Firstly, apologies - we know that it is still November but don’t we all need something to look forward to at the moment? A little extra sparkle in our lives? The BordeauxLife team continues to help clients relocate to their new homes but, for obvious reasons, time away from our desks is a little less than usual due to the restrictions we have to work under at present.
Our thoughts are turning towards Christmas plans, both corporate and personal, and we thought we would share details of how we are trying hard to support our local businesses in a time where they clearly need it more than ever! Here are just a few of our favourite ideas for something to make this Christmas a little bit special:
Visit a virtual Christmas market: many of the local Facebook groups are hosting virtual markets this year, giving group members a helping hand to advertise their products free of charge:
Mums Space France : Mums Space France Virtual Market
Ladies in Business in France: Ladies in Business in France
Treat your friends or family to dinner. Of course not at the moment, however many restaurants and bars are now offering gift cards/vouchers, which could be the perfect Christmas gift, quite honestly, as it’ll give the recipient something to look forward to when we are able to get out and about again:
Cent 33 is a wonderful fine dining restaurant near Jardin Public and their gift vouchers are easy to order. Top tip - don't miss out on their tasting table which is excellent and seriously good value for money.
Visit an online bookstore. Personally I love receiving books at any time of the year. Cookery books, coffee table books etc. Mollat - Mollat Bordeaux is the biggest bookstore in Bordeaux who offer a fantastic range of books and you can order online or ‘click and collect: alternatively, Bradley's Bookshop is a small independent English bookstore who offer an online delivery service and have an excellent choice of books for both children and adults.
Online classes are booming at the moment - from yoga workouts to cooking classes, language classes to creative writing courses, many businesses are now offering their services online. So why not source a course that suits your loved one, sign them up as a Christmas gift, and help support an independent organisation in the process?
Handmade gifts are a super idea, whether you are on the search for jewellery, posters, mugs or blankets, there are so many handmade businesses out there just waiting to be discovered. So why not swerve the usual big brands and instead shop online via sites such as Etsy France. Alternatively, for friends and relatives in the UK who are missing their holidays in France have a look at Jane Hunt’s Etsy page Bougies d'Aquitaine - she has some wonderful Christmas candles on offer this year, I have one burning as I write this just for a little inspiration!
Flowers are a welcome gift at any time of the year and our go to florist in Bordeaux is Caroline at Oya Fleurs - she speaks fluent English and offers a super fast delivery service around Bordeaux. We adore her dried flower couronne which makes a lovely gift and lasts forever!
Surprise, surprise, Christmas is a time when our thoughts also turn to food and again, we are trying to support our local businesses when planning our menus and treats for the season - check out the links below for a few of our favourites:
Maison Franco is a wonderful neighbourhood traiteur in Le Bouscat and a firm favourite of ours. They are continuing to offer a take-out option during confinement and are a godsend over the holiday period with everything from ready made dishes, roast meats with vegetable sides and (ignore the calories) their amazing pain perdu!
Cupcakes are not just for children or birthday parties, The Sweet Life Bordeaux makes them to order. Both their cupcakes and individual creations taste just as good as they look. The owners are in the process of setting up their business so keep an eye out for them instagram #the.sweet.life.bordeaux and at your local Bordeaux markets.
For those among us who crave something quintessentially British at Christmas, Toast Food Truck are taking orders for mince pies and Christmas cakes (free delivery in the Bordeaux area).
Finally, please don’t forget that it’s not enough to shop from these amazing small businesses: you need to tell the world about their outstanding service and unique products, too. Share your photos and thoughts on social media, leave a review, tell your friends about your new discovery, share your thoughts with them via email, and help others find them!
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A mostly light-hearted look at life in South-West France