A bouquet for each place in the house!

Regardless of bouquets that are offered when you are invited, there are those that can be made even to decorate your house or apartment. The choice of bouquet depends of where they will be placed:

The entry requires an elegant bouquet, but small size and not too fragant.

The living room can be decorated with a decorative bouquet in harmony with the decor of the room; not put them between the guests.

In the bedroom, there is nothing more delightful to go pick up some flowers in to the garden; you should select those who have a soft aroma.

In the kitchen, we install more rustic bouquets, sometimes mixed with vegetable and fruit, in a redecorated commercial container.

To brighten up a table; the floral decoration can only be a centerpiece arranged in vase adorned with a round bouquet.

Beware with the huge bouquets between the guests and with strong smelling of flowers; might hiding the aroma of dishes!

Pictures from Pinterest.


How to place the condiments on the table?

In the middle Ages, spices were locked in wooden boxes. These precautions are justified by the importance of these products, their high prices and the fear of poisoning whose practice was widespread.

These fears are justified, and later they will fade, the spices are placed on the table in a small jewel box or earthenware in which the most diverse spices were offered to the sight of all the guests. The cupboard in the kitchen became very fashionable. Other condiments that could be found on the table: oil, vinegar and “mout ardent“. The consistency of the latter gave a variety of containers: from the sauce cup for the most liquid sauces to the ceramic cup for the thicker one.

The Oil and vinegar, each had their bottle, but in a delightful style. Both decanters were joined to each other to form the “guédoufles”. The bottle was with a shape of two bellies . The craftsmen created a range of models, from the most modest to the most ornate.

Currently we can find them as a piece collectibles. We put the salt and pepper on the table, mustard sometimes in the tables of restaurants, more rarely at the table in the house. The seasoning was a part of the process in the preparation of meals; nowadays, spices take more place on the tables. Generally, the cups of mustard and condiments are offered by the merchants to their clients as a gourmet delight.

38028-1 condiments

Pictures from verreancien.com

The Tip

The tip continues to give in some cases in France, even when the service is included in the bill, such as the restaurant or at the hairdresser. This means that we are satisfied with the service offered. This practice has developed in the 19th century, to reward a café restaurant service. In France is called “Pourboire” as its name suggests, a drink was offered in appreciation of the service done.

Over time, this habit has diversified and the “tip” or “Le pourboire” is the best way to express gratitud for the service, as is the case with taxi drivers, waiters or the tourist guides.

For the restaurant services, the amount of the tip is estimated around 15% of the note. It is better rewarded when a real service was rendered: very fast service, table well placed…

Who to tip?

Professional movers; after checking that they did not damaged your furniture.

The waiters and the valets, even if the service has already been included in the bill.

Taxi drivers, who were particularly attentive during the service.

Doormen and porters at the hotel. Haircut and the barber if he is not the boss.

Never give a tip to a doctor or a hostess. If you need to express your gratitude to them, a small gift may be more appropriate.

Luxury-Limousine-Service-1 Bulter with Call Bell

The Traditional Valentine’s Day in France

Love is often festival in our calendar, so on February 14 every year lovers of all ages celebrate their happiness by exchanging cards and gifts, a dinner in head-to- head, home or restaurant.

For a soft and serene atmosphere at home, think about the smallest details of candlesticks for a soft and romantic light; flowers on the table;  in our previous article you will find the best tips for give unforgettable flowers, but also a good meal cooked with your care.

But the majority of women prefer to go to the restaurant that day.

In France, couples mark this day by sending a traditional card, but they can also make a small gift for the occasion, flowers are the most classic and always appreciated gesture but also chocolates, perfume or jewelry.

The main color of the feast of Saint Valentine’s Day is traditionally red, but pink and white also have an important place.

- The red symbolizes the dedication and loyalty, but also passion.

- The white color of purity par excellence.

- Pink is a soft color. Since 1920 it is also the color of girls.

Another very strong symbol of Valentine’s Day is the rose, this flower represents love, especially if you offer or receive a red rose mean passion.






Photo from Marhaba.com

How to give flowers in France?

Traditionally we give flowers in all major circumstances of life: birth, baptism, engagement, marriage, death … Send flowers to someone is to honor him, thank him, marking his attention.

The tribute of flowers is also for the deceased and it takes a special character when they are used for decorating a church.

The best is be delivered by a florist and send it with a card the same day of the invitation. You can bring by yourself, if your appointment is more intimate. Flowers can also be delivered after the event or the following day; this is according to the host presence at home. We offer roses in odd numbers.

Do not give red roses to a little girl (red color is the color of passion). Some flowers do not be offered as the chrysanthemum because they are related to day of death.

Do not bring flowers if a person invites you to its home for the first time. If necessary, send the flowers the next day.

Avoid offering fragrant flowers to a patient.

A unique set up of the table and the decoration with flowers is recommended when you celebrate an important event. We flourish the guest room during the weekend and not bring flowers for the people who live in the countryside.

Everything is in the way to give the bouquet of flowers. In order not to offend the sensibilities of other guests who would come empty-handed, we will deposit the bouquet on a table in the entrance of the house and thank the host for the invitation discreetly.

When you’re abroad, get informed before offer flowers to your host, in order to know if the traditions are the same as in France.

Pictures from Wikihow and Pinterest.



It is the “Crêpe” time!

February 2 is the Candlemas! Every year, the tradition is full of cooking delicious crêpes to enjoy with family and friends, but where this tradition is originated?

“La Chandeleur” is celebrated 40 days after Christmas. Its name comes from the word “candle”. Originally, at the time of the Romans, it was a festival in honor of the god Pan. In 472, Pope Gélase decided to Christianize the festival that will celebrate the presentation of Jesus in the temple. According to the tradition, each believer must retrieve a candle in the church and bring it at home, being careful to keep it always lit. This blessed flame is supposed to protects of lightning if it is turned on during the storm.

After time, another tradition was born in France in “La Chandeleur”  this is the crêpes time!. Crêpes with sugar, vanilla, crêpes with chocolate … And especially people enjoy throwing the crêpes into the air!

Moreover, by making crêpes, we had to respect another custom with a gold coin. Indeed, farmers were throwing the crêpes into the air with the right hand while holding a gold coin in the left hand. After a ritual in family the coin was conserved until the next year to give it to a beggar.

If all these rites were respected, the family was assured money throughout the year. Today, candlelight processions and other rites no longer exist, but we maintain the tradition of the crêpes and this is right because they are delicious!

The person who turns his crêpe with style, which does not let fall to the ground or do not catch in the form of some pathetic crumpled appearance; this person shall have the happiness until the next “La Chandeleur”!


How to say cheers in French?

How to say cheers in France?

The word trinquer means literally the action of raising his glass in honor of someone, “Drink to your health”. By extension, it also relates to the speech on this occasion (wishes, congratulations, thanks…). The toast is done during official banquets, wedding dinners and engagement.

In a more formal situation, whether talking to one person or to a group, it’s better to start with à votre santé. After someone says “à votre santé”, you can then respond with “ (et) à la vôtre”.

To toast just one person in an informal situation, say “à la tienne”. If you’re not sure whether to “use à la tienne” or “à la vôtre”, take a look to our article “The change from unformal “you” to polite “you” in the French use”.

The brief speech that accompanies should be concise and heartfelt. It is better to have prepared a few words in advance. To invite participants to raise their glasses, you have to speak clearly pronouncing the ritual phrase: “We raise all the glass …” while announcing why the gesture is to be realized. Everyone raises his glass at the same time; eating and drinking during the speech.

At a wedding, the toast is carried by a member of the family. One of the parents of the bride or groom respond in the same tone, joining the good wishes expressed…“A votre santé”!!

cheers in france

The change from unformal “you” to polite “you” in the French use

“Tu ” and “vous ” are two ways to address someone as degrees of intimacy, familiarity , friendliness .. The passage of the informal “you” to the polite “you”, and vice versa, creates an impact on relations.

In general, use the polite “vous” when you meet for the first time. The teenagers use the informal “you” for talk each other. Between boys and girls for example, there is not discomfort in this respect.

The “you” in work, is not the same tone as the familiar «you” in a personal relationship, which implies intimacy, companionship, closeness and equality. “You” professional, like the “you” English is a kind of neutral, practical and functional.

In a first meeting, the choice between you formal and unformal is not always easy, there are circumstances where it hesitates, and where a solution must be found verbally. There are some cases where a person is authorized to use the informal “you”, while its  partner, gives an answer with the polite “you”. These situations do not allow the person to use the familiar “you” with his interlocutor in turn, showing that the formal mode is not only a mark of formality, but also an indicator of social hierarchy that show the respect.

Even if the first contact is warm, it is safer to use the formal use, until you find a protocol. In general, it is the oldest person, or one that is in a supervisor position, or the person who receives that will decide: “We could perhaps talk to each other in a more familiar way?? “…


french, language, familiar, france, culture

french, language, familiar, france, culture

« Merci » a basic rule of French etiquette

The day after a reception, french people often send a thank you card to their hosts or guests. After a weekend or a holiday in your friend’s home for example, send them a short letter or a “Lettre de château” in the week following back home, is the best way to emphasize the pleasure you had during your stay.

The how to express his gratitude may vary depending on the type of reception and also on the degree of intimacy that we have with our hosts or guests. If you know them well, you can express it by a phone call; and you must do it the next day; but if your relationships are less intimate, preferably send a card or a letter; you can sent it within the week after the event.

The text can be short: it is not essential to rave about the beauty of the place or the excellence of the cuisine … The great art is to write a sincere letter; an original thanks, so, you can be warm but natural !.

Some french words of thanks… « Je te remercie beaucoup, Je vous remercie très sincèrement, Je te remercie infiniment, Je vous remercie de tout mon cœur, Je tenais à vous remercier sincèrement, un grand merci pour…, c’est très aimable à vous, mes plus sincères remerciements, … »

At work we must thank after a promotion or obtaining a distinction. It is very common to thank its guests after a wedding, for a baptism or a birth’s present also. You should remember in your card, how pleasant was to share this special moment with them and do not forget to thank for the gift they offered you. If you do not send a “remerciement”, you risk being taken for an impolite person.

If you have accepted an invitation and finally you cannot attend it, send a note of apology the next day. If you expect to be invited back, do not forget to make the invitation within two next months.

Thank you letter

Thank you letter


The traditional “Galette des Rois”

The old tradition in France is to share a layered cake the day of Epiphany on January 6. It marks the arrival of the three Magi to Bethlehem.

The “Galette des Rois” or the “King Cake” is often enriched with marzipan and it has great popularity both at home and in the workplace where it is a time for celebration.

In the middle Age, a boy or a girl was dressing for the occasion to show the guests a cake covered with a napkin. Everyone had to slip her hand under the napkin for take the piece of the cake. Whoever has found the bean had to elect the queen or king, while the people applauding shouted “Live the king” “Live the Queen.”

Today, the ritual is a bit simplified, but the goal remains the same; the youngest guest, hidden under the table, determines the distribution of the cake pieces. Someone who wins the figurine of porcelain named “la fève” becomes the king or the queen of the day and has the right to wear a fancy crown. Currently, the bakers provide the cake with a crown of paper in gold color. Traditionally some families produce and conserve its own crown.

The “Galette de Rois” in the North of France, was originally a cake of puff pastry, simply baked, accompanied with jam, it can also be stuffed with various preparations: fruits, creams, chocolates. In the south of France, the “Galette de Rois” is a brioche cake stuffed with candied fruit in a shape of fragrant crown with an orange blossom and it is preferred to the puff pastry called “Parisienne”. However, there are also cakes made from shortcrust pastry or “pâtes sable” in the west of France.

Photos from: ja6.free.fr and franceinlondon.com

galette de roiimages


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