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Self catering + driving + food from UK

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Long time lurker, first time poster Smile

We are assuming our trip booked to Sainte Foy on 30th January is going to be ok and thought we better actually think about the planning we need to do other than due to the c-word.
It then made me think about the b-word (ya know, the one that came first!)

We are driving to a self catered apartment, via the euro tunnel.... Has anyone had any experience of taking food with them? We had planned to take some pre prepared food to make our lives easier on day one, until someone mentioned new rules mean we can't take meat and dairy?!

We obviously can shop over there but just wondered if anyone had recently driven and taken food in a coolbox or similar?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@cbr, we drove to Ste Foy on 11 December and took the stuff out of our fridge in a cool bag with a couple of Charlie Bigham dishes and a large gammon. The bag was just in the back of the car amongst all our other bags.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
No meet expectation fish up-to 20kg. No dairy except eggs.

No fruit or veg without certificates.

IMHO I wouldn't frustrate the process, I'm sure the border control will take great pleasure confiscating.
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Mixed experiences from the motorhome groups. Mostly seems to be, if searched, the border people are only looking for the usual - guns, stowaways.... . Others have reported having to chuck the contents of their fridge in the bin.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
No meat or dairy allowed...

So spaghetti bolognese is out, but spicy tuna pasta is OK (be sure to use olive oil not butter).
No cheese or bacon sandwiches, but smoked salmon is fine as long as you use margarine.

(or just bung everything in a coolbox like everyone else!)
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Don't forget there are limits now on alcohol as well if you plan to take any with you (but unless bought duty free if that is possible via the tunnel then it might be better value on the continent). Per person, it's only 1 litre of spirits over 22% (or 2 litres of fortified or sparkling wine), 4 litres of still wine and 16 litres of beer.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
At present, I don't think I'd bother with trying to take a lot of fresh stuff. Just plan a supermarket stop, or buy everything in resort - a ski holiday is so expensive that the marginal additional cost is not proportionately that big. You can still plan a lot in advance and take stuff with you. Dishwasher tablets, some key seasonings, tinned stuff, coffee, tea, breakfast cereals, soups, chocolate bars to take on the slopes, flour, eggs, crackers, pasta, sauces, nuts and nibbles, UHT milk (which is sometimes all you will find in resort shops anyway).

The purpose, in my case, would be to save myself shopping time in resort, rather than saving money. It would be worth stocking up on wine and beers at supermarket prices though IME there's not a lot of room in the car for bulky stuff.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
We regularly drive out (and are just back yesterday from 3 weeks near Chamonix). Our approach is always to buy out there (foreign food is a big part of the holiday excitement!). Between the channel and resort you’ll be within easy reach of many supermarkets and can easily get some basics for a quick first night meal (eg pasta/ olive oil/ cheese) and wine to accompany it. Cheap fuel too. There’s a good Carrefour at Reims Tinquieux and a decent Leclerc at Troyes, both less than 5 mins from autoroute.

That said - and for what it’s worth - on neither of our recent Eurotunnel crossings was any interest shown in food or booze in the car (Thu 16 Dec, Wed 5 Jan).
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It's frustrating that the new post-Brexit restrictions apply (and limit a lot of the obvious pre-cooked stuff) but in fact, I'd say that you should also consider any specific items that you would like and which aren't available readily in France, or which you really want on arrival. So I'd say take your favourite tea bags and herbal teas etc. with you, and buy milk at one of the motorway service stations en route. We have a favourite breakfast cereal whose equivalent exists but it'd be a very hit-and-miss to find, so we take some of that, too. You get the gist. A Thermos of coffee is also useful - you can refill it at a service station, then you have a hot drink on tap for a refresh.

As mentioned, there's a huge E.Leclerc superstore at Reims Champfleury if you want to do a serious shop It's on the A4 Jct.23, 270 Kms from Calais. Also a good place to top-up with cheaper petrol than on the autoroute.

Just a tip re the E.Leclerc at Champfleury (Reims) When you exit, especially from the petrol station, you're faced with this view, which can be misleading and catch you out. It looks like what's up ahead is the final exit roundabout, and the centre lane is oncoming. But it's not, the centre lane returns you to the roundabout to the Autoroute, the right lane turns right and takes you into Reims. But for some reason, it feels just wrong to jump over to the middle lane. Also be aware traffic may be behind you in the middle lane, in your blind spot, so get you passenger to help you here. If you get it wrong and take the Reims road to the right, you don't have to go far to do a 360 back at the next roundabout, it's just annoying.

https://goo.gl/maps/MUsm1CPVbwA2

Click top-right of the photo' and it should show you a Google Maps plan view if the autoroute exit and superstore roads.

We do take a car-powered refrigerated bag with freezer gel packs in it. This keeps favourite soft drinks cool on the way down and the extensive selection of French cheeses from the shopping on the way back.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Thu 6-01-22 18:24; edited 4 times in total
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Came out pre Christmas could have brought more with us as no sign of any checks (or notification) at Tunnel for foodstuffs. Didn't hide anything as were planning to plead innocence if caught.
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There's a decent Super-U in Bourg, most people stock up there. Shops in resort are pretty good too.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
People pay £££££££££££££££££££ per hour for ski time. It's astonishing how many will work very hard to save £ an hour on shopping. I'm guilty too - I have sometimes muttered to myself about the opportunity cost of the time I'm taking trailing around an unfamiliar supermarket.
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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
@cbr, where is your apartment? We were in Etoile des Cimes, for the second time, and there is a small supermarket under the apartments which hade everything we needed, although as we were there early in the season it didn’t open till towards the end of our first week. The other small supermarket is along past the ticket office and a couple of small shops.
We ended up eating lunch out every day so only needing a bit of breakfast and cheese/fruit etc in the evening. I know we would have got through a load more food if the expected rest of the family had been able to join us - Covid Eh oh! Eh oh! Eh oh! .
I would just have looked ‘stupid’ if our meagre offerings in the cool bag had been looked at. I might not risk taking a bag full of Goodwood meat with me as I would be sorry to lose that.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
As MorningGory says, Super-U in Bourg as well as Intermarche, virtually alongside each other. I tend now, though, to stop at the fairly new Leclerc at Aime, right beside the main road. Good place to fill the car, as well.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
It's funny - and very snowHeads - how a simple question about taking foodstuffs which might flout the new rules from the UK, provokes suggestions of which French supermarkets to use and a philosophical discussion about the underlying need to shop at all and, if so, where, when and at what cost in time and money. Congratulations to those who answered the OP's question. Laughing

For my part, I tend to buy fresh food in France but I too am concerned about needing to deviate from favourite fillings for the en route sarnies, which are always lovingly prepared at home. To smuggle or not to smuggle, that's the question. Confused Confused
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Hurtle, it is my own dilemma too. Add into that we aren't even meant to take non-prescription dog food with us.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Hurtle, but what if the favourite en route sandwiches need to be prepared en route using special French supplies? Hellmans just isnt the same as Maille mustard mayo… Laughing Very Happy
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

To smuggle or not to smuggle, that's the question.

My answer - make the famous and cherished sarnies, but not any elaborate and suspicious attempts to conceal them. Should they survive to lunch time, celebrate a small victory and, should they be discovered by les Douaniers, be dignified in parting and shed no vain tears, lest they wag their fingers and chide you for Brexit.

So let us melt, and make no noise,
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move;
'Twere profanation of our joys
To tell the laity our love.


(with thanks to John Donne)
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Recommend the Decathlon 10 / 20 litre isothermic rucksacks - frozen food with ice packs should stay frozen for your journey without a problem, also they won’t be obvious in between your other luggage in case of a (highly unlikely) search.

Also second the recommendations for Leclerc in Aime / Super U and Intermarché in Bourg: the markups in the Sherpa (Tignes le lac) are eyewatering!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Inboard, that's a different - if totally valid - point! Laughing (Mmm, Maille mustard mayo... Toofy Grin )
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@pam w, an excellent answer, i' faith!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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@pam w, @Hurtle, to be fair, we have the advantage over Home Counties folk of 8 hours driving Edinburgh-Folkstone during which to enjoy lovingly home-prepared sandwiches… packed breakfast and packed lunch in the car, aim for Reims for a fancy dinner, make some more lovingly prepared sandwiches for the final leg into alps. Seems ideal Madeye-Smiley Only 14 weeks to wait until the next trip…

(Ps @hurtle, hoping you’ll make it to the EOSB so we can have a natter about music and orchestras).
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Inboard,
Quote:

hoping you’ll make it to the EOSB so we can have a natter about music and orchestras).

That will be lovely. All fingers and toes crossed.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Hurtle, fingers crossed indeed
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We have not found any issues taking human and dog food both ways. We took an electric cooler packed with frozen meals from “Cook” in December and brought back not yet consumed perishables purchased in France. Never been checked. As an aside each person can bring back 18L of wine duty free - much to our kids protests as a case or two always squeezed into their foot wells.
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Wow, the effort people go to on this forum to help never ceases to amaze me, thanks for all the tips Smile

It really wasn't about saving money on food - I love nothing more than wandering round French super markets (strange but hey!) but we are doing the drive in a single day, starting with a 4.40am crossing Skullie so just wanted to blast down to resort with something to chuck in a pan and heat up when we arrive the evening. We likely have some brekkie on route too which made me think about what we would even be allowed to take.

But sounds like the French aren't going to be too excited about a set of sandwiches in the car but maybe will avoid a coolbox full of goodies. Tragedy to get it thrown away.

Quote:

@cbr, where is your apartment?

We are in Chalet Sainte Foy, I think next to the nursery slopes, and I remember the parade of little shops from my last visit - I think we will be fine Smile
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