I shop twice a week; on Mondays and Fridays (plus I buy my bread on Sundays).
Whilst on my way to my favourite supermarket (above) recently, I just happened to think how very contented I was, and I tried to analyse why.
The more I thought about it, the more I realised that the answer was very simple. I love driving my car, and I love my supermarket.
My car isn't anything special, it's just a French workhorse that gives very little trouble, and is comfortable. It's relatively cheap to run, and it serves me well. But en route to the shops (about 15 km's) I drive through beautiful countryside, and encounter maybe just one or two other cars. Driving in France is a pleasant experience.
My supermarket is the French equivalent of the UK's Waitrose. It is top of the range, and offers so many gastronomic treats that it's often hard to resist. I only have to look at its exterior, and I put on a few kilos. It also contains a bar/restaurant, a dry cleaners, and an opticians.
This may all sound very shallow, but it's true. Of course there are hundreds of much more important things in life that give contentment; family, my veg growing, my work, etc, but I find just sitting in the Compact Royce with the prospect of buying delights from Leclerc, extremely relaxing.
Oh wow, I love supermarkets like yours. We only see these gastronomic specialist supermarkets in Johannesburg, a city we never get there; not to shop anyway! Now the car/wheels contentment: Grant, my husband of four-and-a-half decades is with you there. He loves driving me anywhere. Or better still loves touring on his motorbike through South Africa and surrounding countries with me on the back! Yes, family, our environment, for us now the wonderful rainfall, peace, (not too prevalent in SA for the past 20 years; and health all are important. BUT I relate to your post 100%. Your life sounds as idyllic as mine was in East Africa. Have a great day. JoReplyDelete
This isn't something I would normally admit to, but it really is true. Maybe I should have said 'relaxed' rather than 'contented', but both are right.Delete
I wonder whether you pass any other supermarkets to get to this one (or whether there are any other ones that are closer).ReplyDelete
I pass one on the way to my preferred supermarket but do a quick shop early on a Saturday morning after going to the Growers' market.
I pass 4 en route. One is in the process of being rebuilt and considerably enlarged, so I might visit it just to see the improvements, but otherwise they are not of the same standard.Delete
I am very fortunate in that we have five supermarkets within a ten minute drive from home. I wouldn't say that any of them are quite up to Waitrose standard (my 'local' when we lived in the UK) but they are more than adequate for our needs. We have probably adjusted our palate to suit what's on offer in each of them. One, particularly, has an excellent fresh fish counter where I buy my favourite langostines for around 8:50€ a kilo. From time to time they have live lobsters that have a habit of creeping down the counter towards you.....ReplyDelete
If the rebuild is Lidl, you should find that the standard of produce and the range of foodstuffs vastly improved, and you may also find a decent mature cheddar cheese. Both Lidl and Aldi rebuilt and enlarged their stores last year and the standard is much better. I've read that in the UK, both stores are now a serious threat to Sainsbury's, Morrison's and Tesco.
It is indeed Lidl, and I hadn't forgotten what you said about the Cheddar. I've also recently seen that their Tomato Ketchup won a taste test, so I might buy some to see. The new store opens next week.Delete
I don't think that it sound's shallow at all Cro ...... it's rather a simple pleasure and a necessary one. One must take ones pleasures where we can find them. The older I get, the more important food and drink is !!!!! XXXXReplyDelete
I'm also the cook of the household, so ingredients are very important to me. The choice is huge and the choosing fun.Delete
When on holiday we shopped at the range of Hyper/Supermarkets and town freerange markets. Since moving here 10yrs ago we have usually shopped at Eddy's and have a super new place 10 mins away. The others have improved but my loyalty card says ElC. However, Lidls is our wine merchant.ReplyDelete
Used to be a Sainsbury's shopper in the UK, no Waitrose in York.
I shall certainly visit the new Lidl when it opens. I already have a few things on my list.Delete
Love E LeClerc. It's my first stop at St Pol de Leon when we arrive in Brittany. In fact if we take the late afternoon ferry we stay overnight in their car park.xReplyDelete
That's true loyalty.Delete
Sadly our only supermarket within easy reach (6 miles) is a very large Tesco. I do my shopping there but from the comfort of my arm chair - my next job after reading this morning's posts, is to pop over to their online shopping and order for Tuesday morning.ReplyDelete
All my fruit and veg I get from our wonderful local market on Fridays.
Keep using Tesco; I'm a shareholder, and we need all the support we can get.Delete
I'm not as enthusiastic as you about shopping but I must admit it is relaxing when I manage not to do it during rush hours. I have a rule: never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach, because you could buy anything more pushed only by hunger. Greetings Maria xReplyDelete
The supermarket above is never over busy, apart from which I always arrive at opening time.Delete
"and offers so many gastronomic treats that it's" bleedin' dangerous for the waistline...ReplyDelete
but I don't put on weight just looking at it from the outside...
and driving in France is bliss...
driving inside the supermarchés is often worse than UK city streets!!
Why do people stop for a chat at the end of aisles, in doorways, or worst of all...
completely blocking the main aisle!!
We only use 'Tis I The Clerks once every three weeks...
our village market every other week...
and everything else seems to come from our version of Haddocks...
((which is a growing area larger than the size of two UK allotments... 600sq foot...
5 plots of 3 by 14 metres...
three are each divided into eight 1 by 3 metre beds...
the other two are the pumpkin "maggot" and the spud bed...
and we have a 6th plot that has herbs, salads and the chickens in place...
the soft fruit are now in the verger...
hard work, yes... but it saves on fuel.))
I'm not quite as organised as you at Haddock's, but it does the job. I've just run out of Onions, but we still have loads of other stuff in store.Delete
We are running low on onions, too... It was a bad year, the drought came at the wrong time!Delete
We'll be buying some this year!!
As for organized.... ORGANIZED?? You jest,sir...
That's why we need the space... and, due to the current soil conditions, this year's winter onions and garlic are currently growing in pots. They'll be put to bed once the soil allows!!
Too wet, I tell you, too damned wet!!
Driving also make me happy most of the times. I have a small supermarket near my house and i shope mostly there. i prefer driving on shopping.ReplyDelete
I love driving, especially in places that are new to me. If there's also a good quality supermarket around, it makes it even better.Delete
We have six supermarkets in our market town but I tend to stick to Sainsbury's - the town is only fifteen minutes away by car - and like you, I do find it quite a relaxing experience.ReplyDelete
I'm glad I'm not alone.Delete
I can relate to this exactly.ReplyDelete
We have a lovely new Waitrose situated near the Dog Stadium in Neville Road ( do you know where I mean Cro?)ReplyDelete
I love it. It has a cafe attached and if you have a waitrose card you are able to buy a large cappuccino and pot of tea for just 50p, also if you spend over £5.00 you get a free newspaper, needless to say we take full advantage of this.
I remember a Co-op up there. Never liked it.Delete
when it was the co-op it was always empty, now it is transformed into Waitrose, what a difference.Delete
That sounds much better!Delete
It's great that you can identify what gives you pleasure Cro. I am not a fan of driving but am grateful that I can and for where it can take me. However, I do love food and nothing more than a cup of tea and a piece of cake or a meal shared with friends and family brings me the greatest pleasure. ArilxReplyDelete
It sounds odd, but I'd never really thought about it before. Such simple things can bring happiness.Delete
Contentment can be seen as the new boring in this busy goal centred world.ReplyDelete
I am happy to live in your world cro
One thing I never am, is bored. Too little time; too much to do (thankfully).Delete
I know what you mean. I live in a rural area and driving around the lovely farmland and country roads is so peaceful and more than lovely. We have super-super grocery stores like the one you have, but I prefer the smaller markets like Whole Foods who specialize in fresh, organic foods and don't have as many aisles.ReplyDelete
Driving around here is a real delight. Often, returning from shopping, I don't see another car on the road.Delete
You are very sweet sometimes !ReplyDelete
Moi? Sweet? Not too sure about that.Delete
I can certainly relate to what you say Cro. I love driving my car too: we've been together now for almost 12 years. I rarely drive in Paris nor in France in August so I've always found driving in France a joy as well. Having said that I did drive from Italy to see my son in Antibes a few years ago in the height of summer and the coast road was less than good fun. On the subject of Leclerc I have to say that it has never struck me as being superior gastronomically from the supermarkets I generally use. I shall pay more attention this year.ReplyDelete
Oops what was I thinking about. Superior to not superior from. Apologies.ReplyDelete
It's difficult to generalise about the standard of cert chain stores, as one might not match another. But in general Leclerc is a cut above most other French supermarkets; at least I've always found it so.Delete
Paul loves supermarkets. At home or abroad he loves to have a browse through the aisles. I'm happy if I know where everything is and just get upset when they move things around. (Have you noticed how the French hate to use the automatic self service checkouts, even when they only have one item?)ReplyDelete
I scan the checkouts for the prettiest girl, then use that one. I'd never use a self service one... I want human SERVICE.Delete
I'm not sure why I was surprised that you would drive some distance to a large supermarket. Now I can adjust my preconceptions about life in your beautiful part of France. I do agree with you about the potential pleasures of food shopping.ReplyDelete
It's been about 40 years since I last owned a car, and I no longer even have a driver's license. My NYC food gathering is managed by taking a subway train (not picturesque, but sometimes interesting) downtown to a great farmers market at least once a week. Two large grocery shops, Trader Joe's and the Fairway Market, are within a five minute walk from my home, and pretty much supply all I could possibly need. There are other specialty stores in my neighborhood, but I realized some time ago that I can only eat so much! I do enjoy the Union Square farmers market most of all, because of its atmosphere, fresh produce and visual appeal.
None of my food sources have any automatic checkouts and they all supply bags to carry your purchases, although I usually take my own carry bags along as a recycling gesture.
Oh, what a long comment I've written. Best wishes.
We do have a home in the centre of a town back in the UK (that we never visit), which is within easy reach of wonderful shopping. I'm not sure which I prefer. I love the availability of all the diverse exotic foods back in the UK, but I also love the S W France gastronomy. As for fresh vegs; I grow my own.Delete
Just thought to add re The Shopping Experience here in France. We have been without the free plastic bags for ages and buy a 'Bag for Life' which is replaceable if/when it disintegrates. ElC used to provide a flimsy for clothing items but yesterday our local said Non! This means if stuff gets dirty on the way home, is tried on and returned it may get put back on the rails. Again Buyer Beware.ReplyDelete
I've always used a traditional rafia (?) woven Cabas here. I can't stand plastic bags.Delete
Our nearest supermarket is Waitrose and it makes shopping feel very civilised as part of the weekly routine is to sit down for a coffee while we browse through the papers. I'm also a fan of Aldi and Lidl for such thing as nuts, chocolate and wine. I used to shop almost exclusively at Sainsbury's, but like the rest of Britain my shopping habits have changed in recent years and I am much more price sensitive.ReplyDelete
In Brighton I was always a Waitrose person, but I suspect it might be different these days. However, the Brighton Waitrose was right opposite one of the very best 'exotic' stores I've ever seen (Taj).Delete
Vivian my Volvo is 37 years old and is such a joy to drive. Now that I am retired I find myself driving with no particular destination in mind. I am also the cook now and have found a new interest in shopping, a job I used to detest. I catalogued the contents of the freezer as well as the pantry and dry goods. So when shopping I can bring those lists up on my cell phone.ReplyDelete
You've made me feel incompetent; I shall have to check-out my freezers. I know roughly what's in them, but....Delete