Give the gift of French culture to that special someone by checking out our 10 favorite French gift ideas – all of which you can buy online.
Who wouldn’t want a bit of la vie française in their lives? Whether you’re looking for Christmas gifts or a birthday treat, there are plenty of excellent French-inspired goodies you can buy wherever you are in the world.
Forget all those cheesy French stereotypes like berets and striped jerseys – for a truly authentic French gift, you need to look beyond the tourist traps. To give you an idea of what you should be giving your France-obsessed loved ones this year, here are some of our favorite French gift ideas.
1. Classic French musique
France is a land of strong musical traditions, so giving the gift of French tunes is a fabulous idea for people of all ages. There’s plenty to choose from, too. Many will enjoy the classic French sound of Edith Piaf or Sasha Distel crooning in the background as they tuck into their pain au chocolat. That said, French music didn’t stop with these famous greats. Modern French music is rich and varied, from Alizee and Mylene Farmer to Christine and the Queens and rock band, Phoenix.
2. Les briques LEGO
If you’ve got young children, you’ll know just how popular LEGO is. However, did you know that even the popular Danish bricks can be French-ified? Well, they can. Whether your recipient is five or fifty-five, they’ll enjoy building some of the great Parisien sights in tiny plastic bricks. From the Eiffel Tower to the Arc de Triomphe, they’ll soon be building their very own mini ‘City of Lights’. After all, if they can’t travel to Paris, why not bring the French capital to their living room?
3. French sporting jerseys
If you know a sports fan, a great way to get into their good books is by giving them a sporting jersey of their favorite French team. Whether they prefer football, rugby, or cycling, you’ll find plenty of options to kit them out in the famous blues of the French national teams. If you’re thinking outside the box, why not get them a classic team strip? Some of the vintage jerseys can be a great fashion statement, as well as a show of pride in the French national teams.
4. The scent of Paris
Speaking of fashion, there’s nowhere in the world quite like Paris when it comes to the hottest new trends. However, if you don’t feel like splashing out on the best designer gear, why not let them indulge in the smells of Paris, instead? France has a long and impressive heritage of creating some of the world’s most famous scents, from Chanel to Jean Paul Gaultier. So what better way for your loved one to pretend they’re on the catwalk than by smelling like a supermodel?
5. French philosophy
The French definitely love to think. The country is home to some of the most famous philosophers to ever ponder the meaning of life. Famous names include Voltaire, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir. So if you have an intellectual on your gift list, a book of French philosophy can be a fabulous present. It doesn’t have to be too heavy, either. There are plenty of more accessible French works that push the reader into thinking outside le box. Just be prepared for a deep and thoughtful catch-up the next time you see the recipient!
6. Champagne from Champagne
What’s more French than a bottle of Champagne? Show someone you love them with a taste of France’s most famous tipple – straight from the region that gave it its name. There are a whole host of world-famous names to choose from when picking your bottle. However, be aware that prices can vary substantially between brands, all the way up to the exclusive Dom Pérignon. And why not make your gift even more special by adding in a collection of Champagne flutes – the perfect way to toast a celebration!
7. Oyster knife
If you’re looking for the best gift to complement all that great French Champagne, then look no further than an oyster knife. The French love their oysters – so much so, in fact, that there are even festivals devoted to them. To prise open these delicious morsels, the locals use good-quality knives to shuck them. These make a great gift for seafood-lovers and can be picked up relatively easily online. It’s the perfect kitchenware addition for your loved one to experience oysters fresh from the Mediterranean.
8. Crêpe pan
Should your loved ones not be fans of alcohol or shellfish, you might want to consider gifting them a fabulous French crêpe pan instead. Nothing says French desserts quite like a crêpe, and the perfect pan can help create these delicacies at home. You have plenty of options when it comes to choosing the pan; from non-stick saucepans to kitchen-sized electric griddles similar to those seen on the streets of Paris in winter. Just remember to invite yourself round for dinner so that you can enjoy that delicious taste of France, too.
9. A French cheeseboard
Dinner isn’t over in France until the cheese has appeared on the table. Brie, Camembert, Emmental, Roquefort… there’s a cheese for every taste and occasion. However, what better way to help a cheese-lover enjoy all these wonderful French cheeses than by gifting them their very own cheeseboard? These boards come in all shapes and sizes, typically either wooden or slate in nature. You might even be able to find a local producer who can send through some delicious cheeses to complement the new board.
10. French lessons
If you’ve got a France lover in your life, you’ll know just how much they’d like to be fluent in the language of love. If this sounds like one of your loved ones, then why not give them the gift of the French language by signing them up for French lessons. Whether it’s class-based or online, they’ll soon be surprised by just how quickly they can pick up the language. For more information on language classes and the types of gifts, read our Guide to learning French.