Etiquette Question - Baking my Doctor a Cake

Hi everyone, would appreciate some advice as to whether this would be considered an acceptable gesture in France or not.
Over the last 18 months I’ve had some joint injury/inflammation issues, have been in and out the doctors’ surgery a lot, my medecin traitant has been exceptionally helpful. She’s really gone above and beyond in making and following up specialist appointments for me, volunteering to look at scans over the evening to give me a second opinion, etc etc. I have a routine appointment on Saturday and 'd like to bake her a cake to say thank you (organic, carrot cake so not inappropriately unhealthy!) - would this be considered a suitable gesture, or would it be weird? I don’t want to ask my French neighbours because, although they’re lovely, they are quite “chatty” and I could be there some time :slight_smile: - so I thought I’d canvass some opinions on here. Never been to the doctors much in the UK, let alone France, before this; so I’m not sure what’s appropriate. Thanks!


As a health care professional in the Uk we would love home made cake

1 Like

I’m sure she would love to receive a gift like this from you, especially if it’s something typically British. If it’s a strange thing to do then I imagine she would put it down to being “crazy English”.

I wanted to give the local nurses a gift for helping me and hubby through a terrible time and when I consulted my French friend she said a lovely box of chocolates is perfect. So I bought the most enormous Ferrero selection I could find. Baking a cake was an alternative but decided on the route with less effort.

I hope you’re feeling better now.

1 Like

We did the same here after a longish stay in soin intensive at BDX Haut-Lévèque following emergency admission after a triple bypass op.
The nurses there were really appreciative too so a good call.


I took a plate of homemade gingerbread biscuits to my UK gp surgery. They were very pleased.

1 Like

That’s a great idea, especially as she has done so much for you and helped put you at ease. :slight_smile:

I would think some home-baking would be seen as especially thoughtful, it has an initimacy that a shop-based gift doesn’t convey, although chocolates are easy for nurses to share (except that the night staff usually find the empty box in the office bin) :cry:

1 Like

That suited me perfectly Peter as one of the night nurses was a real so-an-so…

1 Like

It’s a great idea, and she will love it! I knitted a market bag “filet” for my own doctor, and she seemed very pleased and surprised. Also, for a number of years, I made brownies, wrapped them in Xmas paper, and gave them to our postman, along with a tip, of course. What French person wouldn’t love food for a gift??

@graham:… “one of the night nurses was a real so-and-so…”

In the old days night nurse used to keep a special tin of grit on the back trolley to rub into your ‘pressure areas’ before tucking you in at night and giving you a ‘bottle’ to piddle in.

For special cases the grit-rub was polished off with a splash of methylated spirit to harden the skin on the buttocks.

“Nighty-night Mr Lees” :nauseated_face::imp:

I guess you would know about that Peter :rofl:

1 Like

Sorry, I just had to contribute with Peter Ustinov doing his : ‘Got cake?’ routine. :wink:
Image result for peter ustinov got any cake

1 Like

Happy New Year Diane,

A French lady of my acquaintance who was undergoing cancer treatment bought four small boxes of quality chocolates for various staff at Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco. She is far from rich and bought the best quality chocolates that she could afford.

The gift of a home-made cake will always be graciously received but the gift of a box of chocolates for someone with whom one has a professional relationship might be better appreciated, especially if it is the kind of chocolates that your doctor might not readily buy for herself.

Like you, I rarely needed a Doc in UK… but here, things have been very different. OH and I have been through so much, supported by our Doc that he seems more like an old-friend.

I’m no great cake baker, but one thing I can do well is “Mincemeat Slice” and a package of this, at Christmas, is always appreciated… very British, very delicious … is how he describes it.

Your home-made carrot cake sounds a super idea.

1 Like

Sidney … I thought the original poster was considering baking a cake to give to her Doctor… so not sure what you are getting at.

We have friends all over France and we give and receive home-made presents… in a way even more highly prized due to the care/time taken.

Our French friends enjoy British specialities and vice versa …

If someone is on good terms with the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker… and especially the Doctor… why not give a home-made gift … it will be appreciated.


Love the cartoon, Janice. First chuckle of my day @1305 :grin:

I went to a couple of Christmas markets were there were British people selling home made British style cakes. Despite being ridiculously expensive they were selling, to French customers, like hot cakes. If somebody is confident enough in their baking ability to offer a cake to somebody I’m sure that gift will be gratefully received. A few times every year I do what my neighbour considers to be a special favour and I know that she is pleased when she brings around a home cooked delight. An impersonal shop bought treat would not carry the same weight.

1 Like

Ha ha Janice… France is a large country and folk will doubtless differ in their ways…

some of my experiences…with French friends far and wide…

Nicole in Charente does patchwork and her gifts are delightful little things…

Marie-Claire in Soulac-sur -Mer gives bottles of her home-made delicious Tilleul wine

Jean-François does a mean eau de vie from almost any fruit… and everyone wants to be his best friend…

Lily in Herblay makes the most wonderful macarons … I love her coming to visit us…

Pierre in Corsica is a pushover for my home-made drunken plum chocolates… and I love the various goats cheeses he so carefully makes…

I reckon it is horses for courses… the sort of folk who make up my world are on my wavelength… :hugs:

I often make a cake for my doctor, also for the staff at the lab., Not to mention the vet.They’re always very appreciative.

1 Like

Thank you for your advice and suggestions everyone! Cake duly baked and delivered to doctor, who said she was very touched and she adores carrot cake - I hope she likes it! (I did used to work as a professional caterer btw, so cake-making is in my skill set and I won’t be poisoning her…)
And Janice, thank you for checking with your French friends for me, and I’m not ignoring your v helpful advice re chocolates; it’s just that I happen to know my doctor is very very healthy and I’m not at all sure she eats chocolates or sweets, but I do know she’s keen on properly made organic food. If I hadn’t had this particular conversation with her I’d have been following your recommendation for chocolates!