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The Ultimate French-Inspired Gift Guide


Bonjour my Francophile readers, I had fun selecting some French-inspired gift items for you. Some are humorous and totally cliché (although truthfully I really wouldn’t mind an authentic Laulhere HeritageBérêt in my favorite color Fushia 🙂 some truly celebrate the Made in France artisans, others are more practically French, and still some are just deliciously luxuriously French.

You’ll find ideas for your Francophile French-loving friends, your dinner party hostess, your co-worker, your sweetheart or chéri(e), your newborn baby, niece, nephew or grandchild, your favorite Chef, etc… I hope you’ll like them and feel free to browse through.

 The Ultimate French-Inspired Gift Guide

 

French-Inspired Cliché Gifts

This is a fun stereotype selection of cliché gifts for the true Francophile (Some items are hilarious and I wouldn’t mind having them too 🙂

 

 

Made in France Gifts  

This selection of items is specifically Made in France items to promote French savoir-faire and sustain our French Heritage and economy. Most are old traditional French Houses or Maisons that represent the best of France’s artisanship. (more to come on that!)

 

10 Classic French Perfumes

A selection of 10 classic men and women French fragrances for your chéri(e) ❤ from the best French Maison de Parfums from Grasse, France

 

French Gifts for Bébé

Some truly French-inspired baby gifts for the little ones (it’s never too early to have French flair and style:)

 

 

5 Items to Bring Out Your Inner French Chef

So put on your apron and pour yourself a nice glass of wine and let’s get cooking! Your inner French Chef is ready!

 

…and the list goes on, I think there’s something for everyone all year long and I enjoyed creating these French-inspired gift suggestions items for you.

Merci les amis and happy gift-giving 🙂

 

The Art of French Gift-Giving


There is an art of gift-giving in France,  faire un cadeau is an exquisite art built in the French lifestyle, etiquette, and savoir-vivre. For example, it is still considered lacking manners to show up at someone’s house as a guest “Les mains vides” or empty-handed without a little something to bring for the hostess: a bouquet of flowers (avoid chrysanthemums which are for funerals, red roses for lovers, and carnations considered bad luck)  a good bottle of wine, liquor or champagne, a box of fancy chocolates, or some bonbons or pâtes de fruits for the children of the house.

BYOB is maybe accepted with the younger generations for a BBQ for example, but I have yet to see a guest bring his own bottle of his or her favorite drink to consume as a guest in a French home.  That would be plain rude and would surely raise a few disapproving eyebrows. A good bottle of wine or champagne to share at apéritif is always a good idea.

The French customs of offering gifts or purchasing gifts has an old school and modern approach. I personally think that the French art of gift-giving is more subtle and thoughtful than the casual gift-giving in the US.  For example, a gift from a close friend is usually a well thought out gift, often time a little treasure that will be cherished and kept for a long time, like a pair of unique artisanal earrings, or a keepsake like a leather Paris Agenda (like the one I received from one of my Belgian friend living in Paris.) I also fondly remember that little red leather manicure set which my best childhood friend offered to me when I was ten years old as a farewell gift on the eve of the trip to America.

Overall,  gifts in France have a very personal and traditional connotation unless it’s business work-related or for a specific function. A gift is a gesture of appreciation, love, and comes from the heart to please the other person. *** Attention, SVP do not give your sweetheart perfumed soap as a gift as this is an item that the French consider more generic and for older members like your sweet auntie. (of course, Savon de Marseille has become quite a fancy popular go to luxurious item now in the US)

In general, in France there is not a specific ritual of gift-giving, and gifts are not always expected aside from traditional events such as a graduation, a promotion, a thank you gift, a baptism, a wedding, or an end of year gift. The holiday season is such an occasion to be more gift oriented than other times of the year but I have noticed that French gifts are mostly filled with sentimental value compared to the monetary value. For instance, a son may give his mother as a special gift her traditional expensive French Perfume, or his dad his favorite old aged Armagnac but most gifts are more practical and thoughtful of the person’s likes and personality.

I’ll always remember how one Christmas as a little girl, our adoptive US grandma came to spend the holidays at our apartment. She was quite wealthy and I remember fantasizing about all the gifts we would probably receive. Instead, I learned and was reminded of an important lesson. It is not about the value of the gift but the thought! That year Grandma Lynne gave both my sister and me a red stocking filled with mandarins and nuts, a memory I will always treasure and a tradition now in our home.

French elegance and lifestyle are in the details, and I remember how for Christmas Eve or Le Réveillon de Noel, for example, we would place a little token gift wrapped with gold or silver ribbons in the guests’ plates en cadeau d’assiette , or how we would leave our slippers or chaussons the French version of the Christmas stockings under the tree for Saint Nicolas our French Père Noel.  (But more to come on these traditions in an upcoming post.)

If you’re looking for some inspiration for a last-minute French-inspired gift idea you may want to check out The Ultimate French-Inspired Gift Guide 

Joyeuses fêtes!

 

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Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé! 2019


Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!

It’s that time of year again, Beaujolais Nouveau has arrived! The 3rd Thursday of November at exactly 12:01 AM marks the launch of the newly harvested wine the French call “Beaujolais Nouveau”  just in time to enjoy and celebrate with the  Thanksgiving meal!

In the US, the most popular Beaujolais Nouveau is George Duboeuf! Georges Duboeuf and family is a premium producer of award-winning French wines from the Beaujolais and Mâconnais regions of Burgundy and the South of France. His company, Les Vins Georges Duboeuf, brings to the market wines renowned for their quality and value. They work closely with hundreds of small family winegrowers to procure the highest quality fruit throughout the region, as well as export many small Chateau and Estate-produced wines that would otherwise not be able to bring their wines to the US.  Les Vins Georges Duboeuf is imported by Quintessential Wines, based in Napa, California.

This year’s winner for the 2019 Annual George Dubeouf Beaujolais Nouveau Label Competition is Laura Runge a Texas-born artist from Dallas.

Beaujolais Nouveau 2019.jpg

Beaujolais Nouveau is a fun unpretentious young wine bottled just 6-8 weeks after harvest to be enjoyed immediately and lightly chilled.  Made from the Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc grape known as Gamay from the Beaujolais AOC – Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée region, it is fresh, fruity and vibrant.  The tradition of Nouveau began when the winemakers and growers of the Beaujolais region celebrated the end of harvest with a young wine that was initially only produced for local consumption.

Cheers ! kelsey-knight-udj2tD3WKsY-unsplash

Tchin ! Tchin! À la vôtre!

Fun Selection Wine Items Just For You

and 

Excellent Wine Coolers Selection

 

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Beaujolais Long sleeve
Beaujolais Long Sleeve
French Bistro Wine Glass
French Bistro Wine Glasses 
Laguiole Waiter's Corkscrew
Laguiole Waiter’s Corkscrew
Beaujolais Tshirt
Beaujolais T-Shirt

Sweet Childhood Memories: Candies of France


Did you know? French confectionery is full of regional specialties. Every region of France has its own “bonbon”.  Ahh, sweet and beautiful France! It is an art to make old-fashioned candies with artisanal methods.

Calissons d’AIx en Provence

Candies of our childhood, the real candies of France with natural flavors ( that we could safely give our children as most have no chemical additives) I greedily remember my own childhood candy-filled memories such as Carambars, Malabar, Berlingots, Licorice, Bêtises de Cambrai, Nougat, etc…

According to the established “House of Confectionery” since 1885, there are over 600 candy and other sweets specialties in France. Fruit of a savoir-faire or know-how that our French confectioners have cultivated for centuries, the regional confectionery is prepared with local products following an original recipe born from a story and/or legend and often time invented quite by accident.

Les Berlingots de Nantes

 

Discover regional confectionery and their ingredients: nougat, candied chestnuts, candied fruits, licorice, fruit paste, honey drops, sugar cane, almonds, violets, praline, salted butter, caramel, mint, toffee, apple sugar, etc…

Each region of France has its own well-known confectionery specialty, for example, Les Bêtises de Cambrai, La Pastille du Mineur, Les Caramels de Normandie, Les Bergamottes de Nancy, l’Anis de Flaviny, Les Pastilles de Vichy, Les Pâtes de Fruits d’Auvergne, Le Nougat de Montélimar, Les Berlingots de Nantes, Les Tourons du Pays-Basque, Les Violettes de Toulouse, Les Nougats de Provence, La Régisse d’Uzès, Les Calissons d’Aix en Provence, 

Nougat de Montelimar
Le Nougat de Montélimar

 

An imprint of the history of France, confectionery is a note of sweetness where memories and flavors mingle with the pleasure of savoring.

Les Berlingots de Nantes

Click on French Candy for a wonderful selection of traditional and old fashioned sweets from all over France right at your fingertips!

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As an Amazon affiliate, French A L.A Carte earns a small fee when you purchase on Amazon by using our link. You do not need to buy the specific highlighted products on the blog, in order for it to “credit” my account. Any purchases that you search or make from anywhere on Amazon, after first visiting my link, will credit this blog and help support it.

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Bûche de Noël – Christmas Yule Log Cake


Cette année la bûche de Noël 2018 c’est chocolat, marrons,café ou citron?

 

 

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French Bakeries in Dallas, Texas


In Texas, French culture and gastronomy are alive and well. Here are some favorite local bakeries in The Dallas Metroplex area aka Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex (DFW) or North Texas. which is comprised of 13 counties, a dozen cities and suburbs home to just over 7 million people.  With over 9,200 square miles  DFW is the largest inland metropolitan area in the United States.

Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex (DFW)

There are so many places to indulge and savor our favorite French treats such as croissants, pains au chocolat, beignets, Napoléon,  Mille-feuilles, Tarte aux fruits, macarons, etc… as well as other French holiday traditional cakes such as Bûche de Noel or Galette des Rois the traditional French King cake. Here are a few bakeries and the list will grow:

 

 

Where can you find the best croissant?

 

Pain au chocolat

Mille Feuille

Financier

and Baguette?

 

The question is: which French Bakeries in the Dallas Metroplex area are the most authentic patisseries? Well, stay tuned to find out and/or share your favorite in the comments. This post is an on-going project!

 

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As an Amazon affiliate, French A L.A Carte Blog earns a small fee when you purchase anything or anywhere on Amazon  after first visiting my link and will credit this blog and help support it.

Thank you!  Merci!

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