It’s that time of year again! With Christmas fast approaching, lots of us are frantically looking for gift ideas. If your list of people you’re buying for includes a fan of France, a discerning foodie, a wine connoisseur or someone with an itch for some wanderlust in 2019, read on. Our definitive 2018 Christmas Gift Guide for lovers of France comes with lots of inspiration for presents that they’ll all thank you for this year.
Wine as French Christmas gifts
No Christmas Gift Guide for lovers of France would be complete without a nod to the vin. Who doesn’t love opening a parcel and discovering a bottle of bubbly (the real stuff, from Champagne)? Or unwrapping the paper to find just the right carafe for decanting a Bordeaux? Or a visit to a vineyard? With French winos in mind, here are our ideas for the gift they’ve always wanted….
1. The perfect wine
France produces almost 3,000 different types of wine so buying the perfect French tipple is always going to be a challenge. But to make things a little easier, Vinatis does the hard work for you. Their website lists French wine by region, type, grape variety, style, award, price… So you can narrow the choice down even for the most discerning wine drinker. There are also seasonal offers and a special Christmas gift shop. Salut!
2. Ze perfect wine gadget
Easy and light wine storage comes in the ZEbag that can transform into a wine carrier or display on the back of a door. The internal padding ensures nothing gets broken as you carry it around. It takes up to six bottles – or fewer with some glasses – and even keeps wine cool for up to two hours. Buy it here.
3. The perfect wine experience
Combining great travel with some of the country’s best wine would surely make the ultimate French Christmas gift. This luxury hotel barge cruise on board the Saint Louis ticks all the boxes – stateroom suite accommodation, stunning countryside in Aquitaine and your own private wine tours. Go on, treat them!
4. The perfect wine read
It’s the world’s most famous wine area and home to thousands of vineyards, so compiling a book that includes them all is some feat. But wine expert Stephen Brook’s The Complete Bordeaux does just that. This lovely coffee table edition covers all the communes and appellations, describes the different Bordeaux wine making styles, and gives you a vintage lowdown for the last four decades no less. Buy it here.
French food gifts for Christmas
Their tables will probably be laden, but there’s always room for an extra dish. Or an accessory to help you eat it. And failing that, how about giving them the ultimate foodie experience? Or the book to read about it? Read on for our French Christmas Gift Guide for foodies.
1. The perfect food
- Likes cheese? Tick.
- Loves terrines? Tick.
- Adores fois gras? Tick.
- Would do anything for a saucisson? Tick.
Then the perfect gift has to be a hamper of French food goodies. Bien manger does hampers and baskets to a ‘T’ from custom made feasts to your own selection via all the foodie regions in France.
2. The perfect food gadget
The answer for the seafood lover – and in France that means oysters, Saint Jacques, mussels, crabs, lobsters… comes in these handy gadgets for dealing with those hard shells, sharp pincers and wafer-thin openings. All the tools you need to crack open and enjoy the most delicious French seafood. And best of all, the sets are portable. Buy one here.
3. The perfect food experience
Chef Alain Ducasse holds the most Michelin stars in France and his restaurant Plaza Athenée in Paris boasts the prized triple accolade. Gift the experience of French cooking at its finest with a dining experience at one of the Ducasse-run venues. From breakfast, to tasting menus with other meals in between, this foodie feast will be a present to remember.
4. The perfect food read
For the best of French food throughout the year, how about Taste of France, the new magazine, produced and published by France Today? Featuring reviews of the best foodie destinations and restaurants, a round-up of culinary festivals and recipes by gastro legends such as Michel Roux and Clotilde Dusoulier, the new publication will set any French gourmet’s tastebuds going every quarter.
France as a Christmas gift
And lastly on our round-up of great French Christmas gifts we come to France itself. The world’s favourite holiday destination makes a great present in itself. Whether you’re gifting a holiday, a travel accessory or a book for inspiration, la France will definitely be a festive present to remember.
1. The perfect trip accessory
We might all have Google Maps on our phone, but it doesn’t beat the thrill of plotting your own route on a real paper map. Or the excitement of planning where you might go on your holiday. Michelin maps are something of an institution in France and certainly the best when it comes to finding your way round with a good old-fashioned map. Give them one of the whole country (red), a regional map (orange), a local one (yellow) or simply a wall map of la belle France.
2. The perfect French travel read
Put together Paris, a canine vagabond, a lost puppy and some delightful illustrations of the City of Light and you have Hudson and the Puppy: Lost in Paris. This is the latest in the Paris-Chien Adventures by American artist and writer Jackie Clark Mancuso who took her inspiration from her own experience of finding it hard to communicate with Parisians. All her books tackle situations that children often face and look at a way round them using the friendly Hudson as a guide. Kids will love the dogs and the little French dictionary while adults will adore the illustrations. Buy it here.
3. The perfect French trip
And last but not least, we come to the gift of a trip to France itself. At French Waterways, we offer a wealth of ways of exploring the country via its vast network of rivers and canals that crisscross one stunning landscape after another.
Whether you fancy a luxury barge cruise or prefer a hands-on self-drive holiday on your own hire boat. Whether you’re travelling as a couple, family or group. Whether you want to discover the north, the south, centre, east or west, we have the perfect boating holiday you can give as a gift.
Take a look around our website, choose the one to suit and then ‘wrap it up’ for the lucky recipient to enjoy in 2019. Definitely a gift to remember and forever!
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