Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

Merci Shop, Paris

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I’m a dreamer; my mind is always wandering of to far off places I’d rather be… sundrenched fields of wild flowers and breezy huts shaded by mango trees. Sometimes I’d wish myself back to the memorable places I’ve loved, and moments when I’ve felt truly content.

I took a short trip to Portland this past weekend, a long scenic train ride that didn’t feel long at all.
I brought my laptop along, finally ready to tackle photos from my vacation last year – and unearthed these photos of our final day browsing the enchanting Merci store and stealing a quick breakfast at the Used Book café.

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Processing these pictures on the train amidst the spectacular landscapes of Pacific Northwest made for such a perfect moment – almost as if I was in two of my favourite places at once, and at that instant there was no need to dream.

I’d heard and read many good things about Merci and I knew I’d like it even before I set foot there.

From the café, we ate hot delicate scones slathered with thick smooth echire butter, and zesty fromage blanc with nuts and honey. And lots of café au lait

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And then we lingered, as one would in a store that carries a little bit of their favorite things, all delightful and covetable – understated and stylish clothes, functional and elegant furnishings and household wares, and dreamy eclectic products that you didn’t even know you needed.

You could wander here and never tire, the displays are beautiful, alluring, they change with the season; artsy and cultural with a dash of whimsy – Ideal for browsing and garnering design inspiration even if priced a little out of range.

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And the staff; attentive and informed, with all sorts of tips – from cute gift ideas to suggestions to check out a chic optical store on rue de Turenne.

The store is a little bit like the city it inhabits, cozy, original and conceptually stimulating.

The Fiat 500 at the entrance is adorable, a theme of minimalist elegance and cheeriness carries throughout the store.

There’s also a unique philanthropy facet to this already awesome store, profits are used to ‘finance acts of human development’

~Hope you enjoy the pictures…

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Merci Shop, Paris
111 boulevard Beaumarchais
75003 Paris

Click through for more photos!

Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche

(This is the second in a series of posts on department stores in Paris, read the first here)

269/365 Le Bon Marché #mostly365

Of all the Parisian department stores, Le Bon Marché is by far my favourite.
It’s exactly how I imagined a Parisian shopping experience would be; beautiful architecture, fabulous design and layout, with excellent and well-selected collection of merchandise and attentive staff.
Often regarded as the ‘world’s first department store’ it opened circa 1830s on the Left Bank (Rive Gauche).
The store’s ambiance encourages luxurious leisure shopping, which is its advantage over the other department stores; Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. It’s never overcrowded and the staff is actually nice and helpful

Le Bon Marche Stair - Le Bon Marche

A short 8 second clip

Bon Marché has everything – and I mean EVERYTHING!
From the best and fabulous designer clothes in mini boutiques to furniture from designers I’d only read about in books.
I could spend the whole day there and never get bored, I’d be just happy riding the those cool escalators all day…
I literally spent an hour browsing the bookshop and I can’t even read French!

Cafe at Bon Marche
Snack at le Bon Marche Carrot Cake

And when I felt a little peckish I headed for Primo Piano, the indoor and terraced café with colourful décor and great food.
And then there’s La Grande Epicerie, a gourmet food emporium so epic and awesome it deserves it’s own post.

Le Shopping

Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche
24, rue de Sèvres
75007 Paris
France
www.lebonmarche.com

At Fauchon

There was a supermarket close to our house when I was a kid, it was a big unimpressive building at a busy intersection close to the Kroo Town Road market, I don’t think I ever knew its name.
We didn’t shop there much, my mom would sometimes buy baked beans and cheese from there; and once, I remember, laundry detergent.
It wasn’t a particularly fancy store, but it’s was the closest we had to a gourmet store; one time I saved a bit of money and got a bar of Lion Bar just because of a cool ad I’d seen.
As a kid with an overactive imagination who read a lot, I’d make up these dazzling characters in my head and wonder about the mundane bits that came with living, like where they’d buy their groceries or the kind of toothpaste they used.
I imagined them in futuristic looking stores with neon lights and carts designed to follow them around the aisles.

Fauchon - Madeleine

For whatever strange reason, these are the two things I thought about when I went into Fauchon… the old supermarket from my childhood and the imaginary places I’d made up.
Fauchon is one of those haute gourmet places everyone recommends you visit when you’re in Paris.
The main store on Place de la Madeleine in the 8th arrondissement has been opened since 1886, but you can’t tell from its chic pink and black and white décor.
The flagship store occupies three addresses over three levels that include a patisserie, deli, bakery, café, a bar, grocery store and an amazing wine cellar.
And there’s so much amazement to Fauchon, you can’t help but feel like a kid in a candy shop – it’s like something I’d imagined.

The View
Fauchon - Paris Cafe
Break

Le Grand Magasins – BHV, Rivoli

(This is the first in the series of posts about the big department stores in Paris)

The start of the shopping season seems like the perfect day to start a series on shopping.
I didn’t do any shopping this weekend or today since I’m on a shopping ban, so I’ll do the next best thing; write about shopping.

BHV
BHV stands for Bazaar de l’Hôtel de Ville and it’s one of Paris’ oldest stores – second oldest, according to some.

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It stands next to the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) on Rue Rivoli in the 4th arrondissement.
I imagine it started out as a small market next to city hall, and later when it opened in 1856 as a big department store, the name stuck.
Either way, BHV is awesome, it has eight floors of general department store fare including an impressive DIY/hardware store in the basement and café on the 4th (or 5th?) floor with beautiful views of Paris.

Bazar de l'Hotel de Ville
There’s a separate men’s shop that is fully stocked with all the favourite brands. there’s also a pet store and travel agency.
The only strange thing about BHV is its lack of a shoe department!
It has an extensive women’s department with clothes, handbags, accessories and everything else you could think of except shoes.
Now, BHV isn’t high fashion, don’t go there looking for those Maison Martin Margiela boots or that Isabel Marant top. Here, you’ll find quality affordable French brands plus favourites like Longchamp.
The home, appliance and kitchenware section is most impressive, they stock brands like Staub, Le Creuset, Bodum, Alessi etc and brands you’d only find in Europe.
The groceries section carries Kusmi tea, fancy coffee, sweets and Fauchon products.
BHV was a quick walk from where we stayed, in historic Paris, and there was a huge six day sale that seemed to go on forever. This was a very tempting situation for me; sometimes I’d go in several times in a day, just to browse because it was so close and convenient and the sales were amazing; up to 60% off.
I got some cashmere sweaters from the Galeries Lafayette house brand, an epilator, sweets and gifts for friends and family.
BHV is a little like Sears, except fancier and very French.

BHV
52 Rue de Rivoli
75004 Paris France
http://www.bhv.fr/

DSquared2

From the department of better late than never, comes these pictures from last month…

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During the Olympics last month, the Milan based designers DSquared made an appearance at Holt Renfrew to launch their special edition Olympics hoodie.

The designer twins, Dean & Dan Caten originally from Canada also designed the outfits for the Canadian talent at the Olympics’ opening and closing ceremonies.

The Holt Renfrew event as I remember (it’s been over a month after all) was pleasant and relaxed.

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Lots of fashionable people showed up, which was great because I spent time chatting with some very stylish people.

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Looking Dean(?)

I met a couple who drove all the way up from Everett just for the event.

The guy had on an awesome DSquared belt buckle, I think I might have stared at his crotch a little longer than appropriate.

The event served as a good opportunity for fashionistas to get to meet one (two?) of Canada’s finest designers and also especially great for aspiring designers to meet and talk to real-life successful designers

More pictures below… enjoy!

Review

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People

Drink

Autograph Waiting

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Fleece Hoodie

People

Talk

Next in the ‘Better Late Than Never’ Series; Tinariwen


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