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If you are looking for handmade holiday gifts while in Montpellier, no need to turn up at Christmas markets with your fingers crossed, hoping to stumble upon the perfect gift…
Whether you’re looking for inexpensive gift ideas, or more lavish personalised presents this holiday season, you can search Natifcreatif to find the perfect unique gift for even the most particular tastes!
Here are some extra gift ideas, all handmade with love by local people:
Where can I find gourmet gifts in Montpellier?
For a thoughtful stocking stuffer that foodie at home would absolutely love head down to Amandeous / Clapas for some chocolates handmade in Montpellier. The Marché des Arceaux is a great place any Saturday morning and not to be missed during the festive season if you're searching for unusual gifts like locally made honey from Yoann - another perfect food gift that might tempt a sweet toothed friend, small enough to pop into your suitcase!
If it’s biscuits you’re after, try visiting Le Petit Zeste - you can use their contact page to find your nearest stockist. Elodie (Saveurs d’Amarente) makes delicious gluten or dairy free cakes and biscuits, or pre-prepared mixes for you to bake fresh pastries at home.
Perrine and Adrien at Les Escalettes de Montpellier offer a truly traditional gift, as their handmade biscuits are all made using a 700-year-old recipe!
Finally, for a furry friend, you can contact Nathalie at Crocandiz or pop into Tea dog in the centre of Montpellier to find organic, locally handmade delights for dogs.
Learn to make your own edible gifts
If you fancy trying your hand at some French baking, you can offer your very own edible DIY Christmas gifts!
What are the best locally made drinks?
For natural, healthy stocking fillers, try herbal teas and drinks from Laurent at Lo Saveurs Infuses. For slightly more indulgent locally made gifts which are sure to bring a bit of festive cheer, check out handmade rum, (produced in Baillargues by Cédric and Nathalie) at the Hidden Distillery, or some locally brewed beer in Castelnau (from Zoobrew), or in Saint Clement de Rivière (at Brasserie du Lez).
Just around the corner from Brasserie du Lez, Domaine Saint Clément sell locally made wine, which you can taste before buying-so why not treat yourself?
Where can I buy unique, hand-crafted jewellery?
Mathilde (Mahte) handcrafts original and minimalist bracelets, necklaces and earrings in both silver and gold. She can personalise pieces or tailor-make items according to your wishes, all from her studio in Montpellier. If you’re after personalised pieces in silver that are inspired by nature, Marguerite at Le Biso is an independent silversmith working in the Alps, who would be delighted to discuss your project further, in order to create a truly unique gift.
For other handmade jewellery items you’re sure not to find in high street stores, here are some further suggestions. Marianne (L’Opal’in) in Mauguio hand assembles affordable pieces with semi-precious stones, and Marguerite (Ila Bella) customises all types of jewellery, as well as offering limited edition collections. Hortense (H2) makes sparkly, festive pieces which she can also customise. For more unusual and ethical pieces, visit Sylvie at Merveilles in the centre of Montpellier or Gael in the boutique L’instant d’Apprets for stainless steel, silver and gold-plated beaded necklaces.
For something truly original and sustainable, contact Emilie (Madeinmy) for jewellery and accessories made from recycled inner tubes. Her clothes made also made from recylcled inner-tubes will definitely wow this festive season.
If you're after original, customized pieces for men, women and children, La Maison Rez’in hand pour jeweller and household decorations in resin.
Ideas for both men and women
Chantal at Camargues Creations makes jewellery for both men and women, inspired by the scenic Camargue region and its traditions.
The Drapeau rouge stocks wonderful beer advent-calendars, and even offers brewing lessons if you’re looking for the perfect hands-on experience for a beer enthusiast, or are simply interested in learning how to make your own gifts.
Talking of lessons, why not look into guitar making lessons with Pierre-Marie at PMC guitars, for an incredible handmade gift or original gift voucher?
Unique gifts for women
If that perfect gift for her is still on your list, contact Caroline for quality scarves and bags designed and sewn by her using fabrics from last season's 'haute couture' collections. She sells at the Christmas market in the center so you can grab a mulled wine or three at the same time.
For a more sensual gift, Pop'line's exquisite range of lingerie designed and made by Claire can be found in L'Ateliées and offers an ethical alternative to many high-street stores. Just down the road, Poldine's customizable womenswear in Mona Mour makes for elegant and timeless gifts.
Ideas for men
It's always more difficult to find handmade gifts for guys, but two shops in the centre are a good start - Pavane stocks great Christmas gifts for men, as does Chinae.
Where can I find handcrafted gifts for babies?
Montpellier has so many creators and artisans offering cute gift ideas for little ones. From comfort blankets to dummy clips, Clémence can personalise all the lovely, soft little things she hand-makes in Minus et bouche cousue for babies. She sells in L’Ateliées in the centre of Montpellier (below left). L'Ateliées is, incidentally, my recommended first stop this holiday season, as you can also pick up lots of other handmade Christmas gifts and chat to the in-house creators.
Ruth (Le petit escargot bleu) makes all types of soft furnishings, including baby decorations and changing mats. As part of her zero-waste drive, Klara J hand-makes baby toys and decorations, like the little elephant and whale shown below…as well as offering many Christmas gift ideas for us big kids. She recycles and reuses materials where possible.
Although she lives outside of Montpellier, Céline Christea hand sews and embroiders her own original design ‘the comfort cushion’ - a personalized hybrid comfort blanket and cushion (below right) for babies available via the post.
What are the most unique handmade decorations and homeware?
Unique vases, mugs, bowls, ornaments
Yes, we have an Ikea in Montpellier, and yes, it’s great for last minute festive decorations, Christmas trees and homeware in general. BUT, if you would like to offer your friends and family something a little different, and a lot more thoughtful and unique, you could try local ceramists Claycraft, BAM, Les Emaillées or Atelier Myriam A and Mademoiselles Céramique – which are all handily located in the centre of Montpellier. Or perhaps you might prefer the designs of Coralie Ducasse for her cute pots and vases celebrating the female body.
If you are strapped for time but still looking for a thoughtful, unique gift for a loved-one, I highly recommend Mona Mour as a one-stop shop stocking handmade Christmas delights. This independent boutique in the center stocks great locally made gifts, from stocking stuffers to personalized mugs. Just two minutes down the road, you can find 100% handmade, natural candles from Petit Caprice in the equally wonderful independent artisan cooperative Pavane, which also stocks beautiful pottery from Nathalie at N.pi.al-céramiques.
For original artwork from local painters, try A boy named Sly, Cindy Soula, or Audrey Levy-Lay- these are just a few local artists with vastly different techniques and inspirations, so you’re sure to find something for all tastes. For locally inspired prints and paintings (that are definitely not found in Ikea!), Jon Martinale captures the beautiful local scenery and wildlife and Chantal Lanza paints the stunning Camargue region.
Fed up of all the wasteful, unsustainable gift wrap? Why not try recyclable wrapping from Romane at Trinquette, who also makes perfect, re-usable environmentally friendly Christmas gifts, small and light enough to carry back home with you on a plane.