.


Indeed, but back the day it was a big surprise! I have always checked that situation ever since Laughing I also always check if there is a raclette machine in situ or weather I need to take one, or hire one in resort. Its amazing how useful one is when there is no grill and minimal cooking facilities.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Always take a kettle to self catering apartments, usually have to buy a couple of mugs from the local supermarket which we then take home to add to our varied collection. Always take a corkscrew having been caught out once without one and the shops closed.

Early in the season generally the cupboards are bare but by the end of season they are full with all the rubbish that people can't be bothered to take home or throw out from the agencies welcome box. One year there was a dozen packets of quinoa when we arrived in March.

Always take a good sharp knife. Get used to drinking wine from whatever glasses are available, usually they have been acquired from the local bars.
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under a new name wrote:
@skitow,
Quote:

A legacy of the 80's alpine building rush


I think probably not, more a function of French electricity supply contracts.


OK, I just assumed they had been "economical" with the cable sizes etc. Had a letter from EDF the other day telling me that I would be having a smart meter installed, no choice as far as I could see. The smart water meter was put in 2 years ago and initially caused chaos as a new water company took over and made a mess of migrating the accounts over, or maybe the old company sabotaged it Laughing I actually find it useful as you can set an alert in your account so that if water is being used when it should not you know you might have a problem Sad
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rjs wrote:


I take a ,............tool for resealing winebottles. .

Whatever for Shocked
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@T Bar, Do you really drink a whole bottle yourself at a single sitting ?
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@rjs, I maybe could, but to be honest I've never self catered on my own.
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rjs wrote:
@T Bar, Do you really drink a whole bottle yourself at a single sitting ?


And the problem with that is?
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Quote:

I take a ,............tool for resealing winebottles. .

Quote:

rjs wrote:
@T Bar, Do you really drink a whole bottle yourself at a single sitting ?
And the problem with that is?


There can be a need to seal the second bottle ……… but not always
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@skitow, the way it works is that you subscribe for a certain max wattage (actually a max RMS power but who understands that?) so e.g. typically 6kW. Which is not very much.

If you go over that, it trips.

We have 18kW in our house but on three phase feed, so if we unbalance and one phase goes over 6kW, all three apartments trip. It is a royal PITA. But so very French.

@CaravanSkier, we do often get people checking that "linen supplied" includes sheets and towels etc. It does.
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@under a new name,
Sounds similar to when we hook up our caravan in the south of France, we pay for a 6 amp supply which at a nominal 220 volt gives us 1320 watts which will run fridges, fans, microwave and low volt kettle but if the system voltage drops while we have everything on then we trip the system which is a right PITA meaning we have to walk to the office, complain, and then wait until they come and reset. Very French but you very quickly learn to live within the boundaries i.e. checking what else is running when you use the microwave, Kettle etc.
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I keep a corkscrew a) in the glove compartment and b) in the travel first aid kit, next to the tick removing prong.
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All this just makes a catered chalet or hotel sound sooo much better
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
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@Old Man Of Lech, no. Just careful selection of well established self catered accommodation!

@Timc, yes. The fun thing is that sensitive but only (obviously) to peaks and whether a washing machine or induction hob or anything else is actually in a high draw cycle can be somewhat unpredictable.

And as for clients with dodgy phone chargers...

Anyway, on a high season changeover day we have managed to juggle it so we can run (continuously) two 9kg washers, two 9kg dryers, 4 apartments so usual loads of fridge freezers, lighting, towel rails, etc. and it is usually OK wink
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
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@under a new name, we were lucky that they put a 9kVA supply in our apartment.
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Old Man Of Lech wrote:
All this just makes a catered chalet or hotel sound sooo much better


Electricity problems can and do happen in chalets and hotels too.
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A few years ago a friend loaned me a couple of books useful for DIY. One was on electical wiring. It was fascinating. The initial bit was about getting the right supply from EDF in the first place . This included a series of guidlines relating which power line should supply what property,which is based entirely on the floor area of the property. This of course relates to the diameter of the supply cable and all the other parts of the supply chain (and of course the standing charge you will pay). IIRC our apartment of 35m2 was just in the minimum supply amount of 30 amps. The main distribution point in the apartment would trip if we used more than 30 amps. It has done on a couple of occaisions. More commonly the trip for a particular circuit goes - mainly because almost all the big power machines, hotplates, oven, microwave, kettle, are on one 15 amp circuit. There are 2 15 amp circuits in the apartment and the rest are 5 amp.

This is actaully quite rare. More common is the fire alam going off when having a pierrade.

@Old Man Of Lech, I think you will find the power supply in hotel rooms and much of the catered chalets at 5 amps.

If I'm going to a self catering apartment (other than my own) I always take a sharp knife with me but have this nagging feeling that it is illegal and I could end up in prison.
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@johnE, unless you are carrying it on your person or in your hand luggage I don't think so.
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rjs wrote:
@T Bar, Do you really drink a whole bottle yourself at a single sitting ?


No - closer to 2 on a skiing holiday

Peeler, sharp knife, can opener are always taken - always read the description carefully to see if anything else is likely to be needed
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Quote:

unless you are carrying it on your person or in your hand luggage I don't think so

No. Chefs routinely carry their complete set of knives with them wherever they go - in checked baggage.
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@johnE, Quote 'I think you will find the power supply in hotel rooms and much of the catered chalets at 5 amps.'
Doesn't matter when tea & coffee making facilities are on hand 24/7
@Hells Bells, Quote 'Electricity problems can and do happen in chalets and hotels too.'
There is always someone there to fix problems, or there should be in a well run one.
Anyway, why all this concentration on electrical supply problems?
The list of problems with S/C on this thread are many & varied. Hence my rather 'tongue in cheek' remark! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Boris wrote:
rjs wrote:
@T Bar, Do you really drink a whole bottle yourself at a single sitting ?


No - closer to 2 on a skiing holiday

Wow, 140 units a week is a lot. Twice that if you are doing this at lunch too.
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@rjs, His liver.
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Timc wrote:
@under a new name,
Sounds similar to when we hook up our caravan in the south of France, we pay for a 6 amp supply which at a nominal 220 volt gives us 1320 watts which will run fridges, fans, microwave and low volt kettle but if the system voltage drops while we have everything on then we trip the system which is a right PITA meaning we have to walk to the office, complain, and then wait until they come and reset. Very French but you very quickly learn to live within the boundaries i.e. checking what else is running when you use the microwave, Kettle etc.


And don't forget the converter for where the hooks up are still 2-pin!

Finding that most sites are now 10A, but we also travel with a triangular key (type used to open meter cupboards in UK) and selection of screw drivers and alan keys - can usually reset most trip switches now Toofy Grin
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You can hammer your liver a lot more cheaply in a self-catering place.
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I love self-catering. Off to Vienna on Wednesday with my sister. 3 nights in an AirBnB place. We will be able to make ourselves tea and coffee, raid the local patisserie for breakfast, probably have some cheese, crackers and fruit on hand and try a range of local eateries and drinkeries. We shall be able to have a couple of good meals out with the savings we've made over staying in a hotel and having to pay for every cup of (not very good) tea. Only taking cabin bags so no sharp knives will be packed.
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rjs wrote:
Boris wrote:
rjs wrote:
@T Bar, Do you really drink a whole bottle yourself at a single sitting ?


No - closer to 2 on a skiing holiday

Wow, 140 units a week is a lot. Twice that if you are doing this at lunch too.


It's less than 140 if you don't count Toofy Grin

And no nothing at lunchtime
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