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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.

Here are some of our top picks of perfect gifts for the France and French Food Lover in your life (in no particular order).

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

We have a series of 6 videos sure to please the French Cook in your life! They can work from home at their own pace - you can enjoy the fruits of their labour! Why not purchase a gift certificate for our Video Classes

Missing French Wine? Have it arrive on your doorstep thanks to our selection of French Wines from Small French Wine Producers!

Know someone coming to Paris in 2022? Treat them to one of our classes via a Gift Certificate

Other things we love :

French Food and Other Books We Love

Favorites we love over and over again. Some classics, some new

Baking With Dorie - A new forever classic from our favorite lady Dorie Greenspan - it's just everything and its hot of the press. you'll want to have this one to get you through the Holidays. You can find it here

Drinking French - Don't know how to cope with Holidays? David Lebovitz Drinking French is the perfect addition to your Holiday entertaining. Find it here. Don't forget his fine selection of Pastry books - perfect for the Holidays!

Modern Comfort Food - An eternal favorite amongst a LONG list of favorites from Ina Garten ...and goddess knows how to keep us happy ! You can find all the good stuff 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.

One Tin Bakes Easy - Our favorite UK baker Edd Kimber has added yet another fabulous book to his repertoire! A follow-on from his ever-so-popular One Tin Bakes. Keep the Holiday baking simple and delicious - yes please! Get your hands on this book(also available in the US!

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

General Goodie Stuff

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

Marin Montagut - This is the most amazing Cabinet of beautiful French curiosities you can find! Nestled into the Saint Germain area, it's a sight to behold in person, but the cherry on the gateau is that they ship worldwide! Check them out here!

Everyday Parisian 2022 Calendar - even more gorgeous than her 2021 issue Rebecca Plotnick Everyday Parisian created a beautiful 2022 calendar that you can proudly hang on your wall! You can find it here

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 11eme! They also ship internationally! We fall in love with everything in their store here in Paris, but you can find everything online, and they ship! Take a look here

Practicing Parisienne - This charming read by Marissa Cox is perfect for the Paris lover that wants to get a peek into life in your favorite city. It just came out this year and will be the perfect stocking stuffer for Paris lovers. Check it out 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

Made in France Goods

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

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

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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