Where to Shop around The Westin Paris - Vendôme

Paris is a dreamy city no matter how you experience it. Whether you’re admiring the graceful architecture, enjoying a meal or people-watching in a park, you’ll find the metropolis magical. Do like the Parisians and toe the line between traditional and unpredictable.

37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, France
Located at 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, a stone’s throw from the Seine and draped in the shadow of Notre Dame, is what should be proclaimed one of France’s national treasures: the Shakespeare and Company bookstore. This is actually the second site of the store; the original was closed in June 1940 due to the German occupation of Paris during the Second World War. The current location opened in 1951 as Le Mistral, but the name didn’t stick for long. Walk through the green double doors to find a world steeped in history and literary greatness. Endless stacks of books and shelves teeming with manuscripts make it hard to move around. The smell of old books hangs in the air, and that fragrance alone is reminiscent of a bygone era. My own weathered copy of A Moveable Feast was picked up here (Hemingway was a frequent visitor of the original shop). Stop in for a minute or stay for hours: Shakespeare welcomes your company.
4 Rue de Castiglione, 75001 Paris, France
As much as Paris is packed with perfumes stores, there is always room for one more; Jovoy Paris opened in Paris at the end of March and focuses on rare, exclusive and limited edition perfumes. Aside from the wide selection, which is both original and quality-minded, I love the way Jovoy features its perfumes. Jovoy uses glass domes to cover the little brown tester bottles, in order to capture the perfume’s true scent. It is actually allowing the customers to get a better idea of the fragrance’s real scent without the inconveniences of the alcohol. But beside the little domes, I love the colorful perfumes bottles and heavenly scents. I also love the way the new space is designed; the red walls, the warm colored shelves in the middle of the store, where costumers could pass both sides and the vintage touch of some of the displayed tables, gave Jovoy a very Parisian chic feel, yet conceptual high-class store. Among the rare perfumes that can be found are: Amouage, Andy Tauer, Heeley, Humiecki and Graef, Masaki Matsushhima, Undergreen, Puro, Xerjoff, and so many others I’ve never heard off. Next time you are in Paris, include Jovoy store in your schedule: definitely a great way to experience Paris.
111 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris, France
Walking on Blvd Beaumarchais, you can find some real Parisian gems. One of them is Merci, a well known chic, ethnic concept store, hidden at the back of a courtyard in number 111 of the Boulevard. At the entrance to the store, there is an old red mini car, which now serves as the trade mark of the store. It is a three level store, divided into sections. At the entrance level there is a small cafe with a book store, men’s clothing collection, perfumes and some little items of decorations, based on the concept the store has in mind. In my latest visit to Merci, the concept was clothes hangers, and the entrance level was filled with all different kinds. On the lower level, there is a restaurant with sittings over looking a small flowery patio, selling kitchenware and greenhouse items, and on the second floor you can find women’s clothing, accessories, vintage and designed furniture, and home accessories. Occasionally, you can find YSL and Stella McCartney’s items as well as local designers. All the profits from the store go to charity. I highly recommend dedicating some time and exploring every corner of this well designed loft; and have a bite of their delicious tart of the day while looking at the greenery outdoors. Merci, 111 Blvd Beaumarchais. Directions: Get off Saint Sebastien Froissart station (line 8) and walk on the Blvd.
213 Rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris, France
Beside the fact that Rue Saint Honore is one of my favorite streets in Paris (not only for window shopping but also for people spotting) and I can spend hours and days going from one store to another, one of the most popular and trendiest concept stores located there is Colette. The store has 3 floors: The ground floor has books, music, accessories, and a men’s T-shirt collection; the second floor keeps the women’s clothing, shoes, make up, and more; the lower level is Colette’s cafe, which serves delicious menu (a bit overpriced I think, but it’s a great alternative for a lunch break or just a coffee in the midst of shopping). The store also has an exhibition space, which changes frequently. It is a great place to get inspiration, to learn about the next trends, and to spot the fashionable crowds—local and tourists alike.
53 Quai des Grands Augustins, 75006 Paris, France
If you’ve ever walked along the banks of the river Seine, you’ve probably seen long green boxes and their vendors plying souvenirs, postcards and a variety of other knick-knacks. But did you know that these Bouquinistes - all 240+ of them - are considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site? Take the time to peruse what they’re offering. More than just frivolous trinkets, many of them house collector’s items from vintage magazines and stamps to used books, trading cards and old photos (which make for a far more interesting postcard). Stroll the Seine and talk to the vendors - you might just find yourself walking away with a Parisian treasure you’ll actually want to hang onto. (Bouquinistes are set up on the right bank from Pont Marie to Quai du Louvre and on the left bank from Quai de la Tournelle to Quai Voltaire)
18-20 Rue Coquillière, 75001 Paris, France
At first glance, this cookware emporium feels like a dusty relic. But dig a little deeper, especially in the basement, and you’ll find just about anything you could need for the kitchen, along with plenty of treasures you don’t—duck press, anyone?—but would love all the same. Knives, copper cookware, and ceramics are the selection’s biggest strengths.
7 Rue de Prague street, 75012 Paris, France
Petit Pan is a kid-wonder brand. It has a few stores in Paris (in fact, in other locations all over Europe) but the one I’ve visited was at a tiny store in the heart of the Latin Quarter at rue du Bac. The brand Petit Pan is known by its colorful fabrics and the little toys and decorations made of paper and bamboo. You can find paper lamps in the shape of fish, flowers, dragons and other animals. Beside the cute and colorful clothes for babies and infants, the store holds lively pillows, little blankets, ribbons and a large variety of rolled fabrics with so many interesting and adorable prints, which are hard to choose from. Petit Pan is a great alternative if you are looking for a special gift for a baby or the parents. Everything is so cute and tiny that it will be so easy to carry in your suitcase. Petit Pan, 95 rue du Bac. Directions: Get off at rue du Bac station (line 12)
5 Boulevard des Filles du Calvaire, 75003 Paris, France
A few steps away from Merci store, you can find its kids version at the colorful concept store Bon Ton, which sells kids clothes, shoes and toys. The brand has more stores in the city but this one is a three level high, filled with Kids accessories, decors, clothes and toys with little fitting rooms, playing space and photo booth. Everything is so colorful and every detail is carefully planned. Even the friendly sales women wear colorful clothes that match some of the items. It is definitely friendly store both for kids and their parents. Closed Sundays.
Passage du Grand Cerf, 75002 Paris, France
It had been years since I last stumbled upon the Passage du Grand Cerf in the 2nd, a long and narrow gallery of creative shops. Though I wasn’t the only shopper, part of me felt like I had happened upon an untouched jewel. If I share this spot today it’s because I know it will charm those seeking an original memento that lives outside the well-worn Paris souvenir vacuum. Like a much younger version of myself in a candy store, I spun from wall to wall admiring the original posters, prints and greeting cards, wishing I had more free space on my walls to hang something new. Considering my Francophile friend in Brooklyn, I opted instead for a spacious canvas tote painted with an illustration of Paris’s 20 arrondissements - the last one in stock. On this particular day, the space glowed for the holiday season, bedecked in warm, yellow twinkle lights, wreaths and garlands. Though filled with last minute shoppers, the only sound to be heard was the clanging of tiny bells hanging from shop doors and the ensuing chorus of “bonnes fêtes” (happy holidays). Outside an antiques shop, vintage ornaments spilled over the edge of old baskets just waiting to be snatched up. I ambled along past card stores and independent clothing boutiques, stopping in my tracks as I arrived in front of L’Illustre Boutique, a charming little shop specialized in limited edition illustrations by French artists.
6 Place de la Madeleine, 75008 Paris, France
Nestled in a corner of shops off the well-heeled boulevard de la Madeleine, the shop approaches many of their 50 some mustard varieties like beer, offering them fresh and on tap. Flavors range from the ultra classic (course ground à l’ancienne, tarragon, white wine, honey) to the rather unique (black olive, mushroom, cognac), many of which are unavailable outside Paris and Dijon. Aside from being a fantastic spot to pick up gifts, the shop is a beautifully potent homage to Antoine Maille’s original vision and the country’s favorite condiment. No need to travel to Dijon for a taste of Maille, the legendary mustard producer (though I recommend it). Just add their Paris boutique to your travel itinerary!
12 Rue Perrée, 75003 Paris, France
The limited-edition Nikes and kiosk of independent magazines (Corpus, Out of Order, System) at this brilliantly edited multibrand boutique in the upper Marais recall the city’s renowned concept shop Colette. But its abundant natural light, and market-fresh, Scandinavian-influenced café make it a place of its own. Minimalist, rustic decor and sparsely furnished racks reinforce a feeling of calm. An in-house florist is in the works. 12 Rue Perrée, 33/(0) 1-44-61- 53-60. This appeared in the October 2013 issue.
Sainte-Avoye, Paris, France
Just down the street from the charming Carreau du Temple, an open-air market square in the Haut Marais that recently reopened after heavy renovations, sits OFR: a bookshop-cum-gallery that houses an extensive collection of multilingual art and design books and fashion magazines. Here, you’re likely to mingle with a modish crowd, willing to strike up a conversation about anything from travel photography to urban design. If you go, check OFR’s website for regularly rotating events. Added benefit: open 7/7!
173 Rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris, France
Astier de Villatte is well known for its light weight white porcelain plates and dishes, all shown in a big wooden closet at the entrance hall of the store, alongside home perfumes, candles and other colored decorative dishes. It serves as a pilgrimage for porcelain dish lovers. The store itself is simple in its decoration, but the cracking wooden floor gives a sense of an old haunted vintage place. One of my favorite streets in Paris is the fashion-chici rue Saint-Honoré. There is a great combination of high-end fashion stores, well dressed and good looking people, well designed cafes and bistros and other unique concept stores, such as Astier de Villatte. It’s easiest to get here by metro—get off Madeleine station (line.8) and walk toward rue Saint-Honoré.
36 Rue Laffitte, 75009 Paris, France
I’ve tried many chocolates and candies in Paris—some stellar and unforgettable—but the only confiseur and chocolatier that makes me smile when I think about it is Fouquet. Aside from the impressive selection of candied fruits, dragées, and chocolates, I’m most taken by the store’s modesty. Perhaps it’s a result of its history as the oldest candy shop in Paris or its clear dedication to the business (the current owner, Frédéric Chambeau, left his position as an engineer to take over the company with his sister, Catherine Vaz). Either way, you won’t find contrived friendliness or affectation here—just a warm welcome and a veritable passion for sweets. I’m always torn between the croquants (crunchy chocolates) and the marshmallows (pictured), which are the latest additions to the Fouquet menu. Make a trip here not only to show your friends that you know more French sweets than the macaroon, but also because everything it does—from the preparation to the packaging—is exquisite.
Jardin du Palais Royal, 24 Galerie de Montpensier, 75001 Paris, France
Opinionated, obsessive designer Didier Ludot has one of the city’s best collections of vintage couture and accessories. If you’re looking for that perfect Courrèges dress or a mint-condition Hermès Plume bag (one of Ludot’s personal favorites), head to his eponymous boutique in the Jardin du Palais Royal. On offer is haute couture, classic handbags, as well as impeccably restored vintage furs.
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