Crooked House

A country life in France

A little shopping trip

We had to visit Limoges today to buy a spare part from a motorhome dealer. To make the journey worthwhile we did of course have to visit Grand Frais too but not before we called in at Gamm Vert. We were in search of a cat harness and in France it appears that the easiest way to find pet supplies is to visit a garden centre. Well, what a surprise – Gamm Vert is so much more than a garden centre. The fresh food/deli section rivalled Grand Grais for quality, freshness and variety but the big surprise was the kitchen equipment section. Anything, absolutely anything that you might need for food preservation was there. They had the largest selection of sausage-making equipment and mincer dies, bee-keeping supplies, beer and wine-making kit, cider making equipment… and some gorgeous ceramics (I so wanted the salt pig!) as well as the ubiquitous preserving jars and bottles and oh, so much more besides. A fabulous shop!

Gamm Vert


Arriving at Grand Frais precisely at midday, we consulted our tummies and decided that today was not the day to try out Flunch. We opted to sample the sandwiches from Marie Blachère, the boulangerie attached to Grand Frais. We ate our lunch in the car.

Car lunch

Having sampled their bread on our last visit, we were both keen to buy more and to sample some other goods. The sandwiches did not disappoint and we declared them our best French sandwiches to date.

Poulet Marie

Gorgeous Brioche rolls, stuffed with moist tender chicken (beautifully seasoned), oodles of fresh salad, cheese slices and (we think) an onion confit mayonnaise. Completely delicious and such a change from the dry and boring ham and cheese normally offered at sandwicheries.

I could have eaten two.

We took advantage of the multi-buy offer on the bread, buying four for the price of three and opting for the same delicious multi-cereal loaf that we bought last time. It was crusty, delicious, and kept moist for longer than any other French bread that we have tried. No reason to try anything else yet… but maybe next time.

Four for the price of three (€5.35)
Fabulously crusty
Bread and confiture tomorrow morning. I bought this Mirabelle jam in Gamm Vert. The other three loaves are wrapped and in the freezer for another day – by the time that we arrived home, they were just cool enough for this treatment.

Fortified by a simple though splendid lunch, we ventured into Grand Frais, where they were giving away some rather nice shopping bags today.

Some of our booty

I suspect that going to Grand Frais is going to become like going to M&S (a shop that it resembles in several ways) and that several items will always make an automatic leap into our trolley – the prawns, roasted ham with herbs, burrata, yoghurt and ginger already fall into this category.

Today we added a few new items

Confit duck for an anniversary meal

We are celebrating 19 years together so thought perhaps pushing the boat out was in order

Figs for a starter


A nightmare of over-packaging but as it is for a special occasion, baby veg


Yes, I could make my own, but it’s my anniversary too so why should I do all of the work when I can buy good quality ready-made items like this?

We have figs, brebis bleu and Serrano ham to start, Confit duck, baby veg and Sarladaise potatoes for the main course and chocolate mousse and fresh raspberries for dessert.

Fresh Papaya

Tonight we settled for that wonderful bread with cheese and followed by fresh Papaya. I love being able to buy a half of Papaya, Melon. Butternut squash etc.

Burrata and grapes for another meal, fresh herbs just because I can, limes for G&T


A Kedgeree in the offing

Amongst other goodies, I was delighted to finally pocket a jar of Tahini.

There is a Cave next door to Grand Frais. We went to have a look around and…

St Emilion for the duck and sherry for the fig starter

SHERRY! and very fine sherry it is too. A rare spot in France so it could not be left on the shelf.

Finally, we popped into Darty to see what accessories they had for the air fryer. They had just the one, a rack and skewer pack, which we bought. I am still looking for the cake tin.

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