Friday, May 30, 2008

Cost of Living

I was a bit surprised at a comment my Menu post on e-Gullet received. Something to the effect that what did the relationship between the $ & Pound vis-a-vis the Euro have to do with the price of meals in France.

Thinking about it the commentator was right. It has nothing directly to do with the cost of meals in France.

I didn't make my point clearly. The point was that if you are a tourist from the USA or Britain the exchange rate has made France & its meals far more expensive than last. Or if you live in France, but your income is in dollars or pounds your cost of living has gone up pretty dramatically over the past year. The 100 Euro meal is now $160 instead of $130 for instance. Live here and multiply all of you expenditure by the same factor & it starts to pinch a bit.

Inflation in Euro terms has also accelerated here in France. Not just gas & diesel, but all kinds of things. ( I still haven't figured out why the price difference between petrol & diesel has almost disappeared. Diesel used to be about 20% cheaper; no more.) Fruit & vegetables have really accelerated. Fish is way up & getting scarcer as the fishermen protest by not going out. Lots of other things are up as well.

A while ago we briefly considered moving back to the states. Our Euro valued house would translate into a lot of dollars, but we rejected the idea. Too many negatives & too far from family.

Anyway, if you are coming to France on vacation let me know & I'll send you the write up I did on how to enjoy France yet save money by doing many of the things the locals do.

In the meantime we'll just ride this out until the currencies regain their common sense.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Local Restaurant List









Name Prices Food type Dave




The Glebe 10.5 for 4 courses, wine included Local style, good & abundant, better selection than most Very pleasant 'truck stop' style. You won't go away hungry. Madam is nice.
Ravel 10.5 for 4 courses, wine included Similar to the Glebe. Not as much selection. I like it as well as the Glebe. Also its closer to home.
Auberge de La Castille 9 set light lunch. Dinner from 23 Local style, but with some extra unuaual dishes. Serge tries hard & his presentation is good. Good solid place to eat. Has improved after a bad spell in the past.
La Renaissance 9 set light lunch. Dinner from 23 Traditional with some pretensions. Also inexpensive Lunches Haven't been for a while, but it was Ok last time.
Il Cappello About 10 and up Good range of plats, salads, pizza, pasta * desserts. All well done. A favorite. Nice ambience, good food & reasonable prices.
Au Rince Cochon Lunch menu about 14, Dinner around 23 Very nice food, good imagination & presentation. Liked it the one time we've been there. Will definitely go again.
La Corniche 20-30 Mix of tradition & imagination. Can be uneven, but always pretty good. Our last visit was great. We had a really nice Sunday lunch. Better than our expectations. Try again for sure
Le Moulin de Varen 25 + Traditional local dished done well plus some more imaginative attempts. New ownership & we haven't been. An unknown.
Les Jardines des Therms 25 + Very good cuisine well presented. Patio is the best place to eat. I liked the food a lot. Dining room a bit cavernous & staff willing, but not expert.
Le Saint-Mamet Lunch menu about 14€, Dinner around 23€ Nice, imaginative cuisine. Changing menu & a nice dining room Prefer lunch to dinner here, always good.
Fleur de Lotus Varies Range of Far Eastern cuisine. Good, nicely served. Dining room nice. Its good to have an alternative cuisine.
Eskualduna Lunch t 14, Dinner 23 Grilled beef & fish. Best beef in the area. Great 'salad' bar Really good beef is scarce, they have it here. Great ambience n
Delice du Portugal Lunch menu 14, Dinner 23 Portuguese specialties. Said to be good, but haven't tried it Must go, but the steak across the street keeps calling.
La Grange du Cros 12 Dinner! Including wine Good simple fare, nice host, nice ambience Haven't gotten in yet. Very busy. Friends all like it.
L'epicurien About 35 for dinner Very good & well done food. Highest quality in immediate area. Really good. Food, presentation, service all excellent
Le Vieux Pont Main Menu is 49 Can spend more THE best for miles around. 1 Michelin Star, but deserves more. A great eating experience Love this place. It has it all & does it without pretension. GO!
Les Gorges de l'Aveyron About 35 for dinner Pretty classic, but well done Haven't been so am going on reports
Le Clos Gourmand mid- 20's for dnner Nice local cusine in a pretty room enjoyed it the last time we were there.
Chez Danny Cheap, no more than 20 Eclectic. Can be very good. You just have to go & hope.
Ferme du Mas Monille inexpensive set meals Farmhouse + barbeque. I find it fun & food Ok. Linda not so keen.
Auberge de L'Hirondelle Inexpensive, but very good. Quality & presentation a cut above most. Highly recommended. Really excellent value.
Le Claux de la Bastide 15 weekdy lunch. Set menu at 24 Excellent. Very, very good. Only been once, but will go back. Had amazingly good beignets. Not sure if they do dinner.
Le Domaine du Cedre Lunch 18 Fairly classic, nice presentation. Simple, but good menu. Really good. We go here for lunch when playing golf. Always good.
Creperie du Chateau 15 dinner menu Crepes; simple local dishes, but very well prepared. Simple, good, views are great from the terrace.
La Bergerie 27€ for a 5 course dinner menu Superb! Great food served & presented beautifully. A bargan! For 33 you can get appropriate wine with each course. Try it!!
Restaurant de la Valle 12€ for lunch Quality & quantity very good. Lunch price includes wine & coffee. A cut above the other cheap lunch places. Very convienent from CDM.
Segalar 12-14 € for lunch. This is France! Really good, mainly locals, no d├ęcor, hard to find. Worth the effort. Great fun especially for Sunday lunch. People watching is a free extra.
Chez Sara Cheap, pizza less than 10 Cheap & cheerful. Good pizza's. Usually a plat de jour. Great place for kids & dogs. Grown ups will like the relaxed pace.