Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Ah, home sweet home. You knew that was coming didn't you?

Well yeah, after numerous (20?) trips to Paris over the years I finally felt the full force of the famous Parisian froideur directed at me. All the time! And I didn't like it one bit. So now I know it's not a myth. Hurrah! No more will I defend you Paris. No more will I swear blind I don't know what people are going on about when they tell me of alarming incidents with waiters. I now have my own tales of woe, which I think I may have made quite enough fuss about already so let's just leave it at that.

I'm also quite aware that whingeing about the nasty waiter at La Palette does not exactly inspire sympathy, since I went there at 4pm on a Tuesday for an apero' in between buying fabulous shoes. When 'you' readers were probably hunched over your desks at work eating a pot noodle or something.

Anyway, two good things have come out of this faintly 'ick-hmm' feeling I now have about Paris. It is SO nice to be back in London. I usually feel depressed. Not this time. I could have kissed the rail employee at London Bridge who chirped "been on yer 'olidays?" at me as I strode through the barrier. As my Granny always said; "It's nice to go away but it's nice to come home." I even sat down with a cuppa and watched Miss Marple on TV on Sunday night. (I hardly ever watch TV, especially very 'British' adaptations.)

The second good thing is that I can sit here in my new Princesse Tam Tam PJ's, drinking Mariage Freres Jasmin/Mandarin tea, inhaling the scent of the brand new A.P.C oranger candle I just lit. I have many little goodies from Paris.

Les Archives de la Presse, (51 Rue des Archives, 3rd) is stacked full of exactly what is says. Anything printed, going back to 1900 and well organized so you can find what you want easily. They have a huge selection of Vogue's -French, Italian, British - and all the special editions. The whole place is full of magazines (kind of reminded me of my living room). I quickly fell upon the issue of French Vogue edited by Sofia Coppola that I had missed.

My favourite haberdashery shop (mercerie) is Entree des Fournisseurs just off the rue des Francs Bourgeois at number 8 in a little courtyard. They have the most amazing ribbons and buttons like little works of art. I bought these buttons.

Finally, at 41 Rue de Poitou I found shoe heaven at Hoses, owned by fashion stylist Valery Duboucheron (who also happens to be very sweet and friendly). Ohhh, the shoes. She has the best shoes. Many of the styles are exclusive to her shop which is how I ended up buying a pair of (British designer) Rupert Sanderson shoes in Paris. I realised after I had e mailed his London shop 3 times to see if they had them I should jusy buy the bloody shoes because they were completely perfect.

I wont even start on all the beauty products. French pharmacies are a bit of an obsession. About a third of the U.K price for brands like Caudalie, Nuxe, Phyto and Cote Bastide. Guilt free indulgence. And the sales. Love the sales (though not the salespeople!). At 30% cheaper than London to start off with, and not just on French brands, the sales in Paris don't fanny about with 20 or 30% here and there. It's straight in with half price. It's practically FREE!


lottie said...

Your shoes are gorgeous - I could eat them! And I know what you mean about the pharmacy products. I had to restrain myself in France last week as I have so. many. already...

Anonymous said...

Hi Claire,
Good to have you back - really enjoyed last night. Would like the lovely dim sums for lunch (and a cocktail..) instead of my cold sandwich... Will go out for a coffee now instead..

I am really impressed by the page - need more time to look at all the wunderfull photos.

Speak soon, X Zannie