It goes without saying, the French do food very well! Most villages have at least a bakery for your morning croissants, lunchtime baguette and afternoon cakes etc. Small towns will generally have a butcher, chemist and small supermarket too.
If you’re going for a week or more it’s worth taking a couple of hours out of your bouldering schedule and stock up at one of the big supermarkets. The biggest one, and I mean huge, is the Carrefour up near Villier-en-Biere not too far north from Bas Cuvier. Here’s a link to it on Google maps. It has everything you could ever want and some! NOTE: The majority of French shops are closed on a Sunday and a lot of smaller shops in towns and villages will close at lunchtime too.
There are numerous places to eat out in mosts towns as well as various take-aways and the usual fast food outlets so you’ll never go hungry.
A visit to the local outdoor markets is highly recommended, as you can discover and taste the local food and other specialties from traditional French terroir and cuisine, to the more recent microbreweries.
Besides Fontainebleau and Milly-la Forêt (Thursday afternoon, not usual!), you can find some markets in smaller villages. More information on the links below:
Additionally, if you have time, maybe on a rainy day, you can explore some local producers:
If you like your beer, here’s a couple of the best breweries in Font worth checking out: Biosarde and Pachamama brewery.
There’s a great little bakery in Recloses, Au Coeur de la Mie, offering all organic products, local cheeses, beer etc with a lovely terrace for breakfast. Well worth a visit. It also has an apartment for 6 above the bakery if you want a short walk to collect your morning croissant!
There’s a great, relatively new, place opened by a group of local climbers which is worth checking out – http://la-grange.cafe/ It has pretty much all that you need from a food/drink perspective along with concerts and even a small climbing wall for rainy days.
...out of chalk
There’s an outdoor shop in Fontainebleau called S’cape that will solve all your gear needs or you can visit the new indoor wall that’s opened up in Fontainebleau called Karma that also has a shop. Or if you happen to be out at the Carrefour mentioned above, there’s also a Decathalon right next to it that has a small climbing section but all the essentials.
If you’re needing your shoes re-soled you can leave them at Karma before Thursday and you’ll get them back within a week.
...soften the landing
There are quite a few places to hire a mat in Font: S’cape, Karma, www.thehouse.fr, Fontainebl’hostel and Camping Ile de Boulancourt (8€ for one day, 15€ for two days and 25€ a week) all rent pads, as does the Pizzaria in Arbonne La Forêt, randomly.