Quality Hotel Abaca Messidor - Paris 15
330 rue de Vaugirard
Phone: (33) 1 48280374
Fax: (33) 1 48287517
Stumped for original gift ideas? Help is at hand. Hors des Sentiers Battus, a tiny Chocolate shop next to the Beaugrenelle shopping area has thought of everything under the sun, and turned it into chocolate. Ranging from flower bouquets to shoes for ladies and miniature racing cars to tool-boxes for gentlemen, there is something mouthwatering for everyone. Their hand-crafted designer chocolates are also very much worth the detour, several of their creations such as the Tas de Sel (a "Pile of Salt," a scrumptious salted-butter caramel, coated in white chocolate and granulated sugar) have won the highly coveted Médaille d'Or du Chocolate. -Charlotte Bonin
Some markets get so overcrowded with tourists (and prices that match) that it's more worth it to just duck into Monoprix. This market, however, in the residential neighborhood of the 15th Arrondissement has none of that uppity Parisian flavor. Vendors and customers are faithful, coming back for cheap clothing, delicious paëlla and a variety of butchers, fishmongers, produce stands, and local French specialties from wine to foie gras. This is fairly close to the British neighborhood, so most vendors have some understanding of the English language. If not, just point and nod. For more information, call +33 8 3668 3112 (Tourist Information). -Emily Monaco
What could be better than a sweet shop? A sweet shop that sells retail at wholesale prices, that's what… Located at the foot of the Dupleix Metro station, this wholesaler has been supplying top-of-the-line chocolates, candies and sweets to Parisian retailers for over 40 years. Whether you're looking for Valrhona chocolate bars in Chef-size or Chupa-Chups lollipops, they have it all – in abundance! You'll also discover little-known traditional French confiserie such as the Abbey of Flavigny's sugar-coated Annis seeds. The permanent collection is also supplemented by seasonal offerings such as Weiss Chocolate Easter Eggs or Marrons Glacés come Christmas. -Charlotte Bonin
This open-air flea market is not as big as the one in Saint-Ouen but is nevertheless a fun place to be. Shops offer old books, old furniture and antiques. The market consists of professional shop keepers and stall owners who set up shop only on weekends. This flea market is the smallest in Paris but is a good place to pick up some interesting souvenirs to take back home. If you're lucky, you could also find something historic and original. Happy shopping!
A veritable "cité-ciné" (cinema city) from before the advent of the multiplexes using that name. The Entrepôt (Warehouse) boasts three theaters featuring mainly recent art films, as well as a restaurant and café, a bar, and a film-oriented bookstore. Shows run from 11a-10.30p daily.
If Paris is the city for antique shopping, then Le Village Suisse is the epicenter for rare masterpieces. This antique market was formerly the exhibition site for the 1900 World Fair. Today, it is home to around 150 antique dealers and decorators, whose forte is 18th-century French furniture and African primitive art. The shops out here are worth a look, with some rare and interesting pieces on offer. Some rare paintings are also available here. There is one guarantee: if you come here, you won't leave empty-handed.
Aux Vignobles du Plaisir is housed in a basement wine cellar in the 14th district on the outskirts of Paris, offering a wide selection of wines culled from some of France's most famous wine regions. Equal parts store and sampling salon, visitors can pair their tester wines with a wide assortment of quality cheeses and cold cuts, or mark off their checklist for delectable local varietals. Wine-seeking shoppers are highly advised to pay a visit to this hidden winery.
Barrier Roger has been in the watch making business since 1858. It has an international reputation with clients, such as Piaget, Baume & Mercier and Cartier. This establishment also deals in precious stones. Barrier invites people to check out the private collections from Monday to Saturday. In addition, they undertake repairs of watches and jewels and make them as good as new!
All of you who are passionate about tea will find varieties from such places as India, Sri Lanka, China, Tibet, Taïwan, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and Kenya (among others). Over 300 kinds of tea are available in a very elaborate post-colonial decor. Of course, you will also find all the accessories needed to prepare that precious beverage in the correct manner. Order by mail at 3, Rue de Nice, 75011 Paris.
Located just around the corner from the Eiffel Tower, CHEESE is the creation of a passionate cheesemonger in Paris's 15th district. The shop stocks cheese from across France's numerous provinces, in addition to specifically curated items such as honey from Bourgogne, Tuscan olive oil and a massive selection of wines from provincial territories. Perfect for an impromptu shopping trip while sightseeing, CHEESE is a must-stop for cheese lovers.
First the color attracts the eye, then the nose recognizes the aroma, and finally the mouth is overwhelmed by the taste: this is the perfect place to discover the world of wine tasting. This club offers programs, at three levels, of three two and a half hour sessions. Don't be surprised if some people spit after tasting, that's professionalism. The greatest connoisseurs want to know wine without feeling its effects. Of course, there is nothing to stop you from fully enjoying the vintages if you wish!
Fromagerie Quatrehomme has been selling cheeses out of a charming Paris boutique since 1935. Now under the guidance of Marie Quatrehomme, a fourth generation cheesemonger, it breaks from tradition by offering imported and experimental cheeses, such as pesto goat cheese. Everything you could want out of a French cheese boutique can be found here.