June 24, 2014
Regulated by French law since 1906, stores are only allowed to have sales twice a year in Paris.
When the Soldes begin, it is like hunting season, with each shopper tracking their prey.
This year, Les SOLDES begin June 25th and last one month. Here are some hints for getting ahead of the competition…
June 19, 2014
No matter how much I try to avoid it, I occasionally succumb to speaking in clichés regarding my fellow female Parisian citizens.
To recap: Parisian women don’t get fat, Parisian women look fabulous with minimal makeup, Parisian women are more rock and roll than their anglo-saxon counterparts. Unfamiliar with this last one? Allow me to explain.
April 16, 2014
Acide Café & Blou
Montmartre, the Marais, Canal Saint-Martin; these are all well-known Parisian neighborhoods, their names immediately recognizable to any visitor. But Batignolles? That’s a local, well-kept secret.
This mostly-residential neighborhood on the outskirts of the 17th arrondissement is off of the standard beaten tourist track. There are no large monuments on visitor to-do lists, and beyond Place de Clichy, there are few names that the outsider will recognize. But that keeps it an out of the way gem, a place to explore when you’re craving a local dose of Paris.
Marché Biologique Batignolles & Parc Martin Luther King
The hub of Batignolles is Square des Batignolles, a quaint and well-maintained park that lies behind the church, Sainte-Marie des Batignolles. From here you can explore rue des Batignolles, full of a variety of small and independently owned stores. For the food lover there’s the epicerie Mary, which houses specialties from Corsica, including wines, honey, cheese, charcuterie and more.
April 7, 2014
It has long been a generally accepted fact that French women don’t get fat. It is now also increasingly accepted that they don’t succumb to spots and wrinkles either.
A glance at the beauty pages of my favourite glossy magazines reveals a veritable fascination with the rules of French skincare. The consensus on what those rules are however is far from clear. There is the minimalist, soap-and-water camp embodied by Charlotte Gainsbourg, who swears by Embryolisse, a simple, French pharmacy classic.
Juliette Lévy (The founder of Oh My Cream !)
That icon of Parisian chic, Ines de la Fressange, espouses an even more minimalistic approach: to eradicate wrinkles, a smile will suffice! On the other side of the fence, we have the French facialist camp. They book their appointments with Parisian skincare gurus months in advance and apply complex sounding creams with scientific precision.
March 11, 2014
The Finish Institute (Anna Brones)
Clean lines, fresh food, cozy cafes – it is no surprise that so many of us have an obsession with Scandinavia. Paris is having its own love affair with the Nordic countries, and if you want a mini-escape to the cultures of a colder climate, you don’t even have to leave the French capital. From food to fashion, there’s plenty of Scandinavia to be had on the streets of Paris.
Whether it’s a little grim, gray and rainy out, or you’re treated with blue skies and sun, Le Café Suédois at l’Institut Suédois is equally inviting. This cozy café space in the Swedish Institute in the Marais feels like stepping into any café in Sweden, complete with strong dark filter coffee and plenty of Swedish baked goods.
In the summer you can sit in the beautiful courtyard and eat your kanelbulle (cinnamon roll), or come for lunch and order a classic Swedish open-faced sandwich.
Icone (Anna Brones)
At the Institut Finlandais you’ll find Coutume Institutti, a partnership with local coffee roaster Coutume. The Finns are known for their coffee consumption, and in this typically Scandinavian designed café, you can sit for hours nursing a big cup, catching up on some work on your computer, or simply sitting and feeling a wave of Scandinavian inspiration.
February 25, 2014
Les Populettes (Marion Gambin)
Rue Riquet, which stretches from the edge of the 18th arrondissement to the quai of the canal in the 19th arrondissement, is now home to an increasing number of charming meeting points for locals and visitors looking to see a new side of Paris.
En Vrac (Emily Dilling Poulain)
The renovation of Marché couvert La Chapelle (or Marché de l’Olive as the locals refer to it), which was completed in 2010, brought new life to the neighborhood which was mostly known for its Asian supermarkets and smoke-filled bars and cafés.
Les Populettes (Marion Gambin)
The market is open six days a week and is home to one of the area’s finest (and friendliest) fishmongers as well as an excellent cheese and dairy stand. Alumni of the market include the owners of En Vrac who went to open a brick and mortar shop a few paces away, beginning the conquest of rue Riquet.
February 20, 2014
Located in the shop-lined streets south of Pigalle, Sept Cinq offers concept shopping along with a cozy café setting. Taking its name, “Seven Five”, from the same postal code where they source their stock, this innovative boutique features locally made jewelry, handbags, and other accessories all created within the city of Paris.
Finding and supporting local producers is a big part of my life abroad. I scour the city’s markets to find local farmers, I serve locally brewed beer at my house parties, and I spend my time in cafés enjoying in-house roasted coffee.
December 19, 2013
Senteurs de Fée
It’s no secret that French girls love their products. Here in Paris, you can find a cream, serum or supplement for just about anything that ails – from cellulite to les cernes to an old fashioned case of the blues.
Traditionally, most of these (often fabulous) remedies have been found at the parfumerie or pharmacie. (Remember Tory’s post on French pharmacy favorites?) But a fresh breed of organic, natural and holistic goodies is making its mark on the Parisian beauty scene and finding a niche at the intersection of bio and la beauté.
Senteurs de Fée
As for me, I’ve long been a skeptic when it comes to natural beauty goods, wary of pasty products and cardboard packaging filled with good intentions but questionable effectiveness. But the more I read about carcinogenic cosmetics bearing unpronounceable ingredients, I’ve started to wonder: Could these Parisian bio boutiques change the mind (and even the skin) of a conventional beauty brand devotee? I decided to investigate.
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.