As I have just returned from my latest trip to Paris, I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite places to visit.
Yves Andrieux & Vincent Jalbert take antique fabrics and do something wonderous with them. Their shop in the Marais district of Paris is an Aladdin’s cave of treasures. Clothes, bags, cushions, curtains and throws like you have never seen before.
ADDRESS: 55, Rue Charlot 75003 Paris
Want to cook like the French? Then you could do a lot worse than book a lesson with Laetitia of Zest en Maniere. Her cookery school in the 9th arrondissement even offers 2 hour courses for teenagers.
If you can’t go in person there are some fabulous recipes on her website. Her Pan Fried Apple Balls are to die for.
ADDRESS: 37, rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, 75009, Paris
Though not French but Belgian, Agnes Emery has a shop in the 11th arrondissement with the most amazing fabrics, furniture, tiles, rugs, wallpaper etc. Pieces for your interior like you have never seen before. Well worth a visit if only for inspiration.
ADDRESS: 18, passage de la Main d’Or 75011 Paris
A haven for lovers of natural fabrics. Organic cotton and linen, merino wool from France, virgin goosedown, pure essential oils, hand-blown recycled glass… if that isn’t enough to tempt you then I give up!
ADDRESS: 6, rue Pavée 75004 Paris
There’s jewellery then there’s Camille Lescure’s jewellery. Her designs are more like items of clothing. I mean, where else have you seen jewellery you can hang on your knickers? Her shop in the 2nd arrondissement is a delight to the senses.
ADDRESS: 85, bis rue de Charenton 75012 Paris
Paris can make you hungry. Passing through all those fabulous food markets in the morning leaves you wanting more. My all time favourite place to go when this happens to me is Chez Marianne in the Marais district. I never have a clue what I am eating but it is always delicious! This restaurant-deli serves Middle Eastern and Jewish specialties and is a bustling, friendly place to rest your sore feet.
ADDRESS: 2,rue des Hospitalieres-Saint-Gervais, 75004 Paris
If I had to put these addresses in order of preference then Merci would have to be No 1. The ex owners of Bonpoint, the luxury children’s clothing label, opened Merci in the 3rd arrondissement in 2009. What I love most about this place is that you can breathe: three floors of gorgeousness are open and airy and every display makes you smile. And any shop that hangs plastic flowers from their toilet ceiling has my vote.
On my last visit I came away with a set of plastic beakers in the colours of Laduree macarons, a porcelain onion and a roll of waxed vintage newspaper: I can think of nowhere else this would happen!
ADDRESS: 111, boulevard Beaumarchais 75003 Paris
Last but not least; La Belle Ecole. This is the place to go if you want to be French without the passport. Situated in the 7th arrondissement this school offers courses in culinary art, tasting art, the art of flower arranging, French Etiquette, French Elegance and French Art & Design. I have the advantage of being able to stay with my daughter when I go to Paris and I can tell you now living the French way is hugely liberating.
ADDRESS: 26, rue Saussier Leroy 75017 Paris
Based in Northumberland's National Park, Di Overton (owner of mydeco.com's very own supplier Ghost Furniture) has a passion for all things rustic and vintage. Lovingly restoring lost and forgotten furniture found at flea markets and vintage fairs both in the UK and France, Di has a great eye for a piece with potential. Take a look at her blog here - designersblock.blogspot.com. You can follow Di on twitter @GhostFurniture Read more posts by Di.