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French advertising can be very sexy as well as inventive. The 3 candidates here prove the case!
First we have a very inventive window advertising one of the two semi-annual period of sales. Then look carefully at the "televisions" in this shop window. Only one is a REAL TV -- hint -- it is the one on the bottom with the fish. The 3rd was taken of a bus shelter on ave de la Bourdonnais in the 7th. The ad is for Bourjois cosmetics and the little critter resting on the lower lip is saying "I think I am in love" -- which is how I feel about Paris!
Check the website below for information about the French "sale seasons."
What to buy: For me I enjoy buying small items that I can't find here in the states. I love scarves, makeup, costume jewelry and then mustards and herbs.
What to pay: What your credit card will allow ;)
Updated Mar 4, 2013
Address: St. Germain, near Bon Marche & the 7th
There are several areas with galleries and antique shops, but my favorite area is the streets near the seine in the 7eme where it abuts the 6eme.
This shop near rue de Bac specialized in Asian art and artifacts.
What to buy: This is more window shopping for most of us!
Updated Feb 22, 2013
Address: rue de Lille
The French word bouquin is an informal word for a book. The more common and more serious word is livre. So if you are reading a livre it sounds important and edifying, whereas reading a bouquin is just a way to pass the time or satisfy some strange obsession or obscure interest.
All along the banks of the Seine, on the upper walls, there are dark green boxes which look rather uninteresting when they are closed (fourth photo), but when they are open they turn out to be book stalls where you can buy used books, mainly in French, of the sort that would easily qualify as bouquins. Most of them are very obscure paperback books from bygone decades, and they are often wrapped in cellophane to keep them from getting dusty.
The person who sells bouquins at one of these stands is called a bouquiniste. I don’t know if they can make a living doing this (perhaps it’s just a hobby?), but most of them also sell guide books, post cards, posters and trashy souvenirs to bring in some extra money.
I have been browsing these book stalls off and on for fifty years now, and have occasionally bought a bouquin so I would have something to read on the train, but I have rarely found one that I really wanted – until now, that is. On a recent morning before leaving my hotel I noted down the titles and authors of two books that I really wanted to find, thinking they would both be difficult to obtain.
On the Quai de Montebello, across from Notre Dame, I started browsing, and in the second bookstall I actually found one of the two books I was looking for. It was an old paperback edition of the novel L’Hôtel du Nord by Eugène Dabit (1898-1936), and the bouquiniste sold it to me for all of two Euros. (After reading this novel I wrote a few things about it in my tips Hôtel du Nord: the place, the book and the film and Hôpital Saint-Louis.)
I kept on browsing up and down the Seine, but of course didn’t find the second book I was looking for – that would have been too much luck for one day. (But I did find it the next day at the big fnac store at Les Halles.)
Next review from June 2012: Hotel Abricotel
Updated Feb 19, 2013
After a few moments of internet research, we found a place where we could taste Armagnac before buying.
A quick call the next morning confirmed that they open on Mondays.
7th heaven if you like wine & Armagnac. It is owned by a family Armagnac producer in Condom. That’s a town in the Gers area, before anyone deletes/reports me. A bit west of Toulouse.
The dynasty was founded in 1905.
They have a range which includes blends and vintage, in varying sizes and at varying prices. My blend set me back €67. I could have had a 1982 vintage for €66.
The young lad who served us was good enough to speak English for D’s benefit, but it was hard work for him.
What to buy: Armagnac, wine, malt whisky.
What to pay: See above.
Written Feb 18, 2013
Address: 79 Rue du Bac, 75007 Paris
Phone: 01 45 48 80 93
This is one of the huge joys of French life - coffee & a fresh croissant for breakfast.
It was one of the attractions for me of staying in an apartment for my last visit to Paris.
We went to the local boulangerie twice. As in many of these shops, you can get a coffee as well, and can eat & drink there. Just a couple of tables in “our” one.
It seemed to be a family business - dad and teenage daughter working on Sunday. Joined by wee sister on Tuesday (it was during a school holiday). All 3 pleasant & charming.
Your local boulangerie will usually be open early, but check the exact times. Ours was closed on Monday.
What to buy: See above. You will have loads of other goodies on offer to, so don't leave your appetite at home!
What to pay: Say €5.50 for 2 coffees & 2 croissants. 2013 prices.
Written Feb 13, 2013
Address: Rue des Lombards, Paris
We raided a cheese shop on our last morning, before heading to the airport.
A pungent wee goodie bag to take home.
Even 10 minutes after breakfast, the place had us drooling. Just wanted to say "one of each, please". The little lot in the photo was €17, mind you.
The serveuse (who I suspect is actually the patronne ) speaks some reluctant English. She also has a sense of humour. Best to start off speaking French, and then she'll take pity on you.
They’re closed on Mondays.
The Époisses comes from Burgundy. It's made with Marc de Bourgogne. The cheese died out after WW2, and was revived in 1956 by M Berthaut. Only one farm produces it. The others are farm goat cheese from the Southwest - such as the round flat Cabécou de Rocamadour.
Now all I need is some good bread and wine...
What to buy: Cheese! They have a few other goodies too.
What to pay: More than in a supermarket!
Written Feb 13, 2013
Address: 13 rue Rambuteau, 75004 Paris
Phone: 01 42 72 73 56
While there are many wine shops in Paris, in addition to a great French wine selection, there are wines from all over the world. They also have regular free tastings. When I stopped by they were pouring an excellent champagne.
Written Feb 10, 2013
Address: 3-5 Boulevard de la Madeleine 75001 Paris
Of course, I can only talk about men’s fashion, the rest is up to you lol!! Silk & Cashmere is one of my favorite outlets and the fav store is at 31 rue du Four, 75006, Turkish brand of silk and cashmere of course, really great here is the webpage and store http://fr.silkcashmere.com/magazalar/silkcashmere-paris
A bit off the fashion trend but very chic, in my fav area of Paris the 16éme arrondissement, you find the L-Arc club at 12 Rue de Presbourg 75116 if you want to show off your new purchase fashion, this is it. Very near the arc de triomphe and pure fashion Paris, webpage http://larc-paris.com/
Another twist with opera included is the faboulous Le Carmen at 34 rue Duperré, south of Pigalle in the place, need groupies at night, and great Opera, as it was here that Georges Bizet wrote Carmen, so mingle with great musicians and glamorous people showing off your latest at webpage http://www.le-carmen.fr/
Now some directions, the famous Champs-Elysées has many shops, and one of the best shopping in town. Near metro George V is one of my favorites Massimo Dutti 116 ave Champs-Elysées, http://www.massimodutti.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/home/duttifr/en/massimodutti
Right at Ave C-E and rue de Marignan you have Bruce Field, at 20 ave FD Roosevelt, webpage http://www.brucefield.com/fr/magasins
The tops streets here off ave C-E are ave George V,,rue François Ier, Rue Marbeuf,rue Pierre Charron,Ave Montagne, all in the stretch from the Arc de Triomphe to the ave FD Roosevelt.
Another area is the Pierre Cardin at 59 Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré. webpage http://www.pierrecardin.com/mode_en.html Another is Hugo Boss at 374 Rue Saint Honoré.webpage http://store-fr.hugoboss.com/
The tops streets here are of course Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré,and Rue Saint Honoré, but ,also, Rue Royale,Rue Cambon,Rue Boissy d’Anglas,, rue des Pyramides,and Rue de Castiglione.
The Madeleine quartier is a favorite of mine and, also, my walking way to work for many years in Paris. Massimo Dutti, at rue Tronchet,Cafe Coton,32 Rue Tronchet, walking to the church of Madeleine webpage http://www.cafecoton.fr/stores.php All full of stores around Pl de la Madeleine,from blvd Haussmann up rue Tronchet ,and past the place to rue Royale,and blvd de la Madeleine.
You have nice stores in the blvd des Capucines, with Lacoste, 37 blvd des Capucines, webpage http://www.lacoste.com/fra/univers ,and my rugby Eden Park at 12 blvd des Capucines.webpage http://www.eden-park.fr/e_commerce/magasins.cfm
Moving over to Pl Vendome to Opera along rue de la paix, lots of watch stores there but the Comptoir des Cottonniers ,17 rue de la Paix, webpage http://www.comptoirdescotonniers.com/fra/nos-boutiques.aspx
Other areas dear to me, as to cover all of Paris lol!!! blvd Saint Germain,Rue Saint Sulpice,Rue du Four, Rue de Sévres, and rue de Grenelle. Near blvd Saint Germain at 48 rue des écoles you have my outdoor favorite Au Vieux Compeur, bages winter and summer sports equipement camping etc, webpage http://www.auvieuxcampeur.fr/adresse_parisql Down further on 174 St Germain you have Façonnable, webpage http://www.faconnable.com/en/corporate/store-locator/ You have Hugo Boss here too and rue du four continues into rue de Sévres is loaded with stores. On Rue Bonaparte, you have the comptoir des cotonniers as well. At 58 rue de Rennes you have Guess, webpage http://www.guess.eu/fr/StoreLocator/Details/JFR00660 , and many other stores. Just as along rue des Saint Pérés, all a laberynth of shopping delights.
And of course, these are the stores that I have been in, there are others, plenty others all over Paris,because Paris is a shopper paradise of the best on Paradise
What to buy: men's clothings and accessories, simply the best.
What to pay: the best quality at fair prices for brand name fashion in the fashion capital of the world PARIS
Written Feb 9, 2013
Address: several see text
I am no expert on chocolate, but this is really good. M. Chaudun is evidently the former chocolatier at La Maison du Chocolat which, from all I read, is one of the world’s premier choclatiers. At any rate, a friend at home told us that anytime she is going to Paris a friend gives her $200 or $300 just to buy some chocolate for her here. We were very impressed with the beautiful store and bought some. My little box of about 30 or 35 bite sized pieces cost about $50 so it is not cheap chocolate, but my Happy Hour group back home consumed most of those in a matter of minutes. Well worth the splurge!
Written Feb 5, 2013
Address: 149, rue de l’Université, 75007 Paris
Phone: 33 (0)1 47 53 74 40
Apart from art and architecture Paris is also famous for its incredibly fabulous sales, that can reach as high as −75% towards the end of the sales season.
The traditional winter sales in Paris begin January 9, 2013 and the sales will continue all the way through February 12, 2013. The city will be pasted over with colourful Soldes-signs.
Written Jan 25, 2013
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Where to start. First off, there are normally only two sale seasons per year in French stores, Winter, beginning after the holidays and summer, beginning at the end of June. ("Solde" is the...