The Lou Messugo Blog - life in the south of France from a British/Australian TCK's perspective, bringing you French culture, travel on the Côte d'Azur and beyond, expat issues and a little bit of je ne sais quoi all mixed up with a hefty dose of photography.

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Reasons to book a self-catering gîte holiday at Lou Messugo - Part 3

Welcome back again to the 3rd part of why I think you should take a self-catering gîte holiday, and not just any self-catering holiday, but one here at Lou Messugo on the Côte d'Azur.  If you haven't already read Parts 1 and 2, where I talked about the large amounts of outdoor and indoor space available and the value this provides, I suggest you do by clicking on the links.

outdoor dining at Lou Messugo gîte

Self-catering, is it really a holiday?

Many people I speak to who haven’t taken a self-catering holiday before mention that being on holiday they don’t like the idea of having to cook and clean up.  My answer to this is that you are on holiday, there’s no need to slave over complicated meals but make the most of the local markets and speciality shops (as well as supermarkets) which France is so good at.  You’ll all know about France’s wonderful boulangeries but do you know about its “traiteurs”?  A traiteur literally translated is a caterer but don’t think big events, think everyday meals, think more along the lines of a deli counter. 

ready made meals at the traiteurMost butchers are also traiteurs where you can find freshly prepared meals and dishes varying from salads to lasagna, local specialities and favourites like paëlla.  The choice changes daily and everything is made on the premises, these are not packaged ready-meals high in evil additives.  In the markets you’ll also find grilled chickens, charcuterie (pork cold cuts), cheese, bread, dips, nibbles etc.   Personally I adore going to foreign shops and markets when on holiday, in fact it’s one of the first things I do; it gives you a great insight into what’s important to the local population.  Choosing and buying foreign products is never the same chore as doing the weekly shop at home, believe me!

French epicerie

Eating out or eating in

So there really is no need to spend much time cooking if you don’t want to and of course there’s nothing stopping you from eating out.  In our local town there are about 10 different restaurants, all walking distance, offering fine French dining, pizza, burgers, bistro-style dining, crêpes, sushi and even Thai food.  (And more choice than you could possibly ever need in the surrounding area). What you do get with self-catering however, which to my mind is the crunch factor, is the choice to not have to eat out every meal which particularly with kids makes for a cheaper and often less stressful holiday.  You know you can feed your children on food they’ll eat without having to battle the minefield of unfamiliar menus and flavours.

wine in French supermarketRemember that wine bought in the supermarket is massively cheaper than restaurants meaning either that you can drink superior quality or just plain more – quality or quantity, ideal really!  At Lou Messugo we provide a large barbecue which our guests love using, making most of the quiet balmy evenings in the comfort of their own place.  The children can run around and play while the adults linger, something not often possible in restaurants.  As for clearing up, well there is a dish washer, and it’s a small price to pay for the many advantages of eating in.

barbecue at Lou Messugo gîte

The personal touch of hosts on site

So we come to the “personal touch”:  let’s look at the benefits of staying in a gîte with hosts on site.  We are able to advise on the best places to visit, eat, shop, walk, ski, sail, cycle…whatever. We are a very active family and have lived in the area since 2007 so we know it well.  When we arrived we had a toddler, now we have a teenager (not the same child!) which means we’ve covered activities and places to go with pretty much all ages of children.  We are bilingual and are happy to help with any language issues whether it’s a simple restaurant, taxi or activity reservation or an emergency situation.  We are immediately on hand for any problems should they arise.  But despite being around for help, don’t worry we are very discreet.  We are here if you want/need us, but won’t impact on your holiday if you don’t.  You get all the benefits of holidaying in a private home without any of the inconveniences.    

romantic occasions to celebrate at Lou Messugo

We have travelled plenty with our kids, staying in all sorts of accommodation but preferring by far the self-catering option.   We can understand your needs and offer personalised and personal advice from a local perspective.  If you have a special occasion to celebrate, just let us know and we'll make sure it's memorable (for all the right reasons!)  Over the years we've had honeymooners, a silver wedding anniversary, 60th, 70th and 80th birthdays and plenty of other important dates.  We also know of one baby conceived here!

breakfast on the terrace at Lou Messugo gite

For plenty of ideas for what to do in the area now that you know more about the gîte itself do have a good look through the blog, especially the categories Provence-Côte d’Azur, Annual Local Events, and Activities, Walks, Beaches & Day Trips.  You’ll also find information on my Pinterest boards and Facebook page. I hope I’ve convinced you to get in touch for a quote.  We are open all year and have a minimum stay of 3 nights except for July and August when it’s a week, Saturday to Saturday.  We sleep up to 4 people but if you want to holiday here in a big group of up to 11 we rent out the whole house (our home) every summer for a few weeks mid July to mid August.  But that’s a subject for another post!

lavender bank

What do you think about self-catering gîtes?  Come and give us a go!

Read Part 1 here

Read Part 2 here

PIN it for later!

Lou Messugo gîte holiday home Côte dAzur



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  • Guest Thursday, 12 May 2016

    Ooooh, looks amazing. France is a great country to self cater isn't it?

  • Guest
    Phoebe Thursday, 12 May 2016

    Yes it sure is, with all the markets, and high quality food available it's ideal.

  • Guest
    Nichola - Globalmouse Thursday, 12 May 2016

    Ah it looks beautiful! We are big fans of self catering too, perfect for family holidays.

  • Guest
    Phoebe Thursday, 12 May 2016

    Too true Nichola.

  • Guest
    cass Saturday, 07 May 2016

    We'd love to do this at some point - your gite looks beautiful x x

  • Guest
    Phoebe Thursday, 12 May 2016

    Thanks Cass!

  • Guest
    Emma | The Mini Mes and Me Friday, 06 May 2016

    We quite often go self catering when abroad, the heat makes me lose my appetite and we can be more flexible with when we have meals. It looks lovely here! x

  • Guest
    Phoebe Sunday, 15 May 2016

    Flexibility is a great word for self-catering, you're absolutely right Emma.

  • Guest
    Jen Thursday, 05 May 2016

    We LOVE self-catering in France. The husbeast would quite happily live on bread, cheese, meats and wine! We are off to the Dordogne (new area for us) at the half term

  • Guest
    Phoebe Sunday, 08 May 2016

    I hope you enjoy the Dordogne...and then make the Côte d'Azur your next destination Jen!

  • Guest
    Steph Curtis Thursday, 05 May 2016

    We much prefer self-catering, and it's lovely to get a personal insight and touch when on holiday. When we have some more money available I'll definitely look into this!

  • Guest
    Phoebe Sunday, 08 May 2016

    That's great to hear Steph :)

  • Guest
    Kara Thursday, 05 May 2016

    I love the look of your gite as had a nose when we were staying with Rosie but sadly its too small for us :0(

  • Guest
    Phoebe Friday, 06 May 2016

    Oh no that's a shame Kara. Perhaps a romantic couple getaway one day?

  • Guest
    Helen Thursday, 05 May 2016

    We love self-catering - it's the only time I let my husband cook, so he enjoys the change too! I've only just discovered traiteurs - what a wonderful thing, and a great way to discover the local food without restaurant prices.

  • Guest
    Phoebe Sunday, 08 May 2016

    Very valid point Helen, you do get to try local cuisine without the restaurant prices, well said!

  • Guest
    JuggleMum, Nadine Hill Wednesday, 04 May 2016

    I love going to foreign supermarkets too. Buying food abroad is always such an adventure whereas it is just another 'to do' when you're at home!

  • Guest
    Phoebe Sunday, 08 May 2016

    You hit the nail on the head Nadine!

  • Lindapenman
    Lindapenman Saturday, 06 February 2016

    As a past guest I can certainly recommend this wonderful gite. It's proximity to both the coast and the mountains is one of its many attractions if you want to explore. Comfort is a given. Standards are very high. The welcome basket was thoughtfully chosen. We went in February and still were able to eat on the patio occasionally even though we found snow when we ventured into the higher countryside. We would love to go back and enjoy the pool facility which we could see would be a real bonus. Phoebe and her family were completely charming and on hand when needed to offer local insight. As a provider of self catering accommodation myself in the UK I really appreciated the thoughtful touches.

  • Guest
    Phoebe Thursday, 11 February 2016

    Thanks Linda, this really means a lot to me knowing you also run a holiday cottage. I hope you do come back one day we loved having you and your parents here.

  • Guest
    Ruth Tuesday, 26 January 2016

    As a former guest, both with and without children, I think you're almost too apologetic about the "self-promotion"! It's a wonderful place and what you write encapsulates it perfectly! - absolutely NOT marketing cover-up in any way! The garden really IS that huge, you really ARE completely unaware of the house above and I can confirm that the selection of rose wine in the local Intermarche really IS that large! Works for us....! I can also confirm that the quality of everything you offer is absolutely top-notch, so the toys and games, for example, are not just shabby, half-complete junk (like in doctors' waiting rooms) but clean and complete, and none of the crockery is chipped or cracked. We loved it there!

  • Guest
    Phoebe Tuesday, 26 January 2016

    Thank you Ruth, it's great to get such resoundingly positive feedback and thanks for pointing out those little details like the toys. You're absolutely right of course, we provide high quality clean fun toys and check regularly for broken lost parts and replace when necessary. Ditto the crockery.

  • Guest
    Sally Friday, 22 January 2016

    Before I stayed at Lou Messugo, booked through friends, I hadn't heard of a 'gite' before. It is definitely an easy and cost effective option. I've frequently been back and enjoyed exploring the south of France, which I probably wouldn't have done otherwise thinking it would be too expensive. Also easy for weekend getaways because bad weather is so rare. Shhhhhh. Don't tell everyone ;).

  • Guest
    Phoebe Monday, 25 January 2016

    You're right Sally, the Côte d'Azur can be a very expensive place if you don't have insider knowledge like ours and a great value place to stay. And it's true we really do have a lovely climate!

  • Guest
    corinna Friday, 22 January 2016

    I am hungry just thinking about the delicious options, both self catering and eating out!

  • Guest
    Phoebe Monday, 25 January 2016

    There are so many options, it is one of the joys of self-catering!

  • Guest
    Richard Friday, 22 January 2016

    You're dead right about the special "advisory service" that you and J-F offer. We'll be using it for the fourth or fifth time again in May. Looking forward.....!

  • Guest
    Phoebe Monday, 25 January 2016

    So good to hear Richard. Very pleased you're coming back again :)

  • Guest
    Lydia Friday, 22 January 2016

    Just found you through Twitter and LOVE what I'm seeing. I've read the other 2 blogs and will be showing my OH later and feel sure I'll be back in touch soon!

  • Guest
    Phoebe Friday, 22 January 2016

    Oh how lovely Lydia, I really hope to hear from you again soon. Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions

  • Guest
    Lydia Tuesday, 26 January 2016

    I've sent you a message... :):):)

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