August 3, 2011

Surviving Summer in the South of France - 10 Things You Should Know

Our Village

1) It's HOT.
You probably already knew that, right?
Well, you'd be surprised by how many people come here and are shocked by how intense the heat can be in June, July and August.

2) Air conditioning is a luxury.
A good fan is worth its weight in gold.


3) Ice is not plentiful.
Order a drink in a café and you'll get one cube, two if you're lucky.
Unless you order Pastis. Then you'll get a small bucketful.

4) Fruit and vegetables are ripe when you buy them.
Purchase only what you will consume in a day or two. Ditto for cheese.

Reine-Claude plums

5) Walking around in a bathing suit or short shorts is tacky.
Unless you are at the beach. If so, ignore this tip.

6) Rosé is your friend.
As are salads, gazpacho, ham, olives, pâté, tubs of ice cream and sorbet, cheese and basically anything that doesn't require turning on an oven.
Or, you could always do all of your cooking to the balcony or in the garden, if you have one.

Paella and Tabasco

7) Embrace the siesta. 
A nap in a cool room with the shutters closed and a fan blowing is the best way to spend the afternoon. It's simply too hot to do anything else.

8) Find a friend with a swimming pool.
And ply them with gifts.
Your goal: an open invitation.

Sunday lunch

9) Get up early and get any errands run before the heat of the day hits. 
Of course, most places don't open until 9am, but at least you can enjoy some time at the café in the cool of the morning while you wait for the shops to open.  
See tip #7.

10) Slather on the sunscreen.
You wouldn't believe how quickly you'll get burned to a crisp down here. Pin It
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