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What to do in France under COVID-19 lockdown

A bit of a surreal set of circumstances to find oneself in, but as you may have seen on Instagram I am confined to my French home for fifteen days as part of the French government’s approach to tackling the COVID-19 coronavirus. If you, like me, are wondering what to do in France under COVID-19 lockdown, do read on.

The newly decorated kitchen and office of our French home
The newly decorated kitchen and office of our French home

My husband and I are both fortunate enough to be able to work from home during this period and we have plenty of food, wine (!!) and toilet roll (!!!) thanks to our routine of shopping once a month. Perhaps through frugality – not wanting to spend at shops each week, nor on the not insignificant amount of fuel our very uneconomical car uses to get there and back – we are the original doomsday preppers (which if you haven’t watched on Netflix or elsewhere, I highly recommend, taken with a pinch of salt…)

So I’m sitting here in our newly painted kitchen on day two of this enforced nationwide rest, and looking for ways to spend my day. We had a conversation this morning about how useful it would have been to have had our chickens by now – reader, full disclosure: we don’t yet have them because we have not wanted to get up on the cold, dark mornings to let them out – now, as we keenly monitor our egg supply, we’re regretting not acting sooner.

A smallholding seems like a good idea right now!

This led me onto thinking of what other kinds of smallholding-type activities we could begin during this period, and an obvious one for us was always going to be to have a good go at filling the potager.

What to do in France under COVID-19 lockdown
A few select volumes from my recipe book collection.

Thankfully, I had already bought our seed potatoes for this year and they were sitting unloved in our chaufferie room, so I have released them into their trays for chitting – not that they much need it, some are ready to walk! So a task for me will be getting them into the ground. If you too are looking for some tips on growing some veg to occupy yourself through this unsettling time ça tombe bien because I currently have an article in Living France Magazine April 2020 edition which describes this very thing. If you see it, do let me know what you think of it and my fetching leopard print gardening gloves…

My copy of "Retrouver le goût de la nature. 140 recettes de campagne" which I received for Christmas after falling in love with my library loan.
My copy of “Retrouver le goût de la nature. 140 recettes de campagne” which I received for Christmas after falling in love with my library loan.

What we’re doing indoors

Inside the house, I am thinking it’s time to tackle last year’s glut of pears, apples, peaches and grapes which are patiently waiting in our chaufferie room freezers for me to get a wriggle on. At some point last year I borrowed a beautiful book from our village library called “Retrouver le goût de la nature. 140 recettes de campagne” by Camille Le Foll. It has so many sweet traditional French recipes to try, many of which use foraged items from the abundant French countryside. Plus it’s in French, so a good opportunity to practice your vocabulary. It’s a really tactile book, with a woven cover and various types of paper stock inside, the photography is fantastic. I really could not recommend it more as a gift, or for yourself since we will all be looking for ways to occupy ourselves or our families. I’m very grateful that my husband bought me a copy for Christmas, as I had to give up renewing it at our local library and depriving our neighbours of its loveliness.

The latest copy of Living France magazine April 2020 with my Frugal France column
The latest copy of Living France magazine April 2020 with my Frugal France column

When it comes to what I’ll be doing in France under COVID-19 lockdown, aside from recipe trawling, I’ll be reading my own copy of Living France in the garden – with a gin and tonic before too long I would hazard – and will maybe even venture out with Margot for a government-sanctioned walk using one of my Attestation de déplacement forms (I’ll include a link below in case you too need it). I hope you’re all keeping well and virus-free wherever you are, and if you’re in confinement like us please do share how you’re spending your time in the comments. I feel as though by day eleven I’m going to need some ideas!


*As an Amazon Associate clicking my Amazon links earns me a small amount from qualifying purchases, this does not increase the cost of your item and is hugely appreciated, thank you!

2 Comments

  1. Karen @maisondelabastide
    March 19, 2020 / 1:48 am

    Looks a lovely book so ordered a 2nd hand one on Amazon. Not sure when it will arrive with the lockdown but looking forward to looking through the recipes. Thanks for the recommendation.

    • March 19, 2020 / 8:54 am

      Ah glad you found one! I don’t think you’ll regret it, it’s a pleasure to flick through 👍

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