19/12/2011

Week-end in Paris (2): Fabulous treats worth crossing the Channel for

Before we became parents, Hubby Dearest and I would always come back from Paris laden with goodies with a French touch, from luxurious ballet shoes to tea perfumed jelly... Each time, we'd find ways to fill a Longchamp folding bag with all the little essentials that make me miss Paris so much.

Now that we have our little baba, things are not really different, we just look a little more like a family of travellers (not in the tourist sense of the term...) Not only do we have a big bag to carry all of Monsieur Baby's essentials, but we also have the extra bag coming back for all the nice little knick-knacks that we find in Saint-Germain, Passy, and of course, my most loved street in Paris, Rue Saint-Honoré (and its Faubourg extension).

So, what did I bring back for myself this time round? A whole load of goodies! First, Russian tea and tea jelly from Mariage Frères... Whilst it's clear to me why this french tea house isn't as popular in London as it is in Paris, it's a shame that there aren't a couple of their deliciously quaint Salons de Thé here. A loyal customer of their Salon in the Marais, I discovered last week-end their newest one in the Carrousel du Louvre, which looks like it's way less busy than its overcrowded sibling. Well worth noting in your address book for a future trip to Paris! If you only buy tea when visiting, make sure you try out my favourite blends: Russian Breakfast, Rose Himalaya and Thé sur le Nil.

Any week-end in Paris also has to include a visit to Sephora, another iconic French brand that doesn't exist in the UK anymore, after a short venture back in the late 1990s. Apparently British customers didn't take to the concept of mixing perfumes with high end cosmetics, niche beauty brands and more affordable beauty goods. I love going there for Mavala nail products and Leonor Greyl shampoos, and I'm in love with their own brand Musk-Almond body lotion.

Up next, a couple of luxurious and very indulgent gifts from my parents in law: a bulb puff perfumed shimmery powder by Guerlain, which smells so sophisticated and looks so glam I'm going to give it a prime position on my chest of drawers in the bedroom, and a set of winter scented candles (a treat from my mother in law who is kind enough to read this blog and who remembers my love of all things Diptyque)... The good news if you're not going to Paris anytime soon is you can find this exact same candle set at SpaceNK, right here

I also made a stop at L'Artisan Parfumeur to stock up on their Mûre et Musc Extrême perfume, a lovely powdery and fruity scent that reminds me of the very first perfume my mother bought me when I was a teenager. You can also order it from Harrods by clicking here.

I think it's fair to say I'll be reasonably well-stocked on the scent front for the next few years at least! Time to focus on other necessities. One of my favourite French fashion brands has always been Tara Jarmon. I come here for feminine looks, from ditsy prints to well tailored coats and accessories with that extra cool factor. In a way I love it even more than the well-known Maje and Sandro, which I also adore, because it's completely unique and special and I know I won't find similar looks on other people as soon as I walk out of the shop. I got a pair of embellished stilettos, great for that extra bit of sparkle, and a 1970s style printed silk dress.  

Of course no trip to Paris is ever complete for me without a visit to my favourite shop in the entire world, Hermès' flagship boutique at 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. I love everything about that shop, the intricately made up windows filled with one-off bags and shawls, the rider on the roof with his scarf banners, and the soft-mannered sales people inside. I've asked many times if I could move in permanently, for some reason they seem to think I'm only kidding...?! This time I picked up yet another scarf in the L'Arbre de Vie design, for me the best design by Hermès of the past four seasons without a doubt... this is my first silk carré in this design, as my other two are cashmere and silk large shawls.

Finally, a pair of shoes from the ballet emporium Repetto, where you can find not only all your tutu and pointes needs but also the most comfortable shoes you can imagine, made with posture and comfort in mind, but also incredibly cool French style. Although I don't adore their ballerinas which can sometimes be a bit unforgiving for my feet which are small and wide (thanks to to much ballet as a child), I love their brogues and ankle boots.

Only a few of my favourite Paris haunts:

Mariage Frères
Carrousel du Louvre
Paris 1er
http://www.mariagefreres.com/

Sephora
22 Place de la Madeleine
Paris 8e
http://www.sephora.fr/

Guerlain
251 rue Saint-Honoré
Paris 1er
http://www.guerlain.com/

Diptyque
34 boulevard Saint-Germain
Paris 5e
http://www.diptyqueparis.fr/

L'Artisan Parfumeur
22 rue Vignon
Paris 9e
http://www.artisanparfumeur.com/

Tara Jarmon
400 rue Saint-Honoré
Paris 1er
http://www.tarajarmon.fr/

Hermès
24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
Paris 1er
http://hermes.com/

Repetto
22 rue de la Paix
Paris 2e
http://www.repetto.fr/

6 comments:

Lonely Greenshoe said...

I've really loveddd your post especially because we have the same taste!
last time I went to Paris in november I ended up buying an Hermes silk scarf as well (the one you bought was one of the options!!) and a pair of Repetto black patent BB ballerinas!
For Dyptique, I ended up buying some little candles for my bathroom last week in London (in Milan they usually don't sell the little ones)
Baci

LittleS said...

Ciao LG! I love that we share so many tastes without having met yet... we ought to make an effort and catch up properly when we're next in the same city. Have a wonderful Christmas. Baci. S

cvw1004 said...

Which district would you recommend for someone wishing to visit Paris to do touristy things, sightseeing etc - my friend has asked for advice but I usually go to the Midi so haven't a clue! Thanks and wishing you and your family happy holidays.

Hanaa said...

le carré est magnifique dans cette couleur. Vous êtes bien rentrés à Londres? bisous

LittleS said...

@Hanaa, merci! Yes, nous sommes bien rentres. A dimanche? Bisous

@cw1004 I'd recommend one of the following: 1st, 6th, 9th or 8th. They are all pretty central and really convenient for both sight-seeing and shopping. Happy holidays to you too!

frifri63 said...

Joyeux Noël! Of course, as a French, I love every single thing on your shopping list! I love my Dyptique and just bought the "Ambre" home perfume that I use in my dressing room. I nearly got the arbre de vie shawl when I was in lille 2 weeks ago but I decided to get my first "email" bracelet instead!
Take care and have a merry xmas!
F