It’s not always easy to keep up with the French way of life. Here are our best advice to enjoy your vacations while in France.

If you’ve ever been in France before, but in a big town, it’s good to know that this is a more rural region. Consequently, the local population mostly lives in very small villages. Some of them are even under 100 inhabitants. This very quiet life has a lot of advantages, but you’ll quickly noticed that a car is indispensable to be able to come and go on as you wish or get to the closest town, supermarket, restaurant, or concert hall. Our lovely villages are the perfect spots to disconnect from your daily routine: surrounded by fields or woods, our countryside lifestyle invites you to enjoy the moment. Once you’re more familiar with the local lifestyle, we have no doubt that you’ll be enjoying your daily life here in no time.

Why are shops and services closed?

It might be for two reasons. First, you should note that, generally, in France, most of the local shops and services are closed on Sundays and Mondays.
However supermarkets are open, even on Sundays mornings for most of them.

The other reason is because today might be a bank holiday. There are no rules about opening or not during a bank holiday. Most of the shops and public services will be closed. However, some touristic places might be open. We recommend you give a call or check online for each place you’d like to visit, just to be sure to not end up in front of closed gates.

French bank holidays

During the spring/summer season, there are several bank holidays:

EASTER WEEKEND & EASTER MONDAY : this is a three-day long weekend. If most of the touristic places such as museums and monuments will be open, on the opposite, shops and public services won’t. Some supermarkets might open until noon but won’t be open all day long as usual.  Please note that Easter weekend dates vary each year.

LABOUR DAY, on May the 1st : 99% of people have their day off. Consequently shops, services, touristic attractions, and restaurants are very likely to be closed.

V.E. DAY, on May 8th : to celebrate the end of the World War Two.

ASCENSION DAY & the PENTECOST weekend : both are bank holiday weekends in May and June. Due to the calendar, the dates change every year.

BASTILLE DAY : on July 14th : this day is directly related to the French Revolution Era. Most people would say that Bastille Day commemorates the day when the people have taken the fortress of the Bastille in Paris on July 14th of 1789, but it isn’t entirely true. This episode of the French Revolution is indeed, one of the most symbolic but, truth is Bastille Day is related to the Fête de la Fédération that happened a year later, on July 14th, 1790, in presence of the King. It’s only in 1880 that July 14th has officially been chosen as the National Day. Nowadays, even the smallest village of France celebrates Bastille Day. Among the many traditions, you are most likely to attend a torchlight procession, an outdoor ball and fireworks displays on the night before and a giant community picnic or street parties on July 14th.


You might have noticed that some of the French bank holidays are related to the Bible. Even though France has been a non-religious country since 1905, the calendar has kept some old traditions, including Christian bank holidays.

How do I know when I can go to the restaurant?

French people usually lunch between 12:00 and 14:00 and have dinner between 19:00 and 20:30. Consequently, restaurants are open at these same times.Likewise, we recommend you make a reservation to be sure to get a table.

Our local restaurants

i need a doctor

I need a doctor or medications. Where should I go?

If you are feeling unwell while in France, here’s what you should know about the health system.
In France, most medicine are only available with a prescription from a doctor. Consequently, if you need medicine such as antibiotics, cortisone, or insulin for instance, you’ll need to get an appointment with a GP first. Please note that, as the UK is no longer part of the EU, doctors can ask you to pay for the consultation. Please check before travelling if and what your health insurance covers while travelling abroad.

As Sunday is a day off in France, not all GP and pharmacies are open. The emergy GP and chemist could be several kilometres away from your residence. In case of emergency, the closest ER are at the hospitals of Soissons (25 min. drive) and Compiègne (35 min. drive).