Just because our overseas escapades have been taken off the calendar for 2020, does not mean we have to deprive ourselves of all things European. In fact, Catherine Matthews of French Blue has a beautiful selection of homewares and furnishings from the continent.
In Northern Hemisphere newness, aptly named A Taste of Paris cooking products have snuck onto the shelves just in time for the gifting season.
A few notable mentions being the love elixir – a wild strawberry French syrup – and olive oil with black truffle and balsamic.
But the drawcard of the range is French organic extra virgin olive oil that is made to resemble a Chanel No. 5 bottle – talk about kitchen couture.
A selection of other French goodies are available such as the ever-popular French country diary for 2021, hand creams and soap, and Espadrij shoes.
There is also an array of limited-edition silk and cotton scarves from Amsterdam, Mexican Tibor and glassware, and gorgeous candles, diffusers and room sprays.
Top off any purchase by supporting local with an exclusive Christmas card, featuring an Angel designed by It’s Lucy Speaking.
This little European escape is located at 9A Normans Road in Elmwood, where even just a quick browse transports you overseas.
Holidays may have been put on hold and borders may be closed for the time being, but you don’t have to travel the world to get a hold of some of its greatest treasures. We caught up with Catherine Matthews, owner of French Blue, to find out her instore recommendations.
All the way from Mexico; calf skin tote bags and glassware are a popular pick.
Make your way over to Europe with French linen and linen tea towels then pop on over to Portugal with Rua Nova tableware.
A lovely rack of Ilse Jacobsen coats, raincoats and wind jackets from Denmark hang front and centre.
And it wouldn’t be a gift guide without recommending their assortment of gift cards.
Who said you just had to visit French Blue to purchase gifts for others… treat yourself.
A visit to French Blue in Normans Road feels like a little sojourn through some of the loveliest spots of Europe. Here is a gift boutique where rarity and quality are paramount to owner Catherine Matthews.
With Christmas but days away, French Blue offers the opportunity to gift loved ones with something that is distinctive, exceptional and beyond compare. If handmade, handstitched, delicate creations are something you value, then some darling Christmas angels, made by Angela Gordon, will be delightful additions to your Christmas theme at home, as would be any of the exquisite Christmas decorations on display. With jewellery from Mexico, Israel, France, Spain and Italy, there is a gorgeous array of bijoux ranging from necklaces and pendants through to bangles, bracelets, earrings and rings.
The Italian leatherware (wallets, card holders, notebooks, etc) is heaven to stroke, and the colours are muted, gentle, yet so very sophisticated. Women will adore the selection of linen, cashmere and silk scarves from Italy and Amsterdam, and French Market Baskets from Morocco will add that splash of dash. Dress your dining-room with the finest linen, place Swedish candlesticks as your centrepiece and finish with some Polish, English or Spanish tableware.
Should you be the designated person preparing Christmas dinner, treat yourself to a set of handmade kitchen knives by Peter Lorimer and work will seem a pleasure. Once your guests have left, luxuriate in a bath with French or Italian soaps, and light your scented candle from Cornwall. Bliss.