In the words of Audrey Hepburn, Paris is always a good idea. A good idea for for food, a great idea for culture, and an even better idea for shopping. So pleased was I with my recent Parisian purchases, that I felt compelled to photograph and share them with the world.
But when it comes to shopping in Paris, the question looming in most people’s minds is inevitably ‘where to start?’. With such an immense sprawl of designer names and high street brands, where, in this huge and buzzing metropolis does one look for that special item? Well, I have an answer to this baffling question.
Thanks to a recommendation from a friend, on our last day in paris, my boyfriend and I decided to do the St. Martin Canal walk, a lovely little trail that starts at the Jaures metro stop and ends up at the Bastille (nearest metro stop – Republique). Unfortunately, we didn’t get to walk the entire thing as we were rained off, however, what we did see of this part of Paris was simply charming. Cafes, bistros and boutiques. Just the sort of thing that every intrepid explorer hopes to squeeze out of the city, with less of the crowds, and none of the tacky, tourist tatt being pushed by street sellers around the major hotspots.
About halfway along the walk, on the Quai de Valmy, we stumbled upon the gorgeous Antoine & Lili, which was bursting at the seams with delightful designs and was actually made up of a home store, a clothing store, and a kids store. So colourful is the shop front, that I imagine bees are drawn to it in the summer months en masse. If you are worried about missing it, then don’t; you simply can’t. It’s vibrant yellow, green and pink facades won’t fail to catch your eye.
Once inside, I immediately felt filled with a warm buzz, adrenaline rocketed through me as I realised that I wanted to buy everything. Thankfully, my level-headed boyfriend was there to prevent me from thoughtlessly draining our bank account in a retail frenzy, and instead, we opted for five items. Two beautiful mugs, two lovely little eggcups (hurrah! I had been looking for some for an age!) and a most wonderful lamp. The sort of lamp that would make even a solid, established, barrister’s desk feel inadequate.
The next time I’m in Paris, even for a fleeting visit, I will make sure I head back to this wonderful shop, and walk the entirety of the St. Martin Canal, as I’m sure there are plenty of hidden delights in the second half – and this time, I shall not let the rain deter me!
As an aside, if you do attempt this walk, ensure that you walk the correct way (south) down the canal after alighting at Jaures, as at this point, the area is a tad, well, dodgy.