Tuesday, December 22, 2009

TopFive in Five: #5 Gift Certificates

This is the last installment of my five-week series of holiday gift ideas.

Down to the wire? Saving your shopping until the last minute? Or simply not sure what to get someone? Consider a gift certificate. I don't believe that gift certificates are always impersonal. In fact, I'll take a thoughtful gift certificate over another set of measuring cups any day. The key is to match the gift certificate to the person. Here are some choices that you may not have thought of.

1. Appetite for Books
Have a cook on your list but not sure what cookbook she already has? Consider a gift certificate to this unique book store in Montreal that focuses exclusively of cooking and food-related books. You'll be supporting locally-owned business and sending a foodie to cookbook heaven. Bonus: They also offer cooking classes!

2. A Cooking Lesson at Académie Culinaire
What cook doesn't want to learn new tricks? Académie Culinaire in Old Montreal is the mainstay of cooking classes in Montreal, but they can be quite pricey. For something more budget-friendly, or for the more adventurous or vegetarian cook, consider the workshops offered by Crudessence, a raw food restaurant in the Plateau that uses mostly organic ingredients, or Karen's Kitchen, a mostly macrobiotic, vegan cooking school in the West Island.

3. Dinner at DNA
Many restaurants will give you a gift certificate if you ask for one. To help you decide on the amount of the certificate, take a look at the menu and choose an amount that will allow the receiver and a guest to enjoy at least two courses, including tax. (If the certificate is for a vegetarian, Bonny's on Nôtre Dame would be my top choice.)

4. Ares Kitchen
The emporium of kitchen and baking supplies! When I was looking for baking trays and cake molds that weren't made in China, this was the only store that offered a selection. You can buy gift certificates online or at any of the three locations in Montreal (2355-A Trans Canada Highway, Pointe-Claire; or 1501 Blvd des Promenades, St-Hubert; or 1550 Blvd Le Corbusier #501, Laval).

5. The Conscience Verte Rebate Guide
This is a book with discount coupons for many green business around Montreal, including some food stores, restaurants and cafés like Crudessence, Bonny's, ChuChai, and Cantine. It's perfect for someone who delights in discovering new restos, shops and green businesses. At $20, it is also a great deal.


A. Hiscock said...

Great ideas! Thanks so much for doing these lists. Every one has introduced me to at least two places or activities I didn't know about.

Amanda said...

You're welcome. It's my pleasure, really.

Lindsay Davis said...

The Conscience Verte Rebate Guide is AMAZING...truly is the gift that keeps on giving. I received one last year as a Christmas gift and found so many fantastic business.
I loved it so much that this year it was my present to myself!