Tasteful Toulouse gifts for everyone on your list
When we packed up our lives and moved to Toulouse, we sold or gave away about 75% of our stuff, put a few heirlooms in storage with my parents (Thanks, Mom and Dad!), and started fresh with what we could fit into 3 very large suitcases and 2 carry-on bags. Since then, I’ve found myself reluctant to begin accumulating more “stuff” and being very intentional about what we bring into our little 45m² apartment. As the gift-giving season is upon us and I frantically make my list of loved ones to buy for, I’m trying to take the same approach to gift-giving as I do to buying things for myself. To that end, here is a brief list of 10 meaningful (and tasteful!) gifts from Toulouse that will delight, be useful, and (hopefully) not clutter up the back of a cupboard in a month or two.
1. Opinel no. 10 knife with bottle opener – for the person on your list who’s always ready for an apéro by the Pont Saint Pierre
I use this handy folding knife on my tours and for picnics. The integrated bottle opener isn’t my favorite type, but it means I’ll never be stuck wishing for a screw cap. Made in France. Available in store and online at Maison Habiague.
2. Pavé Toulousain with gift box – for the person on your list who always has the best cheese in their fridge
This cheese is the special creation of MOF François Bourgon of Xavier Fromagerie – you’ll never find it elsewhere! Sold at 3 different ages – 3, 6, and 12 months – depending on your taste. You can buy it with or without the lovely wooden box, but I’d recommend giving it as a gift with the box – both for the lovely presentation and also because your favorite cheeselover can continue to age the cheese themselves in it! Can be vacuum-sealed for easy traveling. Available in store and online at Xavier Fromagerie.
3. Xavier Fromagerie tote bag – for the person on your list who spends their Saturday morning doing goat yoga (or wishes they could)
No matter what you carry in it, this adorable tote featuring a goat wearing the distinctive bleu, blanc, et rouge collar of a Meilleur Ouvrier de France (referencing François Bourgon, the head of Xavier Fromagerie who is an MOF) is a whimsical gift for any lover of chevre. Available in store at Xavier Fromagerie.
4. “Dites cheese” cheeseboard – for the person on your list who is always host(ess) with the most(es)
Say cheese! Get the party smiling with this cheeseboard from Miwitipee, a father-daughter woodworking duo located just outside of Toulouse, that create charming and unique objects from sustainably-sourced European wood. Available from Miwitipee’s online shop or at their booth in the Marché de Noël in Toulouse through December 26, 2018.
5. Team Chocolatine shirt – for the person on your list who is #teamchocolatine all the way
Help someone show their local pride in a stylish way with a “Team Chocolatine” t-shirt or sweatshirt. Available in store at From Toulouse with Love.
6. Joiani customizable jewelry – for the person on your list who is picking up the “accent charmant de Toulouse”
Joiani offers custom-engraved silver jewelry, assembled in Toulouse. Choose any saying you like, but I love “Toulousaing” as a fun way to show pride in Toulouse’s lovely accent. Available online and at select pop-up markets around Toulouse (check website for schedule).
7. DIY Kir Toulousain kit – for the person on your list who thinks that Champagne is a good drink for any occasion
The Toulousain take on the Kir Royale – the Kir Toulousain – is a gorgeous cocktail made of sparkling wine, liquor made from the famous Violettes de Toulouse, with a candied violet petal in the bottom of the flute for a lovely touch. Make your own Kir Toulousain kit with a bottle of Violet Liqueur and candied violet petals from Maison des Violettes. Pick up a bottle of chilled sparkling wine from your local caviste to complete the package and you’re all set! Available in store and online at La Maison de la Violette.
8. Gift voucher for the new Sweet Stroll: Chocolate & Pastry Tour from Taste of Toulouse – for the person on your list who never says no to dessert
If you’ve seen my social media accounts, you know that I’ve been hard at work tasting and testing numerous delicacies from some of the best chocolateries and patisseries in Toulouse for my new chocolate and pastry tour that will debut in February. Give the gift of sweet anticipation when you buy a digital gift voucher that you can print or send by email to the lucky recipient. Available online.
9. Emotion bowl – for the person on your list who wears their face on their sleeve
These adorable bowls catch my eye every time I’m in the gift shop Pylones. White porcelain means they’re durable and go with everything. The expressive faces means you can pick the one that fits the recipient’s personality. Filled with nuts or chips for an apéro, it’s a fun conversation starter. Available in store or online from Pylones.
10. Gift voucher for the Marché Victor Hugo Tour – for the person on your list who never needs anything
Science has shown that we’re happier when we spend money on experiences instead of things. So why not gift a voucher for the Marché Victor Hugo food tour? You’ll be not only be giving a deliciously unforgettable experience (packed with info that they’ll keep on using), but you’ll also be supporting over HALF A DOZEN local businesses without a thing to clutter up the closet! Now that’s what I call a truly thoughtful gift. Purchase now.