Travel Essentials & Gift Ideas from France

Travelers gearing up for a visit to France in the New Year, last-minute gift buyers with Francophiles on their list, or those who just yearn for the French countryside will find QuelObjet’s beautiful travel books, CDs & useful guides essential.

QuelObjet,is a company that specializes in gorgeous, everyday items highly regarded by the French, yet often not widely known outside France.

For walking tours, the hip and extremely comfy “Razzeteurs” — a cross between an espadrille and a hightop — will help one traverse the Gallic streets in high style. To entice the small people in your life to appreciate France, introduce them to QuelObjet’s delightful compilation of favorite French children’s songs or huggable Didier The Bear.

Listed below are some examples of what QuelObjet has to offer:

“Bistro Boxed Book and CD Set” — A CD of 10 French favorites by Piaf, Gershwin, Reinhardt, and others performed by the Metronote Quintet, packaged with a book, a combination guide to Parisian bistros with descriptions of the bistros themselves, notes on the sights of their surrounding areas, and favorite recipes for each. Thoroughly researched, beautifully photographed. Start planning your next trip!

2. THE ONLY PARISIAN GUIDE YOU’LL EVER NEED “Wandering Paris” — Wander Paris with artist Jill Butler as she suggests 14 themed days of exploration — from water adventures to flea market excursions, nighttime events, bakery tastings, and more. This pocketsize guide, complete with charming illustrations is the ideal companion for a unique sojourn in the City of Lights. Each chapter includes a map and suggestions for dinner or un aperitif.

“Streetwise” maps show the city centers, the important sights, and how to get where you want to go. “Streetwise” company has expanded their line to include six maps of France that are invaluable for Francophiles.

- “Streetwise France” – This is a complete country map of France including Corsica and an inset of the area surrounding Paris. Motorways, divided highways, primary, and secondary roads are clearly depicted. These, and the location of the airports, are especially usefully in driving into and out of Paris The index lists over 300 cities and towns, 21 regions, and 11 major sites.

– “Streetwise Paris” – A very easy-to-read map, with an index to help you locate more than 1700 streets, as well as hotels, museums, parks, government offices, metro stations, taxi stands, places of worship, pedestrian walks, and “curiosités”. Laminated–for endless folding and unfolding.

- French Playground CD – A delightful musical rendezvous of French and French Creole songs from France, Haiti, Mauritius, and Quebec. The songs are in French, the accompanying booklet has the lyrics in both French and English. 12 songs, 35 minutes. A great gift for kids studying French or planning a trip to France.

- Didier the Bear – Didier, “Didi,” the adorable bear in a beret and slippers. Didi loves children. Didi loves hugs. You know a little someone who would love Didi.

5. RAZZETEURS – Definitely not Grandma’s hightops! Razzeteurs are the offspring of espadrilles and high-topped sneakers and are the coolest new shoes on the planet but up to now rarely seen on the streets of the USA.’s razzeteurs are made from the vividly striped fabrics of Les Toiles du Soleil, in France’s Southwest Catalan region. They’re comfortable for all-day traipsing about the Gallic streets.

Quel Objet’s line also includes sumptuous linens, mouthwatering traditional French edibles, playful art, exquisite demitasse cups, vases, shimmering jaquard tea towels & tableclothes, just in time for the holiday season. Most of these are exclusively available in the U.S. only through Quel Objet.

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