Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

Three Shops I Cannot Wait to Visit in Paris

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Merci Merci, Paris

As soon as I return from a trip to Paris, I start another file folder filled with places I must see, shop, eat and visit in Paris.  My folder is exploding with so many great things!  It IS time to return.  My next trip is in October and I wanted to share three places where I hope to spend many (dropping) Euros.

1.  Merci 111 boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003

This shop has been on my radar for some time.  I started reading little blurbs here and there about it and this little photo at the top has been popular in Pinterest.  It is filled with unique, stylish and chic items that will undoubtedly make me more unique, stylish and chic.  I shall visit there as soon as I get to Paris!!!

2.  Heurtault Paris 85 avenue Daumesnil, 75012

I have already warned my husband that I will be carrying an umbrella back on the plane home.  He reminded me that it is my umbrella and I will be doing all of the handling.  Fine!  I don’t care if he won’t hold it for me.  Look how beautiful they are!  I most definitely will be the chicest girl in the California rain.

3.  Les 3 marches de Catherine B.  1 rue Guisarde, 75006

I love Hermes.  I know, what girl doesn’t?  I have waited long enough for my dream Birkin.  I think I have a better chance of discovering one here.  I first found Catherine B. on Twitter.  And, from what I can gather from her French tweets, she is THE woman to go to for vintage designer goods.  Not only does she have Hermes bags, I believe she has quite a collection of vintage Chanel.  Don’t worry, I will give you the low down when I return!

Will you be in Paris before my October trip?  Please share your shopping lists and help me discover great Paris treasures!

Become a Paris Insider!

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

We are thrilled to announce that we have a five part “Insider’s Guide to Paris” that we would like to share with you.
It will give you loads of advice on where to stay in Paris, how to get around the city,
our tips on where to find the best food and of course, our insider secrets onthe most romantic things to do in Paris.

Are you ready to become a Paris Insider?

Breton Stripes

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Audrey Hepburn 

As the tulips start to bloom in the spring, I always find some version of the Breton striped shirt on the racks of my favorite stores.  Every time I see one, I am reminded of Paris and I was curious about its history.

In 1858, the striped, knitted shirt became the uniform for all French Navy seaman in Brittany.  The original design had 21 stripes, one for each of Napoleon’s victories. It eventually became a popular article of clothing to wear for fishermen and sailors because the stripes were easily visible in the waves if they were thrown overboard.  In 1889, the Saint James company  became the main manufacturer and still sells the traditional version today.

James Dean

In the 1950′s, the Breton sweaters and shirts were fast becoming stylish among the “beatnik” community.  Hollywood followed suit and the celebrities began wearing similar versions of the striped shirt.  It began to take on different shapes and proportions as fashion houses including Jean Paul Gaultier, Gucci and Balmain created their version of the sweater.  Once the big fashion houses started showing the navy and white tops, they became more mainstream and are now sold in J. Crew, The Gap and other American department stores.  They can be found in the traditional style and in very stylized versions like dresses, tank tops, with French blue stripes or in red and white stripes.  Yes, Parisians do wear them.  Typically, they are worn by women and usually under a trench coat or blazer.

I know I’m bringing my Breton stripe top with me the next time I go to Paris.  I have just the right black capri pants and khaki trench coat to wear it with.  And, now that I know the history behind the shirt, maybe I’ll wear it while I cruise down the Seine.  That way if I fall off the boat, they will have no problem finding me!

My Best Day in Paris – Jack

Friday, April 20th, 2012

La Rotisserie d’en Face

My best day in Paris starts with breakfast on the patio of the apartment.  I eat a slab of pate and a crusty baguette with a few shots of espresso.  I set out for a museum.  My wife and I have a deal.  We start with 30 minutes of art and then she can shop for the rest of the day.  I really enjoy the musee de Cluny (6 place Paul Painlevé, 75005) and it is small enough that I feel like I see most of what I want to see.  She likes it, too.  I can usually sway her to stay at least an hour!   Once we start shopping, I inevitably find a shop or two that I must visit.  I enjoy antique books and Guillaumot (16 Rue de Valois, near the Palais Royal) has a wonderful selection.   I prefer to eat a simple lunch at the boulangerie my wife chooses.  I can find a jambon sandwich just about anywhere and of course, another espresso.  Before heading back to the apartment to rest, we stop at Mariage Feres for a late afternoon tea.  We use this time to peruse guide books and decide where we will visit the next day.  One of my most favorite restaurants is La Rotisserie d’en Face (2 Rue Christine, 75006).  It is pretty small and we always make friends with a couple sitting next to us.  After dinner, we usually stroll around Saint-Germain-des-Pres and then make our way back to the apartment to sleep and start over again the next day.

Our Three Favorite Places to Buy “Unmentionables” in Paris

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Paris is known for many things; Baguettes, the Eiffel Tower, Moulin Rouge, escargot and yes….lingerie.  Parisian women take their ”unmentionables” very seriously.   While they may hold onto a pair of trousers or a sweater for years, their lingerie wardrobe is kept up with fresh, sexy and stylish additions regularly.  Some of the most luxurious lingerie stores can be found in Paris, but even at the local Monoprix, the selection of underpinnings beats what can be found in the US anytime.  Discover the best of what Paris has to offer at every price range in our top 5 picks for places to buy lingerie in Paris.

1.  Galeries Lafayette is one of the fabulous department stores in Paris and lingerie heaven.  Just about every price point, style and size of undergarments can be found here.  This is where you want to go to stock up on basics.   We love the French brand Huit.

Sabbia Rosa

2.  Sabbia Rosa is located in the 6th arrondissement.  It is a tiny little shop filled to the brim with the most lovely camisoles, briefs, slips and negligees.  We put it on our radar after we read that Madonna shops here.  It can be quite expensive so we always try to budget at least one cami into our shopping list.  73 rue des Sts-Pères, 6e, Paris

Fifi Chachnil

3.  Fifi Chachnil is pure,  flirty feminine.  Ruffles, lace, bows and feathers…all things that make a woman feel and look like a goddess. The shoppe is so fun, even if you are just there to browse.  231 Rue St. Honore, 1e, Paris

Where is the 10?

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

It started with the 9th birthday.  We were in New York and I walked by the giant, orange 9 that stands on 57th street.  My daughter was about to turn nine and I had her pose by the statue and then sent the picture out on her birthday to family and friends.  It was such a big hit that I started making it a tradition on each vacation.

Her 10th year corresponded with a trip to France.  I knew this was going to be fun.  Every time we saw a 10 on a building or sign, I had her pose in front of it.  It turned into a game for the family.  Who could find the 10?  It kept her eyes open and we found so many interesting shops and buildings all due to her excitement of finding a 10.  When I got home and went through the pictures, we quickly chose a favorite and turned it into a cute card that went out just before her big day.

Next trip it was my turn!  We went to Paris for my 40th birthday and we had a blast searching for the perfect “40”.  Imagine how thrilled I was when the famous fashion house, Sonia Rykiel, was also celebrating their 40th birthday and the boutique’s windows were covered in fabulous decorations all with the number 40 included somewhere.  My pictures were fabulous!

This tradition has created a whole new element to our family travels.  It really keeps us on our toes and has us searching for the unusual setting to make the perfect picture.  My daughter is now 16 and travels a bit on her own.  She has surprised me several times with pictures friends have taken of her in front of the “15” or the “16”.  It makes me smile each time I get one.

Le Bar Dix is located at 10 rue de Odéon  75006 PARIS, France

Sonia Rykiel is located at 175 Boulevard Saint-Germain  75006 Paris, France

Shopping in Paris

Friday, May 13th, 2011


For a shopping enthusiast, no trip to Paris is complete without plenty of time spent on their favorite activity – shopping! Lucky for those of you have saved a few dollars by staying in a Paris apartment rental instead of a hotel, fashionistas, foodies, and those looking for flea-market treasures will all find plenty of opportunities to collect their own personal treasures.

Haute Couture
Travelers in search of Haute Couture styles will enjoy exploring the shops on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and Avenue Montaigne. Here, well-known clothiers and jewelers, such as Chanel, Cartier, and Christian Dior, and others, can be found. For leather goods, such as shoes and handbags, shoppers should look to Rue du Cherche-Midi and Rue de Grenelle.
Shopping Centers and Department Stores
After purchasing some high fashion luxury items, shoppers may also want to check out some of Paris’s excellent shopping centers and department stores. At Forum des Halles dedicated shoppers can look through the 180 stores to find many different clothing styles. While some shoppers have difficulty with the large size, some dedicated digging can turn up lower-budget copies of Parisian trends.
Boulevard Haussmann houses two of the most famous Parisian department stores, Printemps and Galleries Lafayette. There is something for all shoppers in these rival stores, which carry designer, brand name, and private label stock. Shoppers looking for clothing and elegant food should head to Le Bon Marché in the Left Bank. After purchasing some trendy clothes, shoppers can head to one of the adjoining food establishments and enjoy a relaxing lunch before heading back to your short term Paris rental or hotel.
Flea Markets
Those looking for more of a challenge will love to dig through Paris’s flea markets for treasure. Major markets can be found in Porte de Vanves and Porte de Montreuil. Early risers are more likely to reap flea markets’ rewards, as many of the best bargains are gone as early as six or seven in the morning.
Open Air Markets
While there are now a number of convenient supermarkets in Paris, locals often choose to frequent the many open-air markets instead. With nearly seventy open-air markets specializing in everything from organic vegetables to fresh flowers, there is sure to be a close market that will meet anyone’s needs.
Book Collecting
Books in Paris may seem expensive to the average reader. However, collectors will enjoy browsing the shops along the Seine River for rare or first-edition copies of their favorite books. For French language books, the FNAC is the place to be. Two of the better-known English language book dealers are Brentano’s and Shakespeare and Co.
Whether the plan is to window shop or purchase a little of everything, Paris has many opportunities for shopping and many of our Paris vacation rentals are only steps away. From haute couture, to flea market bargains, to rare books, there is something for everyone in Paris.