There are three common ways to wish a merry Christmas in French, and my go-to French language expert Géraldine of Comme une Française will teach you easily what and how to pronounce each. But in the meantime, today I would like to share with you the first annual TSLL Francophile Holiday Gift Guide (or any time of year gift guide) as each item is a quintessential gift nearly any Francophile would love to receive.
Earlier this week I shared TSLL’s Anglophile Gift Guide, and am excited to share with you today’s shopping list
If you are going to visiting Paris, purchasing a Paris Pass in advance is a wonderful way to eliminate the waits in the long queues for museum visits, expedite as well as save money on your transportation costs as you get about the city on the metro and buses, and provide simple and stress free tour options as you gain your bearings in the city. Additionally, starting this week and running through Black Friday (November 29, 2019), save 15 Euros when you purchase your Paris Pass. Learn more about the benefits of purchasing the pass here.
There are a wide array of cookbooks written by French chefs, but if you are looking for a dependable classic full of time-tested and expertise-based skills, look no further than Jacques Pépin’s classic La Technique. Originally published in the 1970s to great acclaim, it was republished again in 2012 with more techniques and now full color photographs – 2,250 photographs to be precise. If you have a cook or chef on your gift list and they love French cooking methods, this is a book to have as a resource most definitely.
Whether purchased new or found while treasure hunting at a brocante, Gien dinnerware is a treasure to welcome into your home indeed. Receive free shipping with purchases of $200 or more, and discover all of their current designs here.
A new decor line from one of the creators behind France’s Merci shops, these glass pebble candles are unique, simple and will certainly be timeless. Be sure to shop Démodé’s other home decor items as well.
Unique, handcrafted and made in France, La Soufflerie’s handblown glass items from glasses to vases and more, are beautiful and certainly a lovely signature touch to add to the table or the home.
6. Handblown glass vases, La Soufflerie
80’s Pied Douche (footed vases)
Currently, in my own kitchen I have two Mauviel skillets – 10″ and a 12″. Made to last a lifetime, you will be glad you invested in such high quality cookware. Choose skillets and saucepans with steel handles as they won’t heat up with the pan (the brass handles look nice for decor purposes, but are not fun to hold while cooking). Start with a 10″ skillet and then add to your collection when you are able. You will have them for a lifetime. (learn how to simply and easily clean your copper here)
Bakers, specifically Francophile bakers, will appreciate having a trusty Eiffel Tower cookie cutter on hand for occasions that call for a celebration of France cookie-style ???. Whimsical and fun, as well as a must-have in the baker’s kitchen who loves all things French.
Simple stationery that reveals a bit of ourselves is a playful and meaningful way to reach out and let others know you are thinking of them.
Curate a lovely French bistro dining moment in your own home for an everyday occasion or at your next dinner party with these bistro appetizer plates. Currently on sale, and classic in their blue trimmed design.
Whether to use or to decorate with in your kitchen, having tea towels in the home are a necessity that is neither expensive or frivolous. I have shared a few brands in today’s post, but the classic linen red stripe is one most Francophiles will appreciate and gladly welcome into their homes.
The classic to use in one’s own bathroom or keep in your guest bathroom to add a touch of beauty, as well as history and functionality. “As early as the ninth century, master soap makers in Marseille have created exquisite, gentle soaps using native olive oils and the alkaline ash from marine plants of the Mediterranean. However, it wasn’t until 1688 and an edict under the mercantilist policies of Jean-Baptiste Colbert that these fine soaps — containing 72% vegetable oils with no animal additives — came to be known as ‘Savon de Marseille’”.
13. The French House Linen Glass Towel (four colors)
Having a set of beautiful, timeless goblets for water whether to use during everyday occasions or at your next dinner party, these small Artois glasses would certainly fit such a need. And are beautiful to display as well.
While the British may have tea as their unofficial drink of choice during the day, the French makes magnificent teas as well. I have two brands I would highly recommend as I love and enjoy them both. Mariage Fréres and Palais des Thés are high quality and accessible for purchasing beyond France.
~Palais des Thés is offering 25% off teas and tea sets with a purchase of $25 or more with promo code BF2019
16. Newly Released or Soon-to-be Released French-inspired books
I am always on the look out for new French-inspired or French lifestyle books and history, so I wanted to share with you four books not to miss. (view more of TSLL’s favorite French-inspierd books here)
- Older, But Better, But Older: From the Authors of How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are by Caroline de Maigret and Sophie Mas
- The Seine: The River that Made Paris by Elaine Sciolino
- Paris by Design: An Inspired Guide to the City’s Creative Side by Eva Jorgensen
- Parisian Chic Encore: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange
Knowing we can depend on the wine we are purchasing, as well as knowing we will always have a wine we enjoy on hand whether for cooking, pairing with a mid-week meal or bringing to the table for our next dinner party, is a luxury, yes, but peace of mind as well. When we know that what we are purchasing will be something we will enjoy, we can relax knowing our decision and purchase is sound. The original Wine of the Month Club has a special Bordeaux Wine of the Month Club Series, which for someone who loves French wines, would be an amazing gift to receive.
18. French Salt – Fleur de Sel
Having quality salt in the kitchen is a must-have, and Fleur de Sel is the salt to have on hand at all times. I have shared five salts worth bringing home and stocking up.
- Guerande ‘Fleur De Sel’ Sea Salt
- French Fleur de Sel from Savory Spice Shop
- Bitterman’s Fleur de Sel
- Jacobsen Salt Co. Pure Kosher Sea Salt
- Fleur de Sel French Sea Salt, Williams-Sonoma
19. French Candles
During this past year’s annual French Week, I shared a post that reveals my seven favorite French candles. Ranked in order of preference followed by a brief explanation, use the list to choose a wonderful scent for someone on your holiday list.
~Maison Balzac candles are 20% off (site-wide) with promo code NOIR2019 starting on Black Friday through Cyber Monday (my favorites – Le Soiree and Bonne Nuit – I will be stocking up).
20. A Quintessential French handbag
I recently wrote about Poléne’s handbags, in particular the Numero Un. High quality at a fair price, having just purchased my own from Poléne (see below), I can attest, they are a gift to give, receive and appreciate. However, there are many French brands offering high quality designs that will last nearly, if not absolutely, a lifetime. From Longchamp, to Hermés’ Birkin and Kelly bags, to Chanel and Céline, as well as Louis Vuitton and Guyard.
21. A Bottle of Champagne (the real Champagne from the Champagne region, bien sûr!)
Now, whether you choose to drink the real champagne, or a bottle of sparkling wine or Cava from your local winery or favorite wine shop, giving the gift of something bubbling that you know has a wonderful taste is a gift that will be warmly received. When it comes to the best of the best French Champagnes, here is a list of brands to shop for – Veuve Clicquot, Moët & Chandon, Perrier-Jouet, and if you want to drink what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Cambridge raised to toast in celebration on their wedding days, drink Pol Roger Brut Champagne.
Pair with oysters (don’t forget the oyster knife!)
As soon as I began compiling the list, I quickly realized there were oodles of other items I wanted to include. From food to kitchen tools to clothing and perfume and endless other options, but that is why TSLL is here year-round. Each week Friday’s This & That post includes Francophile finds, and be sure to check out TSLL’s French-Inspired posts and podcast episodes in the Archives to discover an abundance of ideas for gifts for the Francophile on your list. Also, TSLL’s Francophile Finds in our online boutique is full of French cookbooks, lifestyle books, films, and other finds to peruse. As well, stop by each year during the second week of August when TSLL’s annual French Week takes place. Have a look at this most recent occasion – our 4th annual – to see a glimpse into the posts, episodes, giveaways and much more that makes up the busiest week of the year for TSLL.
I do hope you enjoy the first annual Francophile Gift List, and be sure to check out our Anglophile Gift List as well.