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Saturday 31 Oct 2020    Paris Guides

French Holiday Gift Guide 2020 !

Our Gift Guide for the France and French Food Lover ! Let's get French for the Holidays.

2020 has been quiet a year - for lack of a better word, let's call it 'special'. Chances are there are people on your list (perhaps even yourself), that love all things French and all things Food that you need to shop for. Here are some of our top picks (in no particular order).

Don't forget you can find a number of ideas via our website : 

We have a series of 6 videso sure to please the French Cook in your life! Why not purchase a gift certificte for our Video Class

If you love beautiful French Cookware we have partnership with E. Dehillerin - shipped to you with love 

Missing French Wine? Have it arrive on your door step thanks to our selection of French Wines 

Know someone coming to Paris in 2021? Treat them to one of our classes via a Gift Certificate

Other things we love :

French Food and Other Books We Love

Some classics, some new reads : 

Drinking French - Yet another winner with his book dedicated to Drinks. Don't know how to cope with Holidays? David Lebovitz new book is your bible. Find it here. Don't forget his fine selection of Pastry books - perfect for the Holidays!

One Tin Bakes - Being Square has never been so wonderful! Our favorite baker Edd Kimber has added yet another fabulous book to his repertoire! Get your hands on this book (also available in the US!

Modern Comfort Food - A new addition to a LONG list of favorites by Ina Garten ...and goodness knows this is the year we can all use a little comfort! You can find all the good stuff here.

Fat, Odd Bits, Bones, Bitter and Blood - A series of books we love to recommend for those that want to get really in to the details! Jennifer McLagan has something for everyone! Find them here

The Bundt Collection : From our favorite guy, Brian Harthoffman (Bake From Scratch) has an amazing collection of Bundts to keep your Belly (and others) happy this holiday season.

Dorie's Cookies - No need to explain why this is a classic favorite from Dorie Greenspan - who doesn't love cookies?! And given the year we have had, a World Peace Cookies come higly recomended! You can find it here

Mastering the Art of French Eating - Something we all like to practice. This book is a favorite  classic by Ann Mah (who has a number of other titles you'll want to check out). Check her out here

75 in the 75 - The perfect gift for the French Wine Bar lover published by Tanisha Townsend! Make your way through Paris via Wine Bar! You can find it here.

Eat.Live.Travel.Write : One of our favorite gals Mardi Michels has a wonderful book for the little chefs. It's the perfect gift for the little fingers in your life (she also has a cooking camp for the smaller ones!). Check her out here

General Goodie Stuff

Just a few things to make the count down to the end of the year (and next) a great one!

Croissant Stationary : YES please. One of our favorite ladies Meghan Donovan and the Founder of Paris Perfected (a fabulous Paris trip planning service) has a delicious tie up with The Illustrated Life and they have created a glorius set of Croissant stationary find it here ! 



Everyday Parisian 2021 Calendar - It's the year we are all waiting for, so let's welcome it in style! Rebecca Plotnick Everyday Parisian created a beautiful 2021 calendar that you can proudly hang on your wall! You can find it (along with a gorgeous selection of note cards) here

La Vie Ann Rose - Another gorgeous set of French inspired art thanks to Angie Niles of La Vie Ann Rose. If you have come across Angie's Instagram page, you'll know that she does beautiful work. You may not know that she has launched a fabulous Print shop! No surprise, our favorite one is all about Fromage! You can see them all here

Poilâne Advent Calendar - One of our favorivte seasonal treats, and the perfect way to count down to the holidays. We love it and you can find it here.

Food in France and Folks we Love!

We have a special love for our collegues in food, friends that cook together, stay together

Cook around France! - We want to keep you here with us, but there is a lot to discover outside of Paris, including some of our favorite other cooking schools like Petits Farcis in Nice (run by the wonderful Rosa Jackson) and Plum in Lyon (run by the wonderful Lucy Vanel). Why not consider purchasing a gift certificate for yourself or someone you love!

Made in France Goods 

From Fashion to Reading - lovely gifts coming directly from the City of Light


La Slow Galerie - One of our absolute favorite places for art in Paris. Locally sourced small artists cover the walls of this charming boutique in the 11me! They also ship internationally! We fell in love this piece shown, but you can find this one and so many others here

The New Parisienne - Another beautiful book from Lindsey Tramuta (aka Lost in Cheeseland), all about the women making and shaking Paris! You'll want to grab a copy here.

Made in France Gifts - There are so many wonderful independent artists here in the City. A few that we love are : 

Lily Heise's series of books on life in France 

Kasia Dietz for lovely handbags made here in the City!

Square Modern for pillows and such made in France

Cocktail Care Package from Izzy's (lso a great thing to book mark for your next trip to Paris!)

Jamie Beck - We've spent a lot of time in confinement here in France...it's thanks to folks like Jamie that we can dream a little via her amazing art! You can see it here


Shakespeare and Company - This institution doesn't need much of an introduction, and you cannot get more iconic Paris than this! But if you didn't know that they can ship worldwide - now you do! What an extra special gift for the book lover in your life! Check them out here

Little Africa Travel - There is so much to see in Paris, and if you really want the full Parisian experience, you'll want to check out our friends at Little Africa Travel. Whilst they are working to build a beautiful community center in Paris, be sure to check out their Paris City Guide!


Wear your arrondissement with Pride - A long time ago we fell in love the Le Bijoux Parisien and their line of gear perfect for the Parisian lover!

Shopping Small is a Big thing to do!

A little word on working with small businesses this holiday.

In a year that has been anything other than normal, we give thanks for a number of silver linings. One Silver Lining has been the incredible outpour of support for small businesses. We are ever so grateful to benefit from this, as have our colleagues. The support, in every form it has taken, has been the lifeline to the small business community.

In the flurry of the holiday spirit, this year small businesses have been getting such positive responses and commitments from their local communities wanting to purchase their products. It is a true blessing to be surrounded in the good intentions and wishes of our clients.

While we all have good intentions (us included as we interact with and purchase from many other small business in our network), we remind ourselves as consumers that being supportive also means being patient. There can be a fine balance between wrapping ourselves around our favorite small business, and doing so in a way that that can squeeze the air out of them.

 A few important points to remind ourselves when dealing with small businesses this holiday season and beyond :

  • Firstly, like all small businesses we are SO very grateful for all of the thoughts and intentions that go in to the deciding to shop small.
  • It’s been a tough year, and number of small businesses have had to make incredibly difficult staffing decisions. Most painfully, this could mean they have had to let team members go. It may mean that the small business you are wanting to support could be severely understaffed; what was once a small team, may now be one or two people trying hard to keep things afloat. Even the smallest of details can pile up and be delayed…email responses, processing times, shipping and packing, etc.
  • We are still very much in a pandemic (hopefully not for long). Small businesses often operate in an ecosystem with others like themselves. Like us, they rely on and buy from other businesses similar to them. As the saying goes, the chain is only as strong as the weakest link, and there are quite a few weak links at the moment. As a result of the Pandemic, even for the largest of businesses, supply chains are broken. This could mean that the part, or the whole of what you hoped to buy from your small business is not there. And I can tell you, it is extraordinary frustrating to finally get a client, and then have to disappoint them because you don't have exactly what they want - especially at time like this. Understanding and flexibility for substitution, credits, etc, is just as important as the order you place.
  • A number of small businesses have scrambled to respond without the proper resources to do so, this means the systems and processes they are using could be flawed or clunky. As an example, here in France, we have tried to move to a ‘click and collect’ system when most small business don't have websites - in that case, opting for a gift certificate is a great way to support.

So here are a few ideas of how to wrap yourself around your small business, (without suffocating them) and maintain your own sanity during the stressful holiday period :

- Allow them extra time. Expect that what  you ordered might not arrive before the holidays, but anticipate when it does, you will get such pleasure. You know that wonderful feeling you get when you have forgetton that you had something and discover it again? This may well happen when you order from a small business. By the time what you ordered gets to you, you may have forgotten that you ever ordered it! But what a delight it will be when it arrives.

- Let yourself be dazzled with something you haven’t considered. If you have been gracious enough to buy a product from your local small business, trust me, they are over the moon about it. Every penny counts these days. But, if for some reason they cannot deliver the exact thing you want, why not allow them to suggest a substitute rather than requesting a reimbursement? 

 - Financial support to small businesses is crucial, but there are many other ways to effectively support your favorite small businesses : write a review, share their products and services with others, talk about them to your friends, show off your pleasure for their product or service online. 

- Most importantly, let's be kind and practice patience. We are all human, and no matter the size of the business, it is likely that here is a human handling your request. If it goes wrong in what ever way (and it will at some point), please contact them directly. Give them the benefit of the doubt, or at least the chance to respond directly privately rather than publicly. 

We are all consumers in some way or another. Here at La Cuisine we ourselves are not only a small business, but we buy from other small businesses all the time. We are not only supportive, but selfish at the same time (and that's ok) - we selfishly don't ever want our small business community to disappear. As a small business owner and a consumer, I want to make sure my ‘locals’ survive. Not only do I recognize their importance in the community, but I enjoy their products and I want to continue to enjoy them. Let's make sure during this holiday season, we consume in a way that makes everyone feel good!

 

 

 

 special thanks to Anne of Pret a Voyager that poked me to write this!

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