It’s that time of the year! After a difficult two years, things are starting to get a little brighter! Travelers have started coming back to France, but in case you haven’t had a chance to return to do your holiday shopping in Paris, you might find the perfect gift for your Francophile friends or family members in our guide below! The items in the guide are all either made in France or inspired by the country. As always, these are things that can be shipped to the US and Canada and, in most cases, around the globe. Happy shopping et bonnes fêtes!
John Donohue Paris Prints
Former New Yorker magazine editor John Donohue has combined his artistic talents with his love of restaurants in his beautiful collection of drawings. First begun in his hometown of New York, John has expanded these with a series of 100 Paris restaurant images which are available as signed limited-edition prints. His lovely drawings wonderfully illustrate the ambiance and character or both famous and neighborhood Paris eateries. John also gives back to the local community by using a small printer in New York and donating 10% of the profits to the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation. Discover his prints on his website All The Restaurants.
There’s Only One Paris: Tales for our Times
Wondering how Paris has changed since the pandemic or have a Paris-lover on your holiday list craving to return? Consider getting them a copy of my recent book, There’s Only One Paris: Tales for our Times. A vivid virtual trip to Paris, the book is a collection of interconnected short stories which travel through every arrondissement of Paris. Taking place during the pandemic the fun, feel-good and motivational stories boost morale and provide hope to get through these unusual times. You can ask your local bookshop to order it in, purchase it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or other online shops.
Richard Nahem Postcards
Travel writer/blogger, photographer and tour guide Richard Nahem of Eye Prefer Paris has been photographing Paris since 2007 and in particular the city’s magnificent doors. He has made a careful selection of the best of these in a unique special-edition set of Parisian Doors postcards. They come in sets of three (9 postcards) or six (18 postcards). The sets are hand wrapped and mailed in an elegant, French blue envelope. For the holiday gift season, Richard will include a handwritten personalized note to the giftee. The cost for a series of three packets is $35 plus $5 shipping, or series of six packets for $65 which includes free shipping. See the Eye Prefer Paris Etsy shop to order.
Roger the Liger in Paris
Following their first children’s book, Kylie the Crocodile, Oliver and Lina Gee of the Earful Tower have put out a second magical children’s book. The whimsical book tells the story of Roger, a Liger which is a cross between a lion and a tiger, an unusual and marginalized character who manages to get over his fears and learn to be his true self. It’s perfect for the children on your holiday gift list! Learn more about it and get a copy here.
Fragonard Soaps, Candles & Gift Set
Plat du Jour: French Dinners Made Easy
Well-known France-based chef Susan Hermann Loomis is back with another wonderful cookbook on French cuisine. This time she demystifies everyday French meals, presented as “plats du jour” bistro formules, daily specials which are paired as starters and main courses or mains and desserts. Who knew dishes like Boeuf Bourguignon, Poule au Pot, and Bouillabaisse could be easy to make? The ideal gift for home cooks who love French food! Find it on Amazon here.
A Year in Paris Calendar 2022
Enjoy a beautiful image of Paris for each month by getting a copy of the “A Year in Paris” Calendar by Rebecca Plotnick. The alluring calendar comes in two sizes 5.5″ x 8.5″ or 8.5″x11″ and is bound with a black wire so that it’s easy to hang on the wall or lean on a desk. Each month features a different photo that can be cut out at the end of the month and framed. A fabulous gift for Francophiles! Rebecca’s photographs are also available as different sized prints. See her website to view her calendar and other items.
Paris Blue: A Memoir of First Love
For lovers of Paris and of a good love story, pick up a copy of Julie Scolnik’s gorgeous memoir Paris Blue, released in October, 2021. Spanning three decades, the story begins in 1976 when twenty-year-old American student Julie Scolnik arrives in Paris to study the flute and falls in love with Luc. Readers are transported to the cafés, streets, and concert halls of Paris in the late seventies as well as a romantic journey from intense love to heartbreak. Hear Julie talk about her book in this interview on the Storytime in Paris podcast and get a copy of her book on Amazon here.
Virtual & In-person Tours, Classes, Talks & Gift Certificates
Online classes and seminars became popular during the pandemic and some are here to stay! There is a great range on France and here are some of my favorites — including one I’m leading! — which can also be arranged as gift certificates.
- Context Travel: A vast network of experts around the world, Context Travel offers excellent tours and “Conversations,” online seminars on a wide range of topics from van Gogh to the cheese. I lead in-person tours for Context in Paris… and I’ll also be leading a special holiday “Conversation!” Called Joyeux Noël: Celebrating Christmas in France, I’ll be bringing attendees to France virtually and discussing in detail the country’s holiday traditions. It is taking place on Wednesday, December 22, 2021 at 11 am EST. If it’s your first Conversation booking, you can also get 10% off! Book a space on it here or purchase a gift certificate at this link.
- La Cuisine Paris: A great Paris cooking school has designed online classes on specific topics including croissants, choux pastry and macarons. These are organized in separate modules which allows people to do them at their own pace. Learn more about these here or purchase a gift certificate for their online courses or in-person tours here.
- Picturesque Voyages: If you know someone coming to Paris next year, you might want to offer them a gift certificate for these high-quality tours. Run by art historian and licensed tour guide Susan Taylor-Leduc, the tours connect French gardens, art, history and gastronomy. Susan has some great tours for the holidays, plus can do exclusive access tours of Versailles, for which she has a special license and is an expert in Marie-Antoinette. Learn more about her gift certificates and holiday tours at this link.
- Cook’n With Class: Another excellent quality French cooking school in Paris (and Uzès), they have created a number of live online cooking classes. Subjects include bread, pastries, patés, French meals and more. Discover them here.
- Delectabulles: Paris-based champagne expert Cynthia Coutu leads tours, masterclasses and webinars of France’s favorite bubbly. Informative and fun, she has historical topics as well as champagne and food pairings and other tips. More info and gift certificates here.
- Tarts & Truffles: Chef Lisa Allen has a variety of online experiences around pastries and chocolate which can be booked for private groups on Zoom. She also has a specially designed program for kids which could be a fun family activity to do over the holidays! Read more about her experiences on her website.
My Place at the Table: A Recipe for a Delicious Life in Paris
Another new food related book, restaurant critic and travel writer Alec Lobrano has published his delectable memoirs. In addition to revealing some of the highlights of his career, from attending a cocktail party with Yves St. Laurent to meeting Julia Child and Paul Bocuse, Alec shares his “little black book,” his thirty all-time-favorite Paris restaurants. Get a copy on Amazon here.