So sorry, dear reader. Despite my best efforts of posting two days in a row, I am behind and owe you a post about the remainder of our delightful trip to the City of Lights.
Besides the cheese, OBVIOUSLY, my favorite part about exploring a new city is to get a sense of how people live their lives in a place…i.e., SHOPPING. And also, of course, where do they go to eat? Where do they sit in the afternoons? Where do they get their coffee? It is so rewarding to take recommendations from others, and also to stumble upon them yourself thus, creating an experience all your own.
Of course you must know I will draw upon the creative knowledge at Design Sponge. We’ve used the guides for Buenos Aires and Rome and great success. Paris was no different. A few favorites from D*S were:
Le Petit Atelier de Paris– Shockingly affordable and beautiful. All sweet white ceramics made by hand. This is where I found perfect gifts for friends at home. And their packaging was TO DIE FOR.
Astier de Villatte– two locations in Paris, one in St. Germaine and one near the Louvre, another gorgeous, handmade ceramics mecca. (I had to make Man Mo wait outside at one point…he’s just too big for a shop filled with paper thin ceramic delicacies.)
I also stumbled upon the book Paris: Made by Hand: 50 Shops Where Decorators and Stylists Source the Chic and Unique on Amazon before I left and took it with me for reference. So many great handmade spots, all categorized by arrondissement. A few of the standouts for me were:
Papier Plus– such beautiful photo albums and plain paper products. Hopefully I will get it together long enough to create some Valetines from some of the paper I found in this gorgeous shop.
La Droguerie– Holy Crafty Heaven. Also recommended on this adorable blog, literally, I could have spent HOURS and ALL OF MY FUN MONEY in this place. Walls and walls of ribbon, jars and jars of sequins, buttons, feathers, fabrics….I went there TWICE and still had such a hard time making decisions. However, (tease time!), you will be seeing some of my scores in upcoming creative for the Not Wedding! (Eeeeeep!!)
Intaglio– I found this stationery shop one evening completely on accident. Man Mo was totally OVER the paper shops and I set out on a mission to find a vintage clothing shop. I do believe it had closed and in its place, this great shop that combines letterpress with foiling and brightly colored paper. Truly beautiful. One of the designers and I got to talking and he mentioned that while letterpress is all the rage in the States, it hasn’t caught on as much in Paris. There is no denying these fellahs’ talent and keen eye for clean design. Total drool fest.
On the same rue, Man Mo and I stumbled upon Bread and Roses Café. We went there TWICE for breakfast because the space was so bright and beautiful, the owner was so gracious and the café au lait way yummy.
Okay, so funny story time. On the last day of our trips, we typically like to revisit our favorite spots and grab up a few items that we’ve had our eyes on during the week. After so many choices in Paris, we decided to divide and conquer. I went back to Astier de Villatte to choose a plate, and Man Mo went to pick up a bottle of wine three doors down at La Derniére Goutte (another happenstance find by my tall, dashing husband). I literally waited for him at the dainty ceramics shop in my very puffy coat for about half an hour before I decided to go see what the hold up was. (He carries the credit cards, you see.) I walked down to the wine shop only to discover himself: surrounded by a gaggle of giggling women, all sipping wine and laughing at his typical charm and wit. One of these women noticed my ever-so-obvious eye roll and said (in a THICK southern accent) “Honey, he picked up FOUR women, there’s one more in the back room!” Man Mo turned around, introduced me to his new friends and assured me that he had found where we would spend our last night dinner in Paris. The woman with the southern accent happened to be ex-pat, food critic and Parisian blogger extraordinaire, Wendy Lyn. (You should check out her fantastic blog, The Paris Kitchen.) Man Mo had caught her in the middle of her famous wine and chocolate tour (which, had I known existed, would have had us meet about three hours prior.) She was adorable and recommended we go to Fish La Boissonnerie for dinner and let me tell you what. It was the BEST meal we had in Paris. SO delicious and perfect.
In summary, we are already so missing this place. So many great people, fabulous food, and rich history. Drop me a line if you plan on going anytime soon! Not so that I can tell you all that I know, but so that I can live vicariously!