Last weekend I spent 3 incredible days in Paris on the “Rive droite”. The two main purposes of this trip was some shopping and to enjoy Paris decorated for Christmas. Well, let me say that I was not disappointed at all.
I arrived in Paris at 9 on Friday morning, caught the RER B from Charles de Gaulle airport to Gare St. Lazare, downtown Paris. The ride lasts about 30 minutes and the ticket costs 9,10 a person. The ticket is valid both for RER and metro. One metro ticket costs euro 1,70 and lasts one hour, so it is advisable to buy a Carnet of tickets which is 10 tickets for Euro 12.50. I have noticed that French people appreciate if you at least try to speak their language other than starting to speak in your own language. Maybe it could be useful to learn some basic worlds to give the right impression. After checking in at the hotel, my first stop was Galerie Lafayette which was packed (obviously). I checked out all the 7 floors just to have an idea of what I might have bought on Sunday. Inside Lafayette there is a huge Christmas tree and many other Christmas decoration, the theme of this year is rock’n’roll. Second stop was at Printemps (another department store) which is very close to Lafayette but probably less famous. Inside here there were less people and it was more enjoyable walking around the different floors. I really liked Printemps a lot. In here I bought something by Tiffany and then I admire all the beautiful and super expensive jewelry nicely exposed by Chaumet, Maubossin, De Beers, Van Cleef and Arpel and many many others. www.galerieslafayette. com www.printemps.com
On Saturday I started in the early morning (not before 10.30) to walk around and my first stop was at Longchamps store on Rue Faubourg St. Honore: this store has 2 floors and probably 15 shop assistants, the store was not that crowded and I had the time to see their handbags and chose some presents. Even of I like Longchamps bags I believe that some of these bags are slightly overpriced compared to other leather purses. Anyway, my favourite of is the peakcock Gatsby handbag. www.longchamp.com
Once I left Longchamps store, I went inside Hermes at 24 rue de Faubour St. Honore and here one of my dreams came true: I was shown both the Birking and the Kelly bag. The Birkin bags I saw was the 32 cm in orange colour and the 40 cm in chocolate colour: this bag is solidly made and the thickness of the leather is pretty impressive. The small Birkin costs euro 6100 and it has to be ordered and takes from 6 to 8 months to have it; right now the orders are accepted starting from January and not all the Hermes stores can accept orders. I suggest everybody to visit Hermes store in Paris because I believe it is one of the nicest store I have ever seen. www.hermes.com After seeing the Birkin bag I walked to Christian Louboutin store where I tried on the classic black leather round toe pumps, 85mm high and I was very much disappointed by the shoes. My size is 39 but in this case the shoes were too loose so I tried on 38,5 wich was perfect but the shoes did not have anything special beside the red sole. I stayed inside the store probably more than 30 minutes to convince myself about the shoes but at the end I did not buy them and did not regret that at all. By the way the shoes cost euro 425. www.christianlouboutin.com So after this unexpected happening I checked out two Gucci stores, Place Vendome and all the jewellery stores all around the square, Dolce & Gabbana store, and finally on Rue Montaigne I walked inside Chanel main store. Here I saw the super famous tweed jackets and overcoats, the price starts at Euro 3000 and up. The store was crowded but almost all ladies in there were more interested in buying the necklaces and the purses other than the clothing. www.chanel.com A nice store to mention is Satellite Paris that sells nice bijoux on Rue St. Honore almost in front of Colette department store. Here I bought a romantic pair of pearl earrings. www.satelliteparis.com After seeing all these beautiful things, I relaxed walking along the Champs Elysees decorated magically for Christmas.
On Sunday I spent several hours inside Lafayette to buy some small but cute Christmas presents at L’Occitane, Kiehls, Lancome, Lancel and others and to inspect my other favourite bag: the Marcello worldwide bag by Cartier. So the bag is very very nice and modern, it is made of black buffalo skin, has two external flat pockets, a flat zipped pocket and the telephone pocket. It comes with the a removable shoulder strap. The price is Euro 1670 and it doesn’t need to be ordered. www.cartier.com This weekend went by very fast but full of incredible events at least for me. I have to admit that Paris is really a fantastic city and worth seeing it once in a life time. Next time I will go to Paris I am going to stay on Rive gauche again (probably in St. Germain des Pres), like last year. I found this side of the Rive cleaner, more interesting and with many more places to eat and drink. Make sure you taste the “pain du chocolate” and “pain au raisin” in one of the many boulangerie (bakery store), this is another reason why I love Paris not only for shoes and bags!
Check out all my photos on my Flickr account.