December 17, 2013
One reason I love discovering Paris’ open-air markets is because these explorations take me to distant corners and new-to-me neighborhoods in this ceaselessly charming city. Shopping in Paris is not a mere materialistic venture, it’s a veritable touristy adventure- for native Parisians and visitors alike.
While the pressure of Christmas shopping can be overwhelming, finding the perfect gift for the brother or bestie who has it all is infinitely more pleasurable when it involves perusing artisanal and French-made products in some of the city’s most charming and unique boutiques and neighborhoods. Here are some suggestions on where to find unique French gifts for everyone on your list.
Foodie friends and home chefs will be thrilled to find their stockings stuffed with traditional French cookware and ingredients. Find great gifts for both experienced and novice cooks at E. Dehillerin, which stocks French-made cookware and accessories that make perfect additions to the Francophile kitchen.
December 10, 2013
It’s that time of year again! The time of aimless meandering through crowded streets or malls, searching for the perfect gift for that special someone. To make it a little bit easier for you, Nichole Robertson has put together a sweet little francophile gift guide. She is also offering up three great gift packages for three lucky readers: each winner will receive one extra-large print of your choice from the Paris Print Shop, a 2014 Paris calendar, and a set of four cards from the Paris Traveler Series! Instructions for entering are at the bottom of the post. Good luck! -Genevieve
Update: Congrats to our winners Adelle in Vermont, Jacqueline in Maine, and Chris in West Virginia!
I’m Nichole. I’m a writer, photographer and co-owner of an NYC metro-based creative studio, Obvious State. The focus of my work for the past few years has been Paris photography, so I spend a lot of time traveling back and forth (and staying in Haven in Paris apartments, which is how I met the lovely HIP staff).
I spent about two months this year working on The Paris Journal and my second book with Chronicle Books, which means I was able to frequently satisfy my own Francophile urges: Bordier butter, Laurent Dubois cheese, La Fermière yogurt and baguettes. Many, many baguettes.
You see the theme there, right? French dairy and bread. Not exactly giftable, or available in the US. Though I’ve discovered that you can buy Échiré butter here and on Amazon, and have happy danced over that discovery.
November 21, 2013
Wouldn’t it be great to jump on a plane and travel to France at a moment’s notice? To leisurely explore the country’s regions and get a better understanding of its varied terroir?
While a spontaneous flight may not be realistic, it is possible to travel the country by glass, all from the comfort of home, with a little help from the Paris Wine Company.
Verjus wine bar (Julien Hausherr )
November 19, 2013
Paris’ 18th arrondissement, to the north of the city, is a vast and varied area, encompassing some of the most affluent enclaves (right up at the top of the hill) and some of the shadiest (La Goutte d’Or), as well as one of the city’s most frequented tourist spots — Le Sacre Coeur and the surrounding streets and squares in Montmartre.
But slightly off the beaten track is the more unassuming part of this neighborhood: the residential area in the foothills of Montmartre, extending from the arrondissement’s town hall – where I happen to have lived for the best part of a decade – which is well worth the detour to discover the lesser known shops, restaurants and more that the guide-book clutching hoards are yet to discover.
Manufacture Parisienne (Kim Laidlaw)
Here is a selection of my favorite new and newish places that look set to make this part of the 18th a destination on any discerning visitor or local’s itinerary. Food in the area ranges from a quick bite and coffee right up to fine French dining.
November 7, 2013
When the cold arrives in the City of Light there’s nothing better than cuddling up with a cup of hot tea and a few delicious pastries in the corner of a Parisian café.
Rose Bakery Tea Room (Carin Olsson)
After a summer of short summer dresses and light tank tops, it’s time to put on that knitted sweater, cozy scarf, and those leather boots… Which also means that a few extra pastries won’t really hurt that much… Well, at least that’s what I keep telling myself (yes, that’s my theory and I’m sticking with it).
After surviving cold autumn days and freezing winters in Paris before, I now know where to get my tea and pastry fix in this city. In a city like Paris the possibilities for indulgence are endless, so I’ve tried to narrow it down for you. Don’t forget to bundle up before heading out!
October 31, 2013
No matter what brings you to Paris, chances are you plan to do some shopping while you’re here. But what if your budget was eaten up by airfare and accommodations? Pas de problème.
There are plenty of ways to score fashionable finds in Paris without breaking that stretched bank account. Just shop like a local. Here’s our cheat sheet for chic (and wearable) souvenirs on a shoestring.
Consign here, please
If the thought of trolling the racks at Goodwill or picking through piles of malodorous cast-offs makes you break out in hives, have no fear. Paris has taken resale to a whole new level. In virtually every quartier, you’ll find several consignments shops (dépôt-vente).
October 9, 2013
Hot on the heals of the ethical department store, Merci, comes a chic newcomer: the much vaunted Centre Commercial at 2 rue de Marseille in Paris’ 10th arrondissement.
As a conscientious citizen of the world, I’m happy to join the chorus singing this new concept store the praise it deserves. The idea is simple: ecological and ethical fashion that supports small-scale artisan industry in countries all over the world.
Sébastien Kopp, the co-founder of the innovative eco-sneaker brand, Veja, is responsible for this latest foray into stylish, well-made, ecological fashion − and the carefully culled results presented in this light and airy emporium, are surprisingly chic.
September 19, 2013
For decades, Pigalle was known mainly for its sex shops, seedy shows and working girls. During WWII, this sketchy section of Paris earned the nickname “Pig Alley” thanks to its bawdy rep. But these days, Pigalle has earned a few new monikers as well as a cleaner reputation. Now, in NYC fashion, trendy locals refer to it as either NoPi (North of Pigalle) or SoPi (South of Pigalle).
While both North and South have plenty to offer, it’s SoPi that’s become the latest neighborhood to watch. Moving beyond nighttime entertainment, SoPi is packed with plenty of destination restaurants, food shops, cafes and enough to make an itinerary that runs from morning until nighttime.
To get a day’s worth of enjoyment out of one the city’s hippest ‘hood, kick start things with some caffeine at Rocketship. Like many places in Paris, they don’t open until later in the morning, so make your way there leisurely. In keeping with the neighborhood’s NY-inspired nickname, this concept coffeeshop works a Brooklyn vibe and offers chai lattes alongside coffee from Coutume.
After coffee, take time to browse the boutique. Benoit, the owner, prides himself on finding unique treasures and includes a good number of pieces from SoPi-based artisans.
Le Rocketship, 13 bis rue Henri Monnier, Paris, 75009, +33 1 48 78 23 66
December 18, 2012
Some people love stationery. A lot. These are the people who browse stationery stores like others do cheese shops, picking up notebooks and greeting cards, smelling, weighing, pressing the pages between their fingers, thrilled by the possibilities within. These people are often diligent list makers, brainstormers, budgeters and recorders of funny expressions overheard in the subway.
I am one of those people. I carry around a total of four notebooks with me at all times: the day planner for appointments (never, ever trust your iphone to keep up with time-zone hopping), the list journal, the ideas journal, and the diary. I have slimmed down over the years, shedding the fuzzy-heart adorned secret-keepers of my youth in favor of lighter, more “mature“ versions. Ahem. I swear.
September 13, 2012
On a rare afternoon off, I took a stroll in Paris and came upon 5 Octobre and Sophie, its adorable owner. She has wonderful gem of a boutique selling her handmade jewelry in the Marais. After hearing a little bit more about her unusual story, I’m so glad to share it with you here – Erica
How did decide to move from being a lawyer to making jewelry? Was the stop gradual or brutal?
It was a long process because I have been passionate about accessories since my childhood. I was already very creative, and the dream was ingrained very deeply – I didn’t just wake up one morning and decide I wanted to make jewelry. When I was 10 years old, I was already collecting beads and stones and turning them into jewelry for my friends.
I was also always a bit of an intellectual, so law satisfied that aspect of my personality, but it wasn’t creative enough. I traveled a lot as a lawyer; the time spent in transit allowed me to spend time dreaming about a new career that would fulfill a larger part of myself. My family is involved in fashion; my mother is a creative buyer for several stores she owns, so that helped me to envision a project that was both creative and professional.
Were your friends and family supportive of the change?
Everyone supports me (my husband first, my parents as well), but I knew the change of social status might not be as easy. Being a lawyer is quite well considered and I didn’t know if I would succeed in this new venture.