If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I recently visited Nice and the Côte d’Azur. The weather was beautiful, although sometimes very hot, and as always, the food was great. One of the best things I know is to just wander around a supermarket in any country that I stay in and be amazed and inspired by all the foreign products that I see. I seldom even contemplate buying e.g. a packet of dry biscuits at home, but in France (or Italy, Germany, Japan or anywhere else), I actually consider it. Sometimes there is something about the packaging that intrigues me (smiling pandas? Must be good!) , sometimes about the flavouring (green tea-flavoured Kit Kat? Bring it on!). And don’t even get me started on eating a simple baguette, just with my favourite French butter “President demi-sel” added.
Unfortunately I can’t bring butter with me on the plane. (Has anyone tried?) However, I like to bring a little bit of everything with me from my travels. So, this is what I packed in my bag to take home this time.
- 4 magazines in French : This counts towards my education in the French language, right? Besides, I love buying magazines in France. There is often some sort of gift, like a t-shirt (though scratchy, ill-fitting and with a hole on one sleeve, but never mind..) or like with this issue from a parents’ magazine (aptly named “Parents”), which came with a small mineral water facial spray for hot days.
- A new addition to my Hermès collection. This is my favourite souvenir to bring home. I try to get one on each trip if there is an Hermès store. I remember each and every place I got one when I wear them.
- Some food items: A jar of chestnut cream and one of chocolate cream (I looooove Nutella. However, I never buy it. This is because 1. I can’t trust myself with an open jar at home and 2. I don’t like that it contains palm oil. This one doesn’t have palm oil, so it must be good for you, right?) I feel some crêpes coming my way soon.. I also bought a jar of minced garlic in oil at the food market in Cours Saleya which I think could be wonderful to a simple pasta dish.
- Speaking of pasta, ravioli is apparently a very south of France-kind of dish, not just Italian. I therefore had to buy to two ravioli cutters. Those are the torture-looking devices in the lower right corner.
- Two cookbooks: I am sucker for cookbooks. I always buy a new one with the honest intention to cook everything from the book… until I find a new one two weeks later.
- A small booklet, “Mon cahier de recettes”, where I can jot down new recipes.
- A porcelain changing tray from the elegant Hotel Negresco to remind me of a wonderful lunch. (No, I didn’s steal it; they sold it at the gift shop.)
- A tiny grammar book I found at a supermarket which promises to make me able to conjugate “sans fautes”. That’s surely worth more than 3.99 EUR!
- A Breton-style striped t-shirt and a striped pajamas for the little bébé. Just too cute and too French not to buy.
- Some lavender sachets and scented soaps as gifts.
- A set of four postcards and a large poster (not pictured) from the Dior exhibition at the International perfume museum in Grasse.
- And finally, a small pebble that my husband jokingly gave to me when we sat on the beach. I had to keep that one.
I didn’t get a round, braided handbag that I thought would be perfect for any summer outfit at the Riviera. Couldn’t find one in the shops. But besides that, I am pretty pleased with my souvenirs. None of the souvenirs are your typical Eiffel towers or fridge magnets. I love souvenirs that don’t scream out “I HAVE BOUGHT THIS ON HOLIDAY IN PARIS/ THE FRENCH RIVIERA/ NEW YORK”! Instead they remind me gently of warm days, laughs and the odd (stinging) encounter with a jellyfish.
What souvenirs do you like to get from your holidays? Do you have one kind that you always try and get? Do you have a collection of something special? Please tell!