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France Guide

French Bed and Breakfast France

French Bed and Breakfast France

The concept of bed and breakfast was invented by the British who welcomed travellers into their homes and offered them a hearty breakfast the next morning to send them off on their travels again. Whilst the concept may be British, the French have certainly adopted it wholeheartedly and you will find a bed and breakfast in France just as welcoming as in the UK, only in France it is called a chambre d'hôte (literally "host's bedroom").

It is strange that two countries with such polar opposite philosophies on the art of making breakfast could both, nevertheless, become proficient in furnishing their guests with a sublime feast in the morning. The typical English breakfast consists of sausage, bacon, eggs, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, hash browns, cereal, fruit juice, and either coffee or the obligatory cuppa. In France, breakfast is usually a less laboured affair with a tartine (baguette), croissants, brioche, or pancakes served with jam and butter, fruit juice and a cup of famous French coffee. This is only the basic recipe for a French breakfast, however; don't be surprised if you are offered a huge spread of cheese, pâté, ham, eggs, yoghurt and fruit as well!

The hosts may offer you dinner as well as breakfast, and if you do decide to take this option it can be a good way of relaxing and chatting to the hosts at the end of their busy day whilst enjoying a good home cooked meal en famille.

There is a great choice of bed and breakfast hosts in France, from the humble farmhouse to the magnificent mansion or château. The welcome you receive is one of a family friend, enthusiastic and affable, and the hosts are usually more than happy to discuss their region with you, giving you insider information about what tourist sites are interesting, and what lies off the beaten track. Make full use of this resource as no guide book can ever reproduce such detail or honesty. Whether you want to know which local restaurants to frequent (or avoid!), when the market is on, or how to get to a local attraction, your host will prove an invaluable source of information. Bear in mind, however, that at the busiest times of year the host may not have as much spare time to discuss these things at length with you and so this kind of contact is more usual in off peak seasons.

On average, the cost of a night at a bed and breakfast in France is between €40 and €70, based on two people sharing and including breakfast. The equivalent amount of money would get you a mid range hotel room, but without the charm and authenticity of staying in a chambre d'hôte.