I’ve broken this year’s gift guides into three categories based on three of my favorite places- Paris/France, New York City and Italy. The items in each list are all things either made in the specified location or representative of the area, and all things that I personally love and/or use. With items both big and large, affordable and luxurious, you’ll be able to find something for everyone on your list, from the traveler to the foodie to the fashionista to the host. Be sure to check back as I’ll continue to update and add items to the guides and even make note of sales or discount codes. You’ll be able to conveniently find these guides throughout the holiday season by clicking the small pictures directly under the latest post or via the button titled "Runway Chef's 2015 Holiday Handbook" at the top of the side bar (FYI, the side bar button will also take you to other holiday content such as homemade gift ideas, holiday decorating and festive dressing). Now, without further ado, I present to you the French holiday gift guide....
Pierre Biscuiterie French Butter Cookies (Lemon & Almond, Chocolate Coated) || As the name implies, these cookies are buttery and light and oh-so-delicious (I may or may not be able to eat a whole package by myself). They make a perfect hostess gift, stocking stuffer, or add them to a gift basket, along with some tea or coffee and few cute mugs, for a more substantial gift.
Flavigny Pastilles Candies || A delicate candy that comes in several flavors; these violet ones have been a favorite of my Mom's for as long as I can remember and they never fail to make the perfect stocking stuffer.
Striped Shirt || Does it really get more French than a striped shirt? Well, probably, but I'd argue otherwise. While I do have quite the collection of striped shirts, none seem to compare to the effortlessly chic Kule ones. When I discovered the brand on Instagram several months back, I instantly put one of their boyfriend shirts (pictured on the left) at the top of my wish list (now Christmas list). I promise you that any fashion loving lady would be more than happy to find one of these wrapped up under the tree!
Le Creuset || A coveted kitchen piece; any cook would be thrilled to receive one of these beautiful all-purpose pieces as an addition to their kitchen. I've had mine for 3 years now and it's still one of my most used kitchen items. FYI, it goes perfectly with Julia Child's cookbook pictured up above!
Frenchie Salt + Pepper Shakers || While gifting someone a French Bulldog might not a feasible gift, there are still plenty of cute French things to give the dog lovers in your life. These little salt and pepper shakers (similar option here) are perfect for an animal-loving hostess and even make a great stocking stuffer (just make sure they're well wrapped!).
Lavender || When all else fails, flowers are always a safe bet as a hostess gift. Of course, one can't help but think of the lavender fields of Provence, making a lavender bouquet or plant the perfect French-themed floral hostess gift. And if the hostess's thumb maybe isn't so green (or they're just short on space), give a small cotton satchel of dried lavender. It's the perfect item to place under a pillow, in a living room or on a bathroom shelf to add calming and relaxing vibes. The lavender can even be sprinkled into a bath. In other words, it's the perfect gift (hostess, stocking or otherwise) for anyone you know who may be stressed out and need a little extra relaxation in their lives.
Bonne Maman Jam || My family has used this jam for years and it's still one of my favorites to this day. With high quality ingredients and delicious flavors, they make a great gift for both hostesses and foodies alike, whether given alone or, better yet, paired with a baguette or some fresh-baked scones, or even scone mix.
French Movies || There are so many wonderful French flicks for the movie buff in your life. These (pictured above) are just a few of my favorites (shop them: Here/Here/Here/Here/Here/Here). For something additional, pair it with an artisanal popcorn or the perfect blanket to cuddle up under while watching a film.
Perfume || While the French are known for producing a large array of award-winning beauty products, gifting them can be a bit of a challenge (unless you know someone's exact favorite products or colors, or they made specific requests). However, it's a little harder to go wrong with perfume, especially if it's a classic fragrance, like Chanel No. 5.
Fascinating France Cards || France fascinates many of us, but how well do we really know it? These fun cards are full of French facts and their small size makes them perfect for a stocking stuffer for a history or game fan.
Eiffel Tower Ornament || A sparkly addition to anyone's tree; while an ornament is a perfect gift on its own, you can also tie it around a bottle of wine for a lovely hostess gift.
Fromagerie Guilloteau's Cheeses ||Because who can say no to buttery, smooth, delicious French cheese?! Perfect for holiday recipes, perfect for gifts, perfect for enjoying with friends and family. The cheese pictured on the left is Forager d'Affinois with Truffles. It's slightly buttery, slightly earthy from the truffles and an all-around tasty addition to a holiday cheese plate served alongside some bubbly (If you're thinking this sounds pretty perfect for a NYE party, then you're thinking correctly!). The Saint Angel cheese (pictured on the right) is uber buttery, creamy and decadent. Serve it up with some fruit (think figs, pears or berries), a rustic baguette and a crisp white wine and you'll have the perfect start to your holiday gathering. Both cheeses, made by a family-owned business in southeast France near the Alps, are available at Whole Foods as well as speciality food and cheese shops throughout the country.