If you know a francophile, delight him or her with a great France-themed gift basket. Here are step-by-step instructions, including links to compare prices on suggested items to use.
Pick a container
Find a great container. Don't limit yourself to simple baskets. Find a hat box with a toile fabric, or a Provencal tote bag. Here are some other possibilities:
- Le Creuset Gratin Dish
- Le Creuset Tomato Casserole, adorable, French and practical.
- Calphalon Chef's 7-Quart Casserole
- Non-stick 10-inch Crepe Pan
Pick a Theme
Is your gift recipient a francophile who loves to cook? Or perhaps he or she loves wine or cheese. Maybe she loves French soaps and other indulgences, loves to travel or is a bookworm. Here is some possible themes:
- Gourmet gift basket - You can choose a fine mix of French food staples, cheese and other goodies. Find ideas for basket filler gifts with my list of top French gourmet gifts. Ditch the gift tissue, and wrap everything inside an I Love France Apron.
- Cheese lover gift basket - Give an emphasis on cheese with this great cheese slicer and these eye-catching cheese plates, this cheese knife and wooden crate set and the thorough "Cheese Companion" encyclopedia of cheeses.
- Wine aficianado gift basket - This gift basket can show off the best of France's wines. Include a bottle from my list of top 2005 Beaujolais Nouveau wines. Add a clink-proof wine tote. This cool Wine Cork Bulletin Board Kit is sure to please. Add the useful Screwpull 2-pc. Trilogy Travel Wine Opener and Foil Cutter Gift Set. Throw in the handy book, "Wine Spectator's Guide to the Best Wine Restaurants in the World ".
- Travel junkie gift basket - Include great items for the travel junkie. Start with a container like one of these Top Bags for Traveling With Laptops and Gadgets. If it's for a woman, throw in some of these Top Travel Gifts for Woman. They're sure to love some of these Packing Must-Haves. Is the recipient planning a visit? Give a rail pass or France map.
- Bookworm gift basket - Give some of the great reads from this list of Top Books Set in France. Include the handy LightWedge Book Light. Tuck everything into an I Love Paris Totebag.
Pick a Centerpiece Item
You don't want to spend a fortune on the gift basket, I'll presume, so it's a good idea to pick one central item to focus most of your budget and/or to draw the eye and make the gift basket look appealing.
Choose Smaller Items
Look for items that are less expensive to fill out the basket. Wine label removers are great, as well as smaller gourmet items like jams, mustards, crepe mix, and so on.
Close with Creativity
Think of a creative way to finish it off. Visit your local Border's or Barnes and Noble and find a French newspaper, then shred it as filler. Wrap the basket with plastic wrap, and attach a tag with a French phrase printed on it, like "Joyeux Noel" for Christmas, "Bonne Anniversaire" for a birthday, or simple terms like "Bonjour."