Paris Christmas gift guide
Wow your loved ones with these ten handpicked seasonal gifts.
LE BHV MARAIS: A British Christmas
The bright, elegantly done out mega-shop gets a British makeover.
The best Paris markets
Browse for books, rummage for riches, bargain for bric-a-brac or be a flea market flâneur.
The 100 best shops in Paris
There’s a magic to shopping in Paris that no other city can match.
English language bookshops in Paris
In the last few years there have been some sad casualties on the English bookshop scene in Paris, with much-loved outlets Tea and Tattered Pages, Village Voice and Red Wheelbarrow all closing their doors for the last time. But the city that nurtured Hemingway and Fitzgerald, Orwell and Beckett remains a major hub and an inspiration for English writers and readers, and there are still glossy emporiums, delightful second-hand treasure troves and plenty of mixed-language outlets to explore. They're also great places to find out about literary readings and events (particularly Shakespeare & Company), and invariably have a message board with postings for language classes, book exchanges, clubs and accommodation notices. Expats, tourists, language learners, lovers of English literature in Paris, read on...
Latest boutique reviews
For fans of good-quality paper and pens.
Bibi Idea Shop
Upcoming birthdays or celebrations? Try here for novelty gifts and gadgets.
The modern Italian leather label brings a slice of the dolce vita to the capital.
Babel Concept Store
A painstakingly curated and imaginatively done out high-end boutique.
This classy boutique offers everything from heels and handbags to lamps and mittens.
Top shopping features
Chic for gents at some of the coolest boutiques in town.
You know a country is serious about its candy when it has a dedicated annual Day of Guilty Pleasures.
Lingerie and erotica
Putting the ‘Ooh’ in to your ‘là là’.
You'll definitely need to refurb to match your new outfit.
Great Paris concept stores
Bags adorn the walls, trinkets sit atop small wooden shelves, and lamps are dotted around the room – French Touche is a shop where one could happily rummage for hours...
Paris has concept stores in spades. The city seems to specialise in boutiques that smell of scented candles, where you go to buy glitzy jewellery and sparkly scarves. SoWeAre is very much in this vein: this is where the young and trendy come to stock up on pretty scarves, kooky mugs...
Le Centre Commercial
The idea of a commerical centre might not appeal to fans of concept boutiques, but don’t speak too soon – Centre Commerical in the Rue de Marseille (alongside APC, Maje and Claudie Pierlot) will thrill fans of quality fashion...
The new French Trotters flagship store occupies no less that 200 chic square metres, just down from the road from the old boutique at 116 Rue Vieille du Temple. It brings together all facets of the store that was originally created in 2005 by Carole and Clarent Dehlouz...
You might not know what you're looking for when you walk in to Pop Market, but you always walk out with armfuls of goodies. Small animal figurines for a nephew, some beautiful stationery for yourself, badges to pin on a jacket or a bright decoration for the living room...
The best Paris department stores
The store has been undergoing a massive renovation programme of late, with the opening in 2008 of Espace Luxe on the first floor, featuring luxury prêt-à-porter and accessories and nine avant-garde designers, and the unveiling of a vast new shoe department in the basement featuring some 150 brands. The men's fashion space on the third floor, Lafayette Homme, has natty designer corners and a 'Club' area with internet access. On the first floor, Lafayette Gourmet has exotic foods galore, and a vast wine cellar.
In the magnificently appointed Printemps you'll find everything you didn't even know you wanted and English-speaking assistants to help you find it. But fashion is where it really excels; an entire floor is devoted to shoes, and the beauty department stocks more than 200 brands. In all, there are six floors of men's and women's fashion. In Printemps de la Mode, French designers sit alongside all the big international designers. The Fashion Loft offers a younger but equally stylish take on current trends. Along with furnishings, Printemps de la Maison stocks everything from tableware to design classics. For fast refuelling, Printemps has a tearoom, sushi bar and Café Be, an Alain Ducasse bakery. Or head up to Le Déli-cieux, on the ninth floor of Printemps Maison, for a drink on the terrace with wonderful views across Paris.
Le Bon Marché
The city's oldest department store, opened in 1848, is also its most swish and user-friendly, thanks to an extensive redesign by LVMH. Luxury boutiques, Dior and Chanel among them, take pride of place on the ground floor; escalators designed by Andrée Putman take you up to the fashion floor, which has an excellent selection of global designer labels, from Lanvin to Claudie Pierlot. Designer names also abound in Balthazar, the prestigious men's section. For top-notch nibbles, try the adjoining Grande Epicerie food hall (01.44.39.81.00, www.lagrandeepicerie.fr, 8.30am-9pm Mon-Sat).