Category Archives: Ferry to France

French Food

When visiting a country whether it’s for business or a personal holiday you should take all of the opportunities you can to explore the local culture of the country. Food forms a significant part of the French culture and has an important part of the French history and with different cuisines in the regions around France it is worth sampling the best that the country has to offer in the country itself! Wherever you are travelling in France you should be able to sample at least some of these following foods:

Frogs Legs

This, along with snails are two of the most stereotypical French dishes out there and usually not thought off with a high opinion but as bad as they sound frogs legs are actually quite tasty. There are different ways you can serve the frogs legs, mainly deep fried and breaded and this is usually with garnish such as garlic. People consider the moist tender meat which just slips off the bone to be a middle ground between chicken and fish.

Snails

Once again, to the traveller to France this may not sound like the tastiest dish on the menu! They are known as Escargot and tend to be on the starters or appetiser menu. The snail is typically cooked in garlic butter and served in the shell. Escargot is a remarkably healthy dish with a 15% protein content.

Cheese

In France regional cheese factories are in abundance and the cheese produced therefore forms a strong part of the diet of the residents in the area as well as attracting tourists looking for traditional cheese tastings! The cheese that is produced in a particular reason tends to be named after that area, an example of which would be Bleu d’Auvergne cheese from Auvergne in central France. Some other famous French cheeses you may have heard of are Brie de Melun, Camembert de Normandie and Langres.

Pastries

Although now enjoyed as a breakfast product across the world they are a French staple and you can’t go to France without enjoying at least one breakfast from a French patisserie. Some of the most common French pastries include croissants, pain aux chocolat and pain aux raisins.

France has some popular dishes when it comes to lunch and dinner which are popular in many of the French regions and here are some of the most popular French dishes which will be on the menu.

Ratatouille

A traditional dish which was created in Nice and is simply stewed vegetables, served as a side, as a main meal with pasta, bread or rice or even as the filling for a crepe. The vegetables in ratatouille are predominantly tomatoes with flavoursome accompaniments such as onion, eggplant, peppers and herbs.

Coq au Vin

This is a popular French meal that varies throughout the different regions depending on the wine tha is used. This is simply a dish of chicken, the local wine, mushrooms and seasonings such as garlic, herbs, salt and pepper braised together in a single pot.

Visiting Calais

If your ferry to France requires a short stay at Calais before or after a connecting train you may be wondering what you can do to pass the time whilst you are waiting, here are a few ideas:

Shopping
Calais is probably most famous for the shopping opportunities available due to the “booze cruise” trips many take to get cheap duty free alcohol. The cheap products available and the relatively low cost for a ferry to France make such trips worthwhile. When you arrive you will find a range of huge large supermarkets which stock everything you could possibly imagine alongside a range of speciality stores. The speciality stores cover sweets, tea, seafood and wines. If you are shopping for alcohol or tobacco you should check the personal allowances before you go and ensure you stick to these.

Eating
If you want to enjoy some fine, authentic French food on your arrival then there are restaurants on almost every street. Due to its seaside location most of the restaurants specialise in seafood with others offering more traditional French food. The cafes are traditional with their offerings and most importantly their opening hours so if you are looking to eat outside of typical lunch hours you will need to find a “non-stop” restaurant.

Hotels in Calais
If you are arriving in Calais late in the evening and would like to relax and refresh in a hotel before travelling on for the rest of your trip then there are several budget friendly hotels available around the port from popular chains such as Holiday Inn and Ibis, both three star rated accommodation to independent budget bed and breakfasts.

Sight Seeing
Although Calais isn’t considered a tourist hotspot the port does have a lot of history when it comes to the Second World War so if this is a particular interest of yours then you will enjoy spending a few hours at the Calais sights which the War Museum which is situated in a German bunker. For those more interested in medieval art and architecture The Notre Dame Church or the Fine Art Museum are also situated in Calais and include pieces of art from Picasso.

French Wine Tours

For fans of wine, particularly French wine, there can be no greater holiday than a wine tour through one of the world’s most important wine producing countries. There’s no shortage of companies offering to tour you through France’s wineries, but if your energy levels, or your budget, won’t stretch to a full tour of all of the country’s wine regions you will need to be more discerning about which regions you visit. This guide will help you pare down which to hit and which to miss.

Alsace
Found on the Rhine River, Alsace is famed for six appellations, including Crémant d’Alsace, Pinot Blanc, and Gewurztraminer, all of which are white wines. The wines in this region are flavoured with a Germanic influence from across the river and in majority are dry.

Bordeaux
Famous for its full-bodied red wines, Bordeaux is home to just under 7,000 wine producing chateaux and around 21 appellations. Bordeaux is a must for those who like their wines to fight back a bit and is one of the only regions where pre-booking your tour of the winery is not always essential.

Bourgogne
Known to most as Burgundy, Bourgogne is also home to 21 appellations and two of France’s most popular wines and home and abroad: Beaujolais and Chablis. The wines of Bourgogne have a sophisticated flavour – reds are subtle in tone, while whites are less sharp.

Champagne
What has to be said about this region beyond its name? Famous for its ubiquitous sparkling wine, Champagne makes champagne and almost nothing else. If you’re feeling in a celebratory mood, dip into the Moet et Chandon, Perrier-Jouet or Taittinger chateaux for a festive flavour.

Côtes du Rhône
Rhône is a region of contrasts: while its northern wineries are famed for their rich reds, the south is a place where quantity far outweighs quality. If you want to enjoy France’s flavours on a budget, Rhône should be on your list, along with…

Languedoc-Roussillon
Languedoc is another place where the notes of the wine take a back seat to the notes in your pocket. Almost half of all of France’s budget red wines come from Languedoc, so be prepared to empty your wallet.

Loire Valley
For fans of a stiff white, Loire Valley is the place to be. Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon grapes are the chief ingredient and the region is known for its delicate, fruity wines.

Cycling in France

Many people use a ferry to France as a way to start off a driving holiday around the country or perhaps continent but you could very easily take your bike on a ferry to France and enjoy a cycling holiday around France. If this is something that excites you then take a look at four of the best cycling hot spots in France!

Morven National Park, Burgundy
Located to the South East of Paris, Morven National Park is a stunning, historical area which combines rivers, canals and medieval paths through ancient woods, orchards and the famous vineyards of France. Cycling in the Burdundy area is perfect for the beginner cyclist who wants to explore the area, enjoy the scenery and history behind the area whilst taking some fantastic photographs.

Emerald Coast, Brittany
The Emerald Coast of Brittany is a naturally beautiful area of France with quaint fishing villages with traditional working harbours, white sand beaches and medieval castles. The cycle routes around the Emerald Coast are relatively flat so ideal for the beginner cyclist or those that are cycling for fun rather than to challenge their fitness levels. Of course, thanks to the fishing history of the area the food is predominantly seafood and you cannot visit without sampling some of the freshly caught oysters or prawns!

Toulouse
Toulouse plays host to hundreds of kilometres of cycle paths the majority of which are along the Garonne, cycling along the banks can lead you through the Pyrenees to Port Lauragais, a 30km track which is ideal for advanced cyclists.

If you are looking for a route which is closer to the ferry ports of France so you do not need to travel through the country then how about the nature trails in the Caps Et Maris D’Opale Regional Nature Park?
The French are big fans of cycling as both a method of transfer and as a leisure activity and this soon becomes apparent when travelling along the well-kept cycle trails and routes around the countryside and even in the cities such as Paris. If you’d prefer not to take your own cycling equipment on the ferry then you can hire a bike once you arrive at the destination you would like to cycle around.