But what's this? Onions and shallots from Roscoff in Brittany alongside the gastronomic delights of Surrey and Sussex? Surely not? Don't tell Margaret Beckett, but the tasty product from across the Channel, which was once pedalled around Britain by France's famous Onion Johnies on dilapidated bikes, went down well with the visitors. Mind you, I couldn't miss overhearing several furious Brits muttering that we were "supporting the bloody Frogs at a time when they were still banning our beef." It was a good job the NFU's fiercely patriotic president Ben Gill wasn't there to see it. There would have been a riot. The four-day break also gave our team of newshounds the chance to remind themselves of what it's like out there in the real world for longer than just a weekend. One hack, who usually does his shopping online, was heard moaning on his return: "It was absolute hell! I went to my local Tesco Express to buy a pizza on Sunday evening and you should have seen it. The tailbacks in the aisles were longer than a Russian bread queue. That's the last time I do the shopping myself." His colleague, meanwhile, rubbed it in by reporting that her local Sainsbury's had been "virtually empty" on Monday afternoon. Messrs Leahy and Davis are probably doing their sums right now! {{COUNTERPOINT }}