Shop ‘til YOU DROP
France|December 2020
In the first of our new Insight guides, Helen Parkinson delights in the French shopping experience

Shopping in France is an unbeatable sensory experience. Think of a French market and your mind will wander to mouthwatering stalls of the freshest bread, homemade tapenades, and jams for eating straight from the jar; soft scarves to touch and soaps to smell; chatter wafting through the air. From the seemingly neverending supermarket cheese counter to the intimidatingly chic department stores of the capital, a trip to the shops is an experience to savour wherever you are in France.

Supermarkets and shops

The first port of call for many a self-catering holidaymaker once they’ve crossed La Manche, France’s supermarkets are in plentiful supply – that is, unless it’s a Sunday. Like lots of European countries, many supermarkets shut up shop on Sundays in France. This was strictly adhered to even as recently as a decade ago, but now a few supermarkets defy convention to serve the baguette-starved masses on Sunday mornings. Later on Sunday afternoons, however, not a chance!

The fab four of the French supermarket world, with outlets across l’Hexagone, are Auchan, Carrefour, E.Leclerc, and Géant Casino. Each has its merits, but all offer an excellent shopping experience. Like elsewhere, there are also a number of attractive discount stores, some of whose names will be familiar: Lidl, Aldi, Netto and Leader Price. For smaller purchases, most towns also have convenience store-type outlets including Carrefour Market and Intermarché. Fans of health food stores will be in their element with France’s two top brands, Biocoop and Naturalia.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM FRANCEView All

Paindemic In Paris

For American actor and writer Alexander Burnett, a shortage of bread at his local boulangerie was one of the biggest challenges of lockdown in his adopted home city

5 mins read
France
December 2020

VEULES-LES-ROSES

Between the white cliffs of the Côte d’Albâtre and the bucolic landscapes of the Pays de Caux, discover a village that combines coast and country,

4 mins read
France
December 2020

Taking the BISCUIT

France is known for its exquisite pâtisserie and extravagant gâteaux but the not-so-humble biscuit deserves recognition too

5 mins read
France
December 2020

PICTURE PERFECT PISTE

After a decade away from the slopes Janet Brice finds her ski legs in val d'arly, a hidden gem in the shadow of Mount Blanc

8 mins read
France
December 2020

Let there BE LIGHT

Lyon’s annual Fête des Lumières brightens up the darkest of December nights in spectacular fashion, finds David Atkinson on a winter visit to the Rhône capital

4 mins read
France
December 2020

Shop ‘til YOU DROP

In the first of our new Insight guides, Helen Parkinson delights in the French shopping experience

4 mins read
France
December 2020

Floating YOUR BOAT

Spending a day on the River Seine in Paris, Heidi Fuller-love samples some of the city’s top entertainment that can be enjoyed afloat

6 mins read
France
December 2020

Creamy Dijon Chicken With Bacon And Spinach

Enjoy this hearty dish from Bisous & Brioche, a cookbook shot on location in Burgundy

2 mins read
France
November 2020

A Moveable Feast

Philip Sweeney embarks on a voyage gourmand along the Vallée de la Gastronomie travelling from Dijon to Marseille

4 mins read
France
November 2020

BOND RETOUR 7

To celebrate the return of everyone’s favourite globe-trotting British intelligence officer in No Time to Die, Helen Parkinson rounds up five of James Bond’s top cross-Channel escapades

2 mins read
France
November 2020
RELATED STORIES

JUST BETWEEN FRIENDS ALISON

IN THE NEW HULU SERIES CONVERSATIONS WITH FRIENDS, ALISON OLIVER AND HER COSTAR JOE ALWYN SPARK AN ONSCREEN CHEMISTRY TOO INTENSE TO IGNORE.

9 mins read
ELLE
May 2022

THE VANISHING

In 1978, one of Paris’s most dashing and powerful men was violently kidnapped, leaving tout le monde wondering if he might escape— and how much it could cost.

9 mins read
Town & Country
April 2022

How to Manufacture an Extremist Candidacy

Step 1: Create a bunch of social media accounts and have them beg your candidate to run for president

10 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
April 11, 2022

ENERGY AGENCY: ‘RADICAL ACTION' NEEDED TO HIT CLIMATE GOALS

The world must take “radical action” by investing $5.7 trillion in private and public money each year through 2030 to shift away from fossil fuels and ensure the planetary warming they cause doesn’t pass dangerous thresholds, the International Renewable Energy Agency says.

3 mins read
AppleMagazine
April 01, 2022

COOPERED Café Table

An intimate outdoor setting loaded with lessons

7 mins read
Woodcraft Magazine
April - May 2022

Les Fines Lames Knife Cutters

Historically, knife cigar cutters that fold have come with foibles for a number of reasons: The action is awkward, the cut is, sloppy and the blade crushes the cigar head in the handle more often than not.

1 min read
Cigar Aficionado
March - April 2022

Harmonious Hues

Author and style editor Fifi O'Neill demonstrates the magical ability of white to act as a blank canvas for any home, regardless of theme or lifestyle.

2 mins read
Cottages and Bungalows
February - March 2022

EU PLAN FOR SWEEPING UPDATE OF BIG TECH RULES GAINS MOMENTUM

The European Union’s ambitious plan to update its pioneering internet rules gained momentum Tuesday after a key committee passed measures requiring technology companies to better police content and lawmakers prepared to vote on regulations to rein in Big Tech.

2 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #529

EU PLAN FOR SWEEPING UPDATE OF BIG TECH RULES GAINS MOMENTUM

The European Union’s ambitious plan to update its pioneering internet rules gained momentum Tuesday after a key committee passed measures requiring technology companies to better police content and lawmakers prepared to vote on regulations to rein in Big Tech.

2 mins read
AppleMagazine
December 17, 2021

FACEBOOK WHISTLEBLOWER FEARS THE METAVERSE

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen warned that the “metaverse,” the all-encompassing virtual reality world at the heart of the social media giant’s growth strategy, will be addictive and rob people of yet more personal information while giving the embattled company another monopoly online.

4 mins read
AppleMagazine
November 12, 2021