Friday, March 18, 2016

French Box Review, February 2015, Kitchen Theme

Phrases that might describe French Box lately are also pretty good metaphors for the country that inspires it: lovely products, inconsistent service and sometimes non-existent communication.  You might remember that French Box had some serious problems in early 2015 which resulted in a switch from monthly to bi-monthly boxes. As evidenced by French Box's absence from social media for over four months now and the almost complete lack of response to customer concerns on their Facebook page plus the fact that the January box did not arrive until the end of February, one gets the impression all is not well with French Box.

For the above reasons, I was hesitant to do this review but I did enjoy the box once it finally arrived and thought it could use some love!  French Box is normally $36 which is charged on the 15th day of every other month.  I was expecting the charge on the 15th of January but was actually charged on February 13th, which was frustrating since there was no communication about late shipping from French Box. The box finally arrived in its usual beautiful box-in-box packaging.

Very elegant first impression with the contents tied with logo grosgrain ribbon:

There was a cookbook on top and underneath, everything was wrapped neatly in black tissue with a French Box seal.

There wasn't an information card but this is clearly a kitchen-themed box. The cookbook/calendar has a fold-out section in the back that allows it stand on its own.  It's spiral-bound so you can flip to the recipe you want. For each month, there is a French recipe, then you can turn the calendar around to see the step by step instructions and ingredient lists.

It's been a while but I believe we were allowed to choose the two tea towels we'd like to receive.  These are very high quality tea towels; almost too nice to use.  

I borrowed a couple of full length photos from French Box's site since these are BIG thick 100% cotton towels that measure 19" x 28". I'd say they are suitable for framing!


Next is a Cookie Squares bar from Michel et Augustin; this one is Milk Chocolate Caramel with a pinch of sea salt.  I received these in another subscription box and knew they were something special!  It's a rectangular biscuit cookie with a shallow well filled with something similar to chocolate ganache in the middle.  Delicious!

To cover all the bases, they also included two small Cookie Squares made with dark chocolate. One of these vanished immediately. The other one won't be far behind.

This quartet of adorable mini preserve bottles from Bonne Maman was a terrific addition to the box.  There is one each in Raspberry, Apricot, Strawberry and Wild Blueberry. Magnifique!

Since there wasn't an info card in the box, I had to do a little sleuthing to figure out what is in this little package.  This is French Baker's Yeast which makes a baguette fresh and crispy. Unfortunately, the instructions on the back are all in French and my rusty college French didn't cover cooking terms.  Come on French Box, a little help here? I would really like to try this!

Somewhat inexplicable was this discount card for l'Atelier Maquillage, a French cosmetic line that is apparently now available in the U.S.  The code prettyeyes is good for a 20% discount, which is nice.  Nicer still would have been one of their products in this box!

At this point, I don't know whether to recommend French Box or not.  This box did meet the excellent quality standards to which they committed after the early 2015 debacle. But it was quite late and the lack of communication regarding shipment was inexcusable.  As noted above, there are a lot of red flags here, the biggest of which is the poor response to legitimate customer concerns on their Facebook page.

French Box is clearly capable of putting out an exquisite box.  But my advice for now unfortunately is....proceed with caution. Since this subscription is only available on a month to month basis, the most you'll risk is $36.  Although the January box was very late, it should be noted that they did not charge my card until the box actually shipped.  

I sincerely hope this box survives as there is not another like it!


Disclosure:  Views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly my own.  Product discussed in this post was purchased by Lone Star Shopper.  Post does not contain referral or affiliate links.

No comments: