Style secrets of the French by Casilda Grigg
The French in London tell me there are certain products they can’t live without: boudin noir (a traditional sausage, often served with apples), their own brands of children’s biscuits and breakfast cereals, those clever little ready-made sauces for meat and fish.
I’m tipped off about Chanteroy, a French company that not only supplies croissants to the child prodigies at the Saturday music school in Parsons Green that I’ve blogged about, but sends vans to France every day to fetch food from suppliers in Calais, Brittany and southwest France. Homesick expats across most London postcodes (as well as most of the TWs and quite a few KTs) can order home delivery of everything from brioche to jambon blanc (sadly wine is not available). According to my spies, Chanteroy is ‘slightly more expensive than Ocado but very good value.’
Chanteroy has now gone and published its website in English. As far as I can see the translators have done an excellent job – lots of lovely French words like viennoiserie have survived the purge. The new site has also had a redesign. The layout is simpler and clearer – and it’s been revamped in the colours of the French flag which is not nearly as bad as it sounds.
‘We’ve been thinking of doing it for years,’ says a spokesperson for Chanteroy. ‘The shelves in France and England are very different and we’d had lots of comments from English people saying they couldn’t use our website because it wasn’t in English.’
A glance at Chanteroy‘s new website throws up unusual biscuits and jams from Bonne Maman, compotes in every flavour, yogurts from La Laitière (a bestselling product), whole seabass for £9.95 a kilo and cheeses of every description, including several goat’s cheeses coated in ash. Only the toiletries seem a bit lacklustre – where are all those wonderful niche French products? Why is there no handcream?
The company requires 48 hours notice and delivers in two hour slots (minimum orders £35). There is no delivery cost.
If you have a question or want to place a telephone order with Chanteroy, Marine speaks good English (with a charming French accent) on 020 8772 0660.