So, I don’t know much about what is given as gifts among French people, I know not to give Chrysanthemums, I know nothing about wine and alcohol, the French are horrified by this but they are delighted to see that the stereotype about English and tea is true. What should I get my neighbours who are leaving? They’ve been kind but I know nothing about gifts and don’t want to get it wrong. It’s easier with people in the church because I can buy Catholic trinkets and things, but the neighbours aren’t Catholic. I don’t want to be cheap and get some random chocolates, in case they don’t like that, and they’ve been kind.
Hi Annajayne IIRC you are in the Breton… are they moving within Breton or beyond? If beyond, something that might remind them of the area (and you of course)?
There’s an interesting idea. They are moving outside Bretagne, but will they want a reminder?
I’m not sure if they are even Breton themselves, but it’s certainly a nice thought.
If you have a chocolatier near to you, a nice box of chocolates is usually a good gift. Also a decent bottle of red wine or a sweet white is usually acceptable, but then I’m in the South West and the rest of the country thinks we’re alcoholics, so don’t take my word for it
The chocolatier near to us also does a selection of candied fruits if choccies are not your preference…
That’s a nice idea, candied fruit might be good, it’s different from the standard chocolates, and it’s something that can be handed round after a meal if they have guests, something like that. Good thinking.
Unless you have an idea of what they drink I wouldn’t offer alcohol. After all “decent” can mean so many different things…
A bunch of flowers usually goes down well.
but where to stick them when you’re in the process of moving
err. second thoughts, don’t answer that Peter
Plant for their new garden?
Good idea Cat. Thanks.
Exactly Jane, I don’t think I’d dare, as I said, I know nothing about wine.
What about a rose that they can plant in their garden to remember you by.
That’s a nice idea, thanks.
The times without number over the last 11 years of delivering dogs to French adopters, I have been given lots of wine, usually regional ones, lots of sweeties and chocs way too sweet for even my sweet tooth.
That and all sorts of local products again not possible for me to eat like foie gras etc…
Unsuitable as 90% of them are for me personally, I have never taken offence, ‘it’s the thought that counts’, has never been so true.
So, as long as you know that they drink alcohol, something in a bottle which is indicative of your (and their for the moment) locality, would be the best way for them to welcome themselves to their new home.
On a personal note, although I like wine and other alcoholic drinks (gin, whisky) I do not drink at home as my wife is an alcoholic, but I am obviously physically unable to give or throw away such gifts but, until yesterday when I had to clear the floor of my little book room to give a visiting technician access to a junction box, I did not realise what a secret stash I had. No less than 20 bottles of wine from all over France, including several Champagnes.
And a carton of Belgian fruit flavoured beer, a reminder of a Cold War style Dobermann handover exactly on the frontier in a disused douane parking.
If they like wine and are bons vivants , then decent is not your 2,50 EUR bottle from Lidl (even if some of them are very drinkable). At the very least, either an oldish bottle of reputed red ready to drink now, or else a reputable wine they can keep for a few years and think of you, or drink it with you, in the future.
any kind of red bordeaux Cru Bourgeois or Grand Cru Classé from a good, or promising year
any kind of Bourgogne of repute that’s at least 5 years old (which means it can be drunk now or kept for a few more years)
a Côtes du Rhône from a reputable vineyard
a Vin d’Alsace Vieilles Vignes, Vendanges Tardives, or a Vin Jaune from the Jura.
Edit: had a second thought. If they are Breton, then cider will probably have figured in their lives at some point. Rather than Breton cider, if you can find English scrumpy or get hold of some before they go, then they’ll probably be quite surprised, even if they don’t like it, and you’ll certainly be remembered for it!
Would I wish to be remembered for giving someone I like something they don’t like
Learning experience and cultural enlightenment
@RicePudding I think you might have meant that for Annajayne, not me.
But delighted you recognise Vin Jaune as among the classics! Although generally like all Jura wine an acquired taste.
Very useful, thanks Alex. It helps to be told something about wine as I know nothing.
I could get them some British cider and explain them the long tradition of homeless hostels and corner shops.