Thursday, 7 November 2013

We went to Paris with mostly no plan and it was wonderful.

vintage; paris; eurostar;marche aux puses saint-ouen; galeries lafayette; weekend in paris; a la mere de famille
We went to Paris with mostly no plan and it was wonderful! The only aim we had was to visit a flea market, drink lots of coffee and of course lots of wine; so bucks fizz on the Eurostar was a great start! 

Fueled up, we walked from Gare du Nord to our Best Western Premier Hotel, le Carre Folies Opera in Montamatre. The hotel was a bit of a disappointment as they often are. We paid for an executive room and twin beds, we got a weeny room and had to ask house-keeping to come and split the bed for us. The location was great though we were right by Folies-Bergere and just around the corner from this fabulous confectionery store A la Mere de Famille you can see why it appealed to me! The floor is amazing and I just loved the typography

At 250 years old this is Paris's oldest sweet store and rumour has it that dancers from the Folies Begere used to pop by for a gumdrop or two, I can't imagine why they wouldn't.

Our next stop was Galeries LaFayette, I have not seen the inside before an wow was it worth the walk. Such a shame they knocked down the original staircase in 1976, bet that was just lovely.

The ceiling at Galeries LaFayette
More walking and lots of photos of doors, spending the weekend with a fellow lover of architecture was so much fun. Neither of us know much about the technical stuff but we know what we like and we like the use of french blues and greys on buildings but mostly we like mustard front doors!

The French do mustard so well, even their doors
We made it to flea market by Porte de Clignancourtthe Marche aux Puses Saint-Ouen on Sunday morning and it was an experience, not one I would repeat if I actually wanted to buy anything. Lovely for looking around. I knew the market was overpriced but the prices could only be considered as having comedy value. It appeared nothing was under 300 euros.

A shop entrance - in the expensive bit of the market

Apart from the ultra groomed shoppers sitting in the back of chauffeured black Mercedes we didn't see anyone actually buying anything. With the advertised starting prices I'm not surprised. I am all for bartering but what's the point when the starting price is more than the cost of a small semi in Derby? 

My very modest Paris shopping haul 
 I did pick up a frame for 4 euros in the bric a brac section of the market and on our walk back to our hotel we found a great vintage shop where I brought a little piece painted in 1933 for 15 euros.

Artists impression of  an elephant in 1933
The vintage Habitat 1964 village was a great find. They sell of course wonderful vintage pieces, oh if only I had kept some of the furniture from my first flat. I worked across the road from Habitat in the early nineties and lets just say lunchtimes were expensive! Lunch at the "buvette" run by Tartes Kluger was so tasty - I now need a Julia Child's quiche recipe. Only in Paris can a lunch of cafe creme, quiche and salad taste so good.
We brought some of those little wheelie shoppers in anticipation of buying too much to carry, fat chance! I promise I will never think the prices at vintage fairs are over priced again and I will happily increase my eBay bids knowing that actually vintage shopping in the UK is always always cheaper than shopping at Marche aux Puses Saint-Ouen - not as glamorous but definitely cheaper!

Serious Mummy points - I brought the boy a light saber lamp in Galeries LaFayette- just 25 euros
Walking around Paris was great, we had no plans we stopped when we wanted, we didn't pack loads into our days and we fell into our Eurostar seats home happy and exhausted. Paris made a wonderful change from spending my weekend decorating, now I just need to make sure the boy doesn't use that lamp as light saber for real!

Even the Boris bikes are stylish in Paris, no garish branding here, how French

1 comment:

  1. I am loving your blog, have just found it an looking forward to following along!. I am in love with that pai nting you picked up. When I visited in 2010 we were lucky enough to stumble across a flea market full of industrial vintage albeit at premium prices but I too found a few little bargains. Wish I'd found that sweet shop! :) Tina