It's becoming an annual tradition, the three men jump in the back of a van heading south to escape, Dover is where it starts. It's the crossing to France, the country that will return us our liberties; for Grandad, Dad and I it's the time of year we stock up on booze!
Late November/Early December we make our way to Calais for no other reason than cheap wine. From London the journey is quick, 1 hour on the M20, 30 Minutes on the Eurostar and within 15 minutes we're at one of the largest supermarkets in Europe Carre Four, all for a tiny £23 for a car plus petrol.
The journey is so quick that the day then needs to be spent wisely, follow this itinerary and you won't go wrong:
7am: depart from Dover
8am: arrive at Carre Four
8.45am: shopping time
10.45am: coffee break
11am: head to specialist wine shops
1pm: lunch (baguette and wine)
1.30pm: walk around Calais town
3pm: coffee time
4pm: final wine store/duty free at Eurostar
5pm: return to Dover
This is a very easy days shopping trip and the savings that can be made are immense, especially when selecting wine, spirits and cheeses (cheese can be frozen without a problem).
I spend most my money in Carre Four, it has the best deal and everything in one place. I'm fact there are about 6-7 aisles with booze, imam always amazed and the special offers are usually immense. I have found prices to be 20-50% cheaper than London Upermarlts, so I definitely feel it's more than worth the trip.
In the last trip I spent €280 = £233, which consisted of 10 boxes of wine including 3x brut. That works out at just over £2 a bottle even with Brit at nearly €5 bottle each!!! That's why I love the booze cruise - each bottle I open I know it costs me half the price to one from a corner store!
Admittedly there's not much to Calais, but drive 3-4 hours south and you will be in Champagne. Check out my visit from last year for more details.
For £23 euro crossing, and about £50 in petrol, you make your money back easily in wine and have a fun day out! It's a must!