Tuesday, April 8, 2008

France shopping recommendations?

Decorno got mail this morning:

Hey, Decorno!

I’m in Paris, then off to Lyon, Marseille, Cassis, Cammargue and St. Tropez. Would you mind asking your savvy and saucy readers about sources and products they like in France for home-related items?

Thanks, ma chere.


So, friends - any advice for Sally? (I have only been to Paris once, so I am clearly no expert.)

I loved walking around Marais, and THIS is a good guide.

And for flea markets you can certainly go to Marche aux Puces de St-Ouen, but I like the Port de Vanves market. It's smaller, less expensive and more of a treasure hunt. You can get info HERE..

(Man, just typing that made me feel like THIS kind of a white person.)

Oh, I also think that the food is pretty terrible in Paris. Just sayin'. Unless you have a good short list to work from naming the better bistros and "fine dining" restaurants (I hate the phrase "fine dining") then you need to get creative in your hunt for food. Our best meal while there was Chinese.

Good luck and have fun! I thought Paris was going to be overrated. I was wrong. It was just as amazing as everyone jaws on about.


Anonymous said...

So this is a little off topic, but my favorite restaurant in Paris (great food can be found, really!)is La Jacobine near Odeon and Saint Germain des Pres. I tell everyone going to Paris to check it out.

It is tucked back in a little cobble stone alley and surrounded by fun shops, including a paper goods store and a small toy shop with unique finds (see! decor-ish!) You feel miles away from the city even though you are right in the middle of it.

This was my go-to place for a quiet afternoon with good friends or a great book. The food is light, fresh and authentic (quiche, salads, soups) For dessert you absolutely must try their hot chocolate ("Chocolat Chaud")and various treats.

La Jacobine
59, Rue St André des Arts
75006 Paris, France
01 46 34 15 95

Ont un grand voyage!

Making it lovely said...

What a lovely blog I have found, I need to look some more now I think:-)

Jessie said...

I am going to several of the same places this summer, and have been searching for the same information! Thanks for posting this and bring on the recommendations!

Decorno said...

Rhonda recently took a trip, so you may want to search her blog for "Paris" to find other recommendations:


Try also:

Linda Merrill said...

I recommend the Rue du Bac in the St. Germain des Pres section. I was there in January. The ever cool store Blanc D'Ivoire is there, plus lots of other fun shops, Conrans, etc. Just don't go on a Monday as many tend to be closed. From the Louvre, walk over the bridge across the Seine, take a right and Rue du Bac is a few streets down on your left. Wear your walking shoes, it's long, but fun!

As for food - just don't wait till you're hungry to search, that's when you find mediocrity. Ask your hotel to make recommendations, especially to restaurants the "locals" hang out it. Sorry I can't be more specific - I never can remember restaurant names! Have fun!

Also, another tip - visit the cafe on the top floor of Printemps department store for the best view of the city at sunset.

Lauren said...

I think the best thing I ate in Paris was a hot dog from a street vendor. That thing was amazing! Seriously, it's been like 4 years and the hubby and I still talk about those damn hotdogs.

I also like the sandwiches that they sell in the little shops that line the streets. Cheap, fast, and yummy.

Between those, you should at leats be set for lunches.

I don't have any advice for shopping.

katiedid said...

I have nothing new to contribute to the shopping question. I just wanted to say "thanks" for the intro to the "Stuff white people like" blog. Hilarious. And, being a white person, I can say that.

I have to say I disagree with you about the food. Some of the best meals I have ever had were in Paris.

John said...

here here about the cafe on the roof of Le Printemps, the view is spectacular.

Just down the road Galeries Lafayette opened a dedicated home building. Despite being a behemoth department store that carries a host of international brands, their assortment includes a lot of fun goodies too. Here's a link:


I'd also spend some time roaming St. Germain (with a good map)... I found countless cute stores just by happening upon them... antiques, new home, clothes, books, etc. The Dries Van Noten store (7 Quai Malaquais) should also be visited just to see the amazing interior (if you didn't see it in WOI last year or so).

Colette is a good standby (213 rue Saint-Honoré) for a wildly fun environment and an assortment of all that is hip. Their own candles are moderately priced and smell amazing (and their mix CD's are the greatest!)

superfuture.net has a great listing for Paris - check it out. Their maps are a bit frenetic, but helpful nonetheless and encompass fashion, home, food/drink, etc.

and lastly, the D.Porthault store on Avenue Montaigne is pretty grand too... and just down the street you can blow your wad on a fab dinner at L'Avenue, an amazing restaurant where some of Paris' most glam congregate.


j.wo said...

I can't remember the name, but I can give you directions! If you're facing the Sacre Coeur, walk to your right, go up one street and turn right again. I found the best toy/gift shop with unique hand made things.
Favorite food was those delicious ham, cheese and butter baguettes. YUM!

jozette said...

I just discovered your blog today for the first time and you totally cracked me up.

First of all, anyone who can say that the food is terrible in Paris is alright with me. I've been to Paris, and the main thing I ate there was McDonald's. Sure, I was studying abroad and like, had maybe 5 francs to my name (I'm dating myself here in my pre-euro monetary reference) but I also was sick of french food and never knowing what I was ordering. So my suggestion would be....try le Big Mac. C'est si bon.

eeps. said...

definitely port de vanves. i think the marche aux ouen is overrated. wherever you go, go someplace that serves omelettes. you can never have too many omelettes in paris, because they can't make it the same way in the u.s.
i like the cafe in printemps, but the food wasn't that great.

Lisa said...

Oh dear, Lauren. How sad for you. And Jozette, Big Macs?

Try David Lebovitz's site for recommendations:

Suzy said...

It really is all people talk about, but you obviously missed out in the food department! What a shame...there are some fab restaurants there. The markets are of course a great place to shop...but wandering around any part of Paris is fun for shopping. My favorite part though is around the Latin quarter & St. Germain, I think Rue du Bac and Rue du Seine are full of furniture and homewares stores, as well as other great stuff. Actually this area in general is pretty great for shopping, full stop! Also, Galeries Lafayette had a pretty good home department from memory...

Cleopatra said...

the St germain area in paris has been talked about as the design area of paris as many of the shops are there. if you like christian Laigre as an example you'll find him here, I would start the walk at Rue Verneuil in st germain, very few people know this little street but it is beautiful and has some of the most amazing galleries I have ever seen in paris. off of this street are the larger avenues that are just dotted with home stores.

now i know this sounds lame, but the Bon Marche, paris' fabulous department store also in st germain as an unbelievable home section so that if you're stuck for time you will find the most glorious fabrics and brands represented here.

st tropez has lovely galleries but im not kidding when i say you will be completely ripped off here as they take advantage of the yacht faring zillionaires nearby, better off to do your shopping in paris or the smaller towns of the cote. if you want to window shop though all retail roads in st tropez can be covered in one afternoon and they branch out from the central town square known as place de lice.

sounds like a great trip enjoy!

T8 said...

If you are staying in the Marais, check out Rue Bourg Tibourg. There are a number of cool shops on that street. I wrote a post about the Hotel Bourg Tibourg in my blog, http://www.strangeclosets.com.

Here is the link to the specific story:


BTW, I loved the food in Paris. I thought practically everything was good.

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Anonymous said...

well.. it's like I knew!