There’s a pick-up point for groceries a mere 3-minute detour off the road from Calais to the chateau. You order online and present a barcode on arrival, whereupon someone emerges from the depot with your shopping. Drive-thru — French style! The company is E.Leclerc Drive, part of the huge E.Leclerc co-operative group. The depot in question is their Leulinghem branch, about half an hour from Calais and ten minutes from the chateau.
You can see from the pictures that it’s not exactly glamorous, but we’ve tried it ourselves and found it very handy for ensuring that our first supplies of food are as fresh as can be. There is a second depot even closer to the chateau, at Blendecques, but that’s not on the way from Calais. Bear in mind you’ll need to know a bit of French to use their website.
Things to bring
The chateau is very well-equipped, but you might like to bring along some of the following:
- We supply everyone with a bath towel but if you plan to go to the seaside or use the paddling pool, please bring beach towels with you.
- We have plenty of tennis racquets to borrow but you might prefer to bring your own.
- If you get excited about coffee, and want to know what supplies to bring, we have a Nespresso machine and cafetières.
- Except in the summer, Wellington boots might be a good idea if you like country walks.
- Our bikes are all adult sizes — do bring bikes for your kids if they would enjoy cycling around.
It might be a good idea to check that none of your passports have expired — with a big group it can happen!
Do get in touch if you would like to arrange a local photographer to come and shoot either an organised portrait of everyone, or take informal pictures.