November 2, 2011

CLOSED ON MONDAYS

I actually find it strangely quaint and reassuring that so much of France is closed on Mondays.

Living in the UK where all retail outlets are open the maximum number of hours legally allowed, so as not to miss an opportunity to sell you something, I rather like the feeling that our little part of France is still immersed in the 1950’s or 60’s and that you have to plan your shopping accordingly.

For example, the butcher is open all day Saturday until 7pm and Sunday mornings until lunchtime but closed on Mondays.  The boulangerie is closed on Mondays but bakes the bread which is sold at the Spa shop.  Most places are closed for at least two hours for lunch, including the supermarkets.

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Hence we had a bit of a challenge when we wanted go out to lunch with friends and the only day they could manage was a Monday.  Most restaurants are closed on Mondays but we dropped lucky and went to “Le Croissant” in Ligueil.

croissant2During the week they do the typical working lunch, with several courses including wine for a set amount.  We have eaten such lunches many times all over France and they vary from extremely good value to extremely scary and almost inedible.

At Le Croissant we were lucky.  Monday was turkey steak day.

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Every week seems to be the same – the dish of the day - plat du jour – is determined by the day of the week that you eat there.

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The restaurant was cheerfully decorated in a home-spun fashion and the proprietor was helpful and friendly.  The food was good and definitely falls into the good value category rather than scary.  Although that could definitely depend in the day of the week !!

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croissant5The buffet starter looked home-made rather than bulk-purchased, which was nice.  I can’t remember what it cost exactly but even with extra wine and a really nice coffee afterwards, it didn’t break the bank.

We will certainly be returning ……. but possibly on a Friday – the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday menus are a bit too scary for us.

What would be your favourite day of the week ?? !!

13 comments:

  1. Hello:
    We should, in all probability, avoid Thursday's head of veal!!

    As you, we rather welcome anywhere where the shops are not, as is increasingly the case in Britain, open 24/7. Here almost everything closes around midday on Saturday not to reopen until Monday morning. We rather like it.

    Your lunch place in, as you describe a somewhat homespun way, looks rather splendid and would certainly be somewhere we should be pleased to go.

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  2. I'm not sure, but by experience, I think the menu changes every week, but is pre-set from Monday on. Friday will always feature fish, or mussels or seafood, according to the old catholic tradition. Langue de Boeuf can be very nice when it is served in a spicy Madeira-tomato sauce with mushrooms. You should try it! Believe me!! :) Martine

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  3. Moules frites looks good :-) Not too keen on tongue or tete de veau --Sorry Martine.

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  4. Jane and Lance - I would definitley recommend it.

    Marttine - you could be right - next time I am in Ligeuil I will check if the menu is still the same for each day.

    We did have langue de boeuf once elsewhere and it was positively horrid, which has put us off trying again. I suppose that like most things, it will be good or bad depending on who's cooking it !!

    Niall and Antoinette - we love moules so it is on our list for a future visit. The Tuesday paupiette can be scary - we had that once before in the south of France and it turned out to be mutton cooked in a tripe parcel. Very horrid !!

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  5. Nothing there that is scaring me, although I wouldn't choose to eat tete de veau - too rich and sauce gribiche too vinegary.

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  6. As for the paupiette de chef, I'm sure they only serve that once. Then it's off to find a new chef...

    Oh, sorry. It's paupiette DU chef. LOL!

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  7. at least you know where you are when EVERYTHING is shut

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  8. I don't know what my favorite day of the week would be, but I too would definitely avoid Thursday's head of veal. Here in Sevilla, most places are closed Sunday and we haven't quite figured out Mondays yet. Mostly open it seems, but unpredictable hours.

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  9. We have fun telling our guests who want to take advantage of cheap bus ride from Le Grand Pressigny to Tours (3.40 return!) they should be aware that a lot of shops shut on Mondays,national monuments close on Tuesdays,the bus doesn't go on Wednesdays - best make it Thursday or Friday -unless of course it a public holiday!!!

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  10. I am finding that a lot more places are open on Monday around here than used to be. The bank though of course is closed as is the Coop and furniture shops. We also have places open during the lunch hour now that never used to be when we moved here first! Diane

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  11. The rule of thumb when finding a good lunchtime restaurant is to look for the one with the most artisan's vans.

    Word gets around about which places offer the best food and value for money.

    It works a treat.

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  12. Susan - you're very brave !!

    Walt - it sounds a bit chewy to me !!

    John - exactly. Except that they do vary so you have to have local knowledge.

    Mitch - the unpredictability is what makes it so....interesting.

    Jim - that's cheap - I had no idea. Must try that some time soon - on a Friday of course - wouldn't like to miss market day in the village !!

    Diane - I can't see it going as far as in the UK, which would be a shame.

    SP - great tip !!

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  13. You do ask some challenging questions! Chez moi every day!

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