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n2chocola8

Items to shop for in France

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For France especially, the best reply to this can be strongly dependant on what region you're visiting. Can you tell us your port/s ?

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We struggle with this too since you can pretty much get anything online nowadays. 

However, a couple things we've brought back as gifts and for ourselves during past trips have been:  

Peugeot salt and pepper grinders

Spices from farmers markets

Specialty mustard from the Maille store.  

 

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Depends where in France,  if you are in the south you can get Camargue red rice which is quite unusual or lots of lavender products

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possibilities:

Provence: rose salt

Normandy: Calvados (apple brandy)

Paris: perfume or wine/champagne (of course), baret or mariniere, macarons

found in all areas above: chestnut paste, antiques

 

 

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Are those two stops? Or are you going to St Tropez from Marseille? 

If it is two stops, what are your plans for Marseille?  Full day there? Excursions to Aix? Avignon? Les Baux? Arles?

One of the most typical items from Provence are the "santons."  Look it up:

https://theculturetrip.com/europe/france/articles/santons-provencal-homes/

Edited by marazul

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Yes, two stops. We have not made plans for either day for any tours as we just wanted to explore on our own and do some shopping. Thank you for the link to the santons....interesting figures. I am hoping to find some Provence linens for my tables in Marseille.

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There are lots of tourist shops selling table linens with the beautiful Provencal sunflowers and lovely soaps and hand creams made from the local lavender.

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3 hours ago, n2chocola8 said:

We will be visiting St. Tropez and Marsielle, France. 

Thank you for all of your suggestions.

 

In that case. Another vote for soaps and lavender products. Also olive oil and some delightful pottery products.

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FYI, just another thought but I concur with the glorious table linens and ceramics in the South of France, they are beautiful and I wanted everything. 

 

If you are someone or know someone who enjoys perfumes or eau de colognes/toilettes (there's a difference) you might also enjoy shopping for some very lovely and distinct fragrances not otherwise available in the U.S. as some brands/designers simply do not export here. Also, you won't be terribly far from Grasse, the epicenter of all things perfume in the world, where people come to learn the trade and some of the most wonderful oils are found. Just something to think about if you enjoy these things. I always found that with fragrance, whenever I used one that I bought from France or anywhere that I traveled to, it reminded me of that place with particular detail.

 

Another thing that I have always enjoyed bringing home from trips is local artwork–small drawings or paintings by local artists or even nice print reproductions of other work like a photograph you might find particularly beautiful and would be a great reminder of your journey or meaningful to someone you know. It's often not too hard to transport if it's small as it can be packed flat or, alternatively, placed in a round tube and carried or shipped home. 

 

With both art/photographs (even quality postcards suffice, the kind found in book shops, art stores, stationary supplies etc) and fragrance, these souvenirs serve as lasting, and repeat reminders of wonderful trips rather than traditional items. 

 

My other go-to is the fridge magnet (or other steel space that it'll stick to!) but again, I look for magnets that have some thought put into the design, or go to the extreme end and get something so tacky it's funny!! 

 

Whatever you decide, have a wonderful time in Marseille and St. Tropez! 🙂

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There are also items made of olive wood.  Olive trees are everywhere in Provence, Var, Luberon, Bouches du Rhone and others.

 

There are so many items made of olive wood in all different sizes that you would be spoiled for choice.

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We are going to spend one day in Marseille in mid  April. It will be our first time in Marseille and in Provence in general. I actually planned to buy a bottle of good local wine. I don't know which wine to buy, but that's another question. I'm a bit surprised that no one on this forum had suggested to buy local wine. Why? Is it because there may be some problems in bringing it on board, or a bottle is just too heavy to carry? I don't think we will take too many suitcases with us, but I'm sure I will always find some space for one bottle of good French wine :).

Jess

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Whether you can take it onboard depends on your cruise line. Some allow it, but there will usually be a corkage charge if you drink it in a public area. Could be permitted if you drink it in your cabin.  You need to check the alcohol policy of your cruise line.

 

As for luggage, security at European (and other airports elsewhere) mean that liquids in hand luggage must be no more than 100 mls which is way smaller than a bottle of wine.  It would be confiscated at security.

 

On average, a bottle of wine or spirits will weigh around 1K and you will have a weight allowance.

 

Personally we never risk putting any liquids  in our hold luggage, especially wine. Imagine the contents of your suitcase should a bottle get cracked or broken in transit. Is it worth the risk?

Edited by edinburgher

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On 12/6/2019 at 5:58 AM, CrazyJess said:

We are going to spend one day in Marseille in mid  April. It will be our first time in Marseille and in Provence in general. I actually planned to buy a bottle of good local wine. I don't know which wine to buy, but that's another question. I'm a bit surprised that no one on this forum had suggested to buy local wine. Why? Is it because there may be some problems in bringing it on board, or a bottle is just too heavy to carry? I don't think we will take too many suitcases with us, but I'm sure I will always find some space for one bottle of good French wine :).

 

Jess

 

CrazyJess-

 

If you are only in Marseille mid-cruise you don't have to worry now about how much wine to bring on board. I would wait until you are on board to check how much wine you will be allowed to bring to the ship.  The bottles are no different from wine bottles in the US.  The weight is the same.  Do find out abut a corkage fee if you want to drink them on board.

 

If you want to bring the wine home with you, you must put it in your checked luggage because one bottle exceeds the carry-on guidelines.  But, I would not hesitate to put a bottle or two in your checked luggage.  We do it all the time.  Stick it in the middle of your laundry bag and place the bag in the center of your suitcase.  It is completely safe.  One bottle or two per checked suitcase is fine.  You must declare them when going through customs in the US.  The duty is minimal, much more less than the cost of the wine in the US.  A couple can bring two to three bottles in duty free.  Additional bottles would be $1-2 each.  And many times, if you only owe a couple of dollars, they will just wave you through.

 

As to which wine to buy, you are in the center of the wonderful rosé wines of Provence.  For the best, buy a bottle of rosé from Bandol (just east of Marseille).  For a slightly lower grade, get a Coteaux d'Aix denomination. For the best reds in the areas, get a Châteauneuf-du-Pape (it is just north of Avignon).  For whites, the best are from Cassis, but they are not in the same league as the Bandol rosés or the Châteauneuf reds.  You can find them all at any wine shop in Marseille.

 

And I am just as surprised as you that more people don't ask about the local wines.  Their loss ... 😉

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I love the soap made from olive oil in Marseille.   Great gifts, easy to transport!   I pay corkage and drink local wines on-board😎

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The only time I never put a bottle in my suitcase I actually dropped it in the airport. I then slipped on it so ended up smelling of whisky, albeit a very good one.

 

we only take back wine when we take the car to France.

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Thank you all for the info. This time we will cruise on Crown Princess. Hope they are not too strict about wine. We plan  to buy a couple of bottles to drink them on board and another couple… or may be a bit more… to  bring home. I think I can risk and put two bottles in our  checked luggage. I will do by best to pack them appropriately. Thank you marazul for all the info concerning which wine to buy. Very valuable! Thanks! I can’t wait for my cruise!
Jess

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On 12/6/2019 at 5:58 AM, CrazyJess said:

We are going to spend one day in Marseille in mid  April. It will be our first time in Marseille and in Provence in general. I actually planned to buy a bottle of good local wine. I don't know which wine to buy, but that's another question. I'm a bit surprised that no one on this forum had suggested to buy local wine. Why? Is it because there may be some problems in bringing it on board, or a bottle is just too heavy to carry? I don't think we will take too many suitcases with us, but I'm sure I will always find some space for one bottle of good French wine :).

 

Jess

 

Perhaps most folks are not overly impressed with the wines of the immediate region.   You might want to consider some wines from the area North of Avignon where there are some decent Rhone wines.  Another popular (and reasonably priced option) are the fine Rosé's  that come from the Tavel area.  While I am not a big fan of rosé's the Tavel wines are the best of these light wines and perfect for a summer picnic. Friends have told us of some excellent Mourvedre wines from the regions near Marseille but we have little personal experience with that grape.

 

One problem we have encountered is that many of the wine prices in France are not really that much different then the prices for the same (or similar) wines here in the USA.  Given the weight and hassles we seldom bring home wines, but find it better to just drink them in France 🙂

 

Hank

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Friends have told us of some excellent Mourvedre wines from the regions near Marseille but we have little personal experience with that grape.

 

These are likely to be Bandol wines.  The Bandol roses especially are recognised internationally, as are those from the Tavel area you mention.

 

It is the use of the Mourvedre grape variety in different percentages which gives Bandol reds and rose wines their unique taste.

 

Just like your friends, we too have personal experience of drinking these wines.😁😁 Our most recent visit was September.

 

Try some on your next visit to France!

 

 If in the area itself, you can of course visit producers and sample and buy, but to have more selections,  in Bandol you can find l' oenotheque des vins de Bandol, and on the fringes of le Castellet, the sister operation called  la  Maison des Vins de Bandol.

 

Producers showcase ALL Bandol wines with wines from all producers in the area, a small number available for free tasting, all available to buy. The tastings vary depending on which bottles are open when you visit.

 

Sante!

 

Edited by edinburgher

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Hank,

You need to do a little more tasting 😁

The rosés from Bandol and Bellet are excellent. A little fuller and drier than the Tavels.

As for prices in the US, the Bandols are in the $30-50 range and the Bellets are nearly impossible to find. 

BTW, Bellet is the smallest appellation in France from a tiny area above Nice. They have been making wine there since Roman times. 

Edited by marazul

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