- Travel and Places
Gift Ideas for Francophiles - or Lovers of France
The Best Christmas Gifts From France
Doesn't the one you love deserve a Taste of France? Traditionally a place for lovers because France is just so romantic, it's no wonder that so many people the world over love France and all things French. France is famous for gorgeous food and fabulous wine but there's so much more as well and these gifts are just perfect for Christmas or Valentine's Day.
I'm a lover of France and all things French. I've lived in France now for ten years, a refugee from Britain's grey skies. I came here looking for sunshine and the good life, and that's just what I've found. Now I run painting holidays, a guest house and holiday cottage at my Bed and Breakfast, Les Trois Chenes, a wonderful, old, traditional French farmhouse.
I'd love to share with you some of the good things that I've grown to adore in my adopted country and some of our local Limousin products. Have a look at these and tell me this: "Who could not be a Francophile - a lover of France?"
Thinking of paying us a visit? You can find more information here: www.lestroischenes.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, +33 (0)5 55 48 29 84
There are so many good things in France
You can buy some without leaving home, but there's so much more that simply never leaves the producer. The French keep the very best for themselves.
Come and see for yourself!
The Japanese Bridge at Giverny by Claude Monet
What could be more French?
It's hard to imagine that when Monet first started to exhibit his Impressionist works the critics hated it. They described the works as being painted by monkeys who have found a box of paint. Thank goodness we don't think that now. Monet must be one of the best-loved painters in the world and he is so, so French. This was painted in later life in his garden at Vernon, just outside Paris. I'm planning a trip there in the spring, so I'll keep you updated.
Monet's Bridge is A Top Selling Gift for People Who Love France
Find it on Amazon.com, but no picture I'm afraid and you'll have to search for it yourself!
Breeke & Company Monet - Water Lilies & Japanese Bridge, 3/4 Sleeve, Printed Cotton Micro Blend Woman's Top
Everyone knows the Japanese bridge in Monet's garden with it's soft pinks and greens, it's beautiful textures and strong compostion but few will have this iconic image on their T-shirts!
I love this T-Shirt with Monet's bridge on it. This could be the ideal gift for an artist, a lover of France or a fan of Monet and the Impressionists.
Shabby Chic Limousin Oak Barrel Poster
A glimps of old France and a poster that you can personalize
Limousin is world famous for growing the oak for the barrels that produce the very best Cognac, brandy and fine wines. It is exported all over the world. Despite this every French barn seems to have a barrel or two tucked away and they look so pretty that we can't resist putting them on show a little. I took this photograph and a whole range of gifts with the image on it are available in my "All Things French" section at www.zazzle.fr/lestroischenes. As I wend my way through the Limousin backwaters of rural France I keep my eyes peeled for little gems and snap them up for gifts that you can customize by adding your own text and images. What could be more special?
Customise this poster of a Limousin oak cask by adding your own text or pictures to make this gift really special. I took the photograph of the barn and garden with a Limousin oak barrel cask myself and it really is the epitome of "a green thought in a green shade." (Andrew Marvell)
Limousin, France is Famous for Barrels
Bottled Fruits are so French - Sweet and fruity
How do they get the pears into the bottle? The grow them in the bottle. When the pear is little more than a sparkle in its mother's eye, a bottle is put over it and the pear grows and swells to it's full size inside. Amazing non?
All the shops in France are hung with hams. (OK not all the shops but all the fine foods shops are.) Don't they hark back to times gone by? You can just imagine the hams hanging from the great, old, oak beams of the average French farm house. Wonderful.
They look fabulous and for the first time ever I've taken the plunge and bought one. My ham is soaked in Pineau, but you'll definitely have to come here to get one of these. I also bought a special ham bag - I'll come back and add photos after Christmas, as mine is all wrapped up and waiting for Santa to deliver it, chez nous.
Surely there is nothing so Christmassy as a whole ham hanging in the kitchen. I can't wait to try ours!
For Your Macho Meat Eater
I couldn't find any French ham on Amazon - they probably keep it all for themselves! but I did find this tasty looking ham from Spain. You can keep this dry-cured pork shoulder in the refrigerator for up to six months so it will really make a lasting treat.
French Food Baskets - The food of love!
The way to a mans heart is through his stomach, and I can assure you that it's exactly the same for women! Champagne and truffles - what could be more wonderful.
The picture left shows the truffle I bought. Les Trois Chenes is just over the border from the Dordogne, famous for its 'black gold' or truffles.
This was the first one I ever tasted freshly made. It's a summer truffle and we were told to mix it with butter and spread it on toast - heavenly.
A Jar of Truffles
Truffles are so very French, so luxurious and so chic that if you haven't tried them then now is the time. Tuck a little into chicken, add a tiny amount to butter and spread it on toast - it gives a wonderful scent to the food and, they say, it's an aphrodisiac.
Fabulous French Cheese - Bleu d'Auvgergne - one of our local cheeses!
Or as local as I can find! Limousin is just next to the Auvergne and it produces this lovely blue cheese. Of course, France is world famous for it's cheese and they are rightly proud of the variety and quality. I just love a soft, French cheese that gradually extends over the cheese board during the course of a long, French dinner.
Not only is this cheese local, but it's creamy, tasty and not too salty. I've stopped buying Roquefort because it's too salty for me.
French Chocolates - The French do it so well!
In every small town in France you'll find one, if not more Chocolatieres, or small chocolate shops, where they sell a whole array of delicious-looking hand made chocolates. Chocolate is an aphrodisiac, apparently, but I can certainly attest for it's ability to melt a woman's heart. I think men are also suckers for chocolate but they just don't let on!
When I Think of France I Think of Perfume
L'Aire du Temps Has Been One of My Favourite Perfumes All My Life - Classic French Perfume
I still adore L'Aire du Temps by Nina Ricci. Can one ever be to rich or have too many perfumes? I doubt it! Spoil the woman in your life.
French Perfume for Men - I'm sure they don't call it that though
Why not? Why not perfume your man with French Eau De Toilette Sprays. Don't they deserve a little luxury too. (Plus, remember, it's you who reaps the benefits!). I found this perfume on Amazon, with a clean, streamlined masculine looking bottle: FCUK Him for Men by French Connection, Eau De Toilette Spray to get you started.
Limoges Porcelain is the Perfect Gift from France
Limoges Porcelain Makes a Very Special Gift - As strong as it is beautiful
Limoges was known as 'The Red City' because the porcelain kilns burned night and day lighting the skies after dark with a red glow. Limousin had the clean water and plentiful supply of wood to make the porcelain, but perhaps the most important reason for its popularity here was the discovery of a suitable clay just outside Limoges. The whole story is fascinating.
Some of the most collectable, charming and easily transported pieces of Limoges are the famous Limoges Porcelain Boxes. Originally snuff boxes, perfume or jewel boxes they are produced in a staggeringly wide range of forms (the sky is the limit), but one that I love the most is the Limoges box in the form of an egg.
Have you thought of a book about Limoges Porcelain? It's very collectable
These beautiful books contain everything a lover of Limoges porcelain would need to know to start collecting these pretty and, often, sought-after items. Think of it as an investment for the future. I wish someone would give me one!
Limoges Porcelain and Where to Buy It
- Where to buy Limoges Porcelain in Limousin, France
Limoges of course!
Taking the Piss - Gifts from France
This French Urinal "Taking the Piss" range of Gifts is a Bit Rude
But then the French are not as prudish as the Brits!
Taking the Piss - not out of the French, that's for sure! I found this urinal, or 'pissoir', public toilet, complete with graffiti, in the centre of Limoges, Limousin, South West France, and loved the colour, the audacity and the total, uninhibited lack of prudishness that is so typical of the French. Of course, the slogans came thick and fast - but you can personalize these gifts to suit yourself and make that gift even more special.
Where in the World Are We? - Well, in France of course!
We are renovating an old cottage deep in the heart of rural France.
Are You Lusting After France? - Would you love a little French TLC?
Which gift from France would you love to receive most?
© 2011 Barbara Walton