Thursday's Child: Shopping in Paris

Thursday, September 16, 2010


This title is probably confusing to those of you who know I don’t like to shop.  Why would I shop when I’m on holidays?  Well, for one thing, there are other people in my family who love shopping.  And Paris such a great shopping city that even people who don’t like shopping will be converted.

There is no store in the world like Pylones.  That’s where I bought the Eiffel Tower cheese grater in the photo above.  (I couldn’t resist – could you?)  Everything they sell combines function and beauty, or at least whimsy.  Whether you fall in love with the tropical-bird-shaped butter knives, the squid egg whisks, or the cake servers that flip over to transform into a dog, trust me – you’ll fall for something.  Oh, and if you visit, could you pick me up a cake server that transforms into a dog, to replace the one confiscated at airport security? 





Thanks to Suzy Gershman’s shopping book, we found the cute boutiques just north of the Tuileries on rue 29 juillet and rue St. Roch. We were especially drawn to Dominique Denaive, a jewelry shop just north of rue de Rivoli. Denaive works with resin, precious metals and other materials to create a completely unique look. I couldn’t resist the August sales. I picked up this stunning necklace at 75% off, and was thrilled to have such a lovely reminder of Paris.





But our favourite shopping experience was at the Puces de Vanves.  When we told the girls we’d be visiting France, the first thing my oldest daughter said was, “Can we go to one of the flea markets?”  So our first weekend in Paris, we took the metro down to the southernmost border of Paris to visit the Puces de Vances.  I could have stayed there all day.  One booth sold boxes of old photos, every one of them telling its own story.  Another vendor sold silverware and ceramic dishes.  I fell in love with the ostrich feather boa at a vintage booth but, unable to picture myself wearing it to the girls’ soccer games, I passed on it.  My favourite booth sold old letters and postcards, including one addressed to someone living in Asia Minor.  It wasn't sent to Alexander the Great, but it looked nearly that old.  And I still regret not buying that pile of letters.



Next week:  literary France.

15 comments:

natalia said...

Ciao Beth ! I can't believe they confiscated the dog !! It's so cute !!

Grapefruit said...

How did I miss hearing about Pylones! Thank you so much for sharing - this is one place I will definitely look up on my next visit to Paris!

shaz said...

Oh what a shame they took the dog away. Love the cheese grater, I don't think I could have resisted either. Sounds like a fabulous holiday.

Shandy said...

I can only imagine the treasures you saw! What a wonderful journey. I would never have thought to go to a flea market in Paris. What a wonderful idea!

I can not believe the security confiscated the cake server. So Cute.

Valerie said...

What a shame that the adorable cake server didn't make it home with you. Maybe the head of airport security couldn't resist it...or he forgot someone's birtthday. :D

This post makes me want to go shopping, right now.

Beth said...

Shandy, I couldn't believe they took it either. Although maybe I should have guessed -- last time I traveled they took my hair mousse. Such a hardened criminal.

And you may be onto something, Valerie. I was wondering why he looked so happy!

Heather said...

If only I could get to Paris! I just love the dog cake slicer best of all.

Cakelaw said...

Your Eiffel Tower cheese grater is adorable! This most makes me want to hop on a plane directly and fly to Paris - and maybe next year, I will.

sheila said...

Admitting that I am a die hard shopper, I can tell you the good news that Pylones have been spotted in North America, a few items have even been seen in Toronto... so the hunt for the dog goes international!

Beth said...

Sheila, I knew there was a Pylones in New York, but didn't know you could find their products in Toronto. Thanks for the tip! (Oh, and it's just that one specific dog I'm looking for. I am NOT hoping to inherit the Book Club mascot!)

Joanne said...

Oh I'm so sorry they took away that cute little dog! They wouldn't let you mail it to yourself??

LDH said...

Hello Beth,

What a lovely place you have here! I have enjoyed perusing several of your posts and getting to know you a bit better.

Oh, so sorry to hear your cake server was confiscated... but we must be wary of what someone might do with hair mousse and a cake server!

Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving your comment.

Kindly, ldh

jillbert said...

Fun cheese grater! I'm not a big shopper either, but do like to do some shopping when I'm on vacation. Your necklace is the perfect souvenir. too bad about the cake server, though.

Grapefruit said...

I'm revisiting your old posts to see if there is any advice on things to see (that I missed out on last time).
Did you go to the marche aux puces at Clignacourt? My friend insists it's the better one since it's the largest in Europe but I recall that the guy at the front desk of our hotel said the one at Vanves is better. The bad thing is that Vanves is open only on sunday & that is the only day I can go to the marches so I can't decide between the two!

Beth said...

We didn't visit Marche aux Puces, so it's difficult to compare. I've heard good things about it, but we really did love Vanves. I think we visited on a Saturday, although definitely check first as it might vary depending on when you visit.
Hope you have fun!

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