A local roofer and his team helped us remove a problematic high branch as we know his sister and she asked if he could help. We’d like to give the team a thank you gift (in Australia we would usually give them a box of beer) but we wonder if they would prefer something else in France?
Any tradespeople out there who could tell me what would delight you as a thank you gift to show appreciation?
French workers probably couldn’t give a castlelmaine XXXX
In my experience, if they give their services free on a neighbourly basis - that is reward enough.
Having said that, a local retired farmer used his tractor to pull a delivery truck out of our field and we bought him a bottle of scotch - much to his sheer and genuine embarrassment!
We got towed out of a farm track once, maybe 20 years ago now, by the local farmer. The gendarme who organised the tow (he happened to be passing) suggested 10F, which would probably be the same in Euros now. I don’t think the farmer was embarrassed.
I would ask the sister, stressing how grateful you are for her and her brother’s kindness (because we all like to be appreciated) and asking how you can show your appreciation more tangibly. But I would tread carefully, as @graham says, because it shouldn’t be something of equivalent value.
Our lovely neighbours and us have always helped each other over the years, not expecting any reward, but a couple of favours I have done recently, taken their dog to the vet for her final visit because they couldn’t face it, let myself in with their key when they were away for the weekend to sprinkle a teaspoon of food in the fish tank (without letting the cats out, the thing I was most worried about), has produced on both occasions a bottle of rose even though, we are teetotal in this house which I thought she knew. I have accepted on both occasions with strong protestations (not because of the wine but because of the gift).
@Bosh It isn’t the value, it is the thought, and I am sure it would be acceptable.
I take your point about giving alcohol to a recovering alcoholic, my wife has me as a barrier to her temptation, but I would never give money to someone who had done me a friendly favour. To my mind it devalues the thought behind the gift.
Having said that, I am sometimes offered money when delivering dogs but always refuse, and without taking offence, as normally I have been or will be reimbursed my true expenses. French people do often feel as if they owe me something and I do get local wine or cakey or biscuitty treats as a gesture of gratitude.
Some nice ‘weekend’ treat from the boulangerie will always work and avoids the potential embarrassment of giving alcohol to teetotallers. Mind you, with all our builders we know that they drink as there’s a bottle of red wine on site at lunchtime.
Strangely enough, most French people don’t drink cognac, they much prefer scotch, as shown in the supermarket aisles.
Here, we help each out on a regular basis, you never know when it might be you doing the helping.
For instance, our hens have been laying very well and our garden is full, so we share our bounty with our neighbours.
We had a bag of laying grain for the chickens given to us, wine and our baker neighbour makes us wonderful cakes.
Thank you for all the advice! In the end I waited until today and took a bottle of rosé to the sister (as she has always been very helpful and we haven’t known her for very long but remembered she drinks rosé) and a box of Grimbergen beer to the roofing team as I thought it would be easier to share beer cans with the team than a single bottle of scotch (and I checked with the sister that they do drink).
Both were unexpected but well received and appreciated