Thank you to everyone who has read my first blog on this subject. So now here is part 2 of what you should buy in Paris. These are fun, practical, and affordable gifts and souvenirs you can bring home from the city of lights that won’t break the bank and will give you a unique keep-sake from your unforgettable time in Paris!
A fun boutique I found one day walking with a friend is Gab & Jo. A store with MADE IN FRANCE products. Tons of fun quirky and multi-ranged priced gifts the store first captures you with their impressive taxidermy rooster in the front window. The owner dresses him regularly with all the new items in the store. The owner Alexis is very proud of his wears and eager to help you choose the best gift for your loved ones either in French or in English. There is an array of things for everyone from iPhone accessories, purses, princess dresses, children’ toys, even boxer shorts (Le Slip Français are amazing products!really good ones!) all made in France. I mention the prin Sure some of this you could buy something simile in the US but the beauty is to find so many products and curiosities produced in such a small county such as France. Many of these object are handmade in small ateliers by local artists. You can’t beat that! And Alexis himself is a small business owner! In a city where mass-production is all around us it is so refreshing to find a shop like this and it a MUST visit.
*the best Laduree in the city is also down the street from Gab&JO so why not kill two birds with one stone!?!
Chocolats Patrick Roger:Minimalist, earthy, potent, and structured this chocolatier is my personal favorite. These are especially a great gift for a as a hostess gift French dinner party: on the many occasions I have brought them they have prompted oohs and ahhs from all. His specialty are these little globes of wonderful that I can only explain as frog eyes that are filled with an oozing key lime chocolate ganache that just erupts in your mouth. The combination is divine and undecribably fantastic.
These little globes though do not travel well, we can barely get a box of them to Limoges intact. But other delights of thiers are likely to travel better. I have a personal attraction to their candies then truffeled almonds: pop one into your mouth and you get first the bitter cocao, after a sumptuous melting chcolate and finally carmelized sugar around the crispy woody almond. You can buy these either little plastic sachettes or thier famous turqouise “coffrets”. If you really want to bring chocolats I would suggest thier ganaches au citrons verts. Lime is Partick Roger’s strong point and something you can’t reproduce: he makes a small chocolate that is a poivré (peppered) lime that is amazing. Another wonderful gift are thier chocolat bars and also “plaques” that is spread and shattered chocolat which makes for a great gift to travel because if it breaks any more…no big deal.
If Patrick Roger seems too delicate you can always try Maison du Chocolat. They are more sturdy chocolats and have a more varried flavor choice. I gave a box to my mom while I visited her on tour in Germany (my mom lives in the US and tours with her group the Magnolia Sisters) and they were widly appreciated. They also have some stands in CDG airport.
Marriage trois freres: An amazing Parisien tea that makes for a great lightweight gift. My personal favorits are the Parisien Breakfast that has notes of vanilla and grapfurit and the Monté Carlo that is spicy and stubtile. You can easily buy this tea at the Bon Marché or the Grande Epicerie but I would suggest going to thier tea room hidden in the backstreets between the sein and St Michel( . This colonial-india decored tea room with plam fans and the servers dressed in panama linen suits is a wonderful place to spend a rainy afternoon. It is on the pricy side but a pot of tea can go a long way. Try a few flovors and buy your favorite downstiars in the store. Why not even buy one of their signature teapots if you can manage to bring it home.
Gas bijoux: Handmade jewlry from the south of france; these bijoux are my favorite. They are very afordable, you can buy a 24 karat
gold braclet for around 60 euros which is usually what I spend on gifts to bring home. This jewlery is inspired by the bohemian-chique style of the french riviera and has beautiful accent peices. Some of thier stuff is very costumey but worn with your essential little black dress in winter or your maxi t-shirt dress in summer it has some major wow-factor!
only 65 euros for this handmade work of art!!
Éric bompart scarf: Cachemire! what more can I say? As I said in part 1 a beautiful scarf is a Paris MUST. So why no go for the best?
Lampberger: I remember this being a fad in america at some point but right off the Champs D’Elysee there is a Lampberger store. All thier products are still made in one atellier in Normandy and really are an amazing gift to bring someone. There are tons of models of defiussers and lamps. The one I have in my home is a proceline rose that emits a contiuous perfume. I either have lavendar, jasmin, or a great blend appropriatly named Paris Chique. It is such a beautiful peice that sometimes people mistaken it as simply part of the decore. A rose usually lasts about six months or two bottles of perfume. I then keep the roses (though a bit browned after the perfume) and then display them in my bathroom (they still smell SO good).
Comptoire de famille. Like I said in my last blog of what to buy in Paris and awesome gift is actually French dish towels. Well this is the place to buy them, along with tons of other adorable things with the iconic print of red and white checks that you will find on antique kitchenware. I once brought an entire carry-on full of these dishes as a gift for my mom. Though I wouldn’t suggest that entirely I would suggest getting at least one of their bowls to drink your morning cafe au lait out of. And yes I do mean coffee because many French families drink hot chocolate and coffee out of bowls in the morning… The better to dunk baguette buttered with beurre au gros sel…YUM!!! Another cool grab in one of thier sugar tins. One box fits a French box of sugar cubes which also makes a great gift! Use the tin later to store tea or even transform it into a memory box with all of your museum ticket stubs and cards of places you visited. *sometimes you can get them on amazon incase you forgot a gift for someone.
French net market bag: One of the things that I brought back home as a gift this time around were 100% made in france knit market bags. the Authentic Filet Filt are awesome market bags that are made by a small company in France that began in 1860! totally worth buying, useful and easy to pack I thought these were wonderful gifts (i even kept one for myself)
Orangettes: As much as I love fine chocolate from Patrick Roger these lovelies are the one thing I can’t resist! Candied orange zests covered in
are just TO DIE FOR. They travel very well and can be bought in nice stores like Maison de Chocolate (37 euros for 230g) or just simply in the grocery store (mono prix 6,89 for 200g)
You can also buy other candied fruits and in particular lemon zest. I use these lemon zests on salads an they are so delicious. I also dip them in chocolate or bake them into little madeleines. At my market on Ave.Presdient Wilson (Blog to come) every Wednesday and Saturday there i a salesman who sells wonderful candied and dried fruits and his sister just opened a boutique on the Isle St.Louis near Bertillon Ice-cream (made and sold only in Paris) at 3 Rue des Deux Ponts. I would highly recommend visiting her and telling here EmilieinParis sent you.
Tights: Oh my love affair with France and tights must be my mom’s fault. I just remember her raving about them and always bringing back beautifully colored ones. But it is SO TRUE. You can buy beautiful tights in this city. There is nothing more french than a black dress and a colored tight. So very french. (For more tips on dressing like the French click here for my blog about Dressing for Paris) You can buy tights simply in Monoprix but there are also some fun stores like
School supplies: The french do school supplies like no other. My mom use to always bring us back notebooks, folders, fountain pens and pencilecases when she visited France. They are so different and interesting. So once again stop into a mono prix or treat yourself to a French Librairie Papeterie like Lamartine 118 Rue de la Pompe, 75016 Paris (down from Trocadero and the Eiffel Tower).
Remember that in France the smallest thing are the finest. We live by the saying less is more. This is evident in the way we buy food and in the things that we hold dear. A small gift with a lot of thought counts for more than a large gift with only a passing glance.
Enjoy shopping, tasting and touring Paris and please read my blogs including part 1 of what to buy in Paris which you can access by clicking here.