Shopping in Bastille

Bastille area guide – Time Out Paris

Violette & Co

Critics' choice

Encompassing more than 80m2 of floorspace, Violette and Co doesn’t sell books for the sheer pleasure of reading, but for a more militant purpose: all the works on offer promote causes to do with women and homosexuality. There are books about rape (including 'Rape as a weapon of war' by Vanessa Fargnoli), on homophobia ('Letter to a straight friend’ by Paula Dumont), on adoption, religion, gender relations and even deportation. There are also thrillers, poetry, comics and a beautiful section for younger readers. Readings, lectures, debates and exhibitions also take place regularly.

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Loulou Addict

Critics' choice

Retro motifs, English flourishes, Japanese ornaments and bright colours abound in this boutique, which specialises in home décor and accessories for children (especially girls) and their mothers. This is the place to invest in a mini 2CV in lacquered wood by Vilac (€12.50), a crocheted doll by Anne-Claire Petit (€30-€55) or an irresistible American style lunchbox (from €13.50). For madame, perhaps a '70s maroon purse with large orange flowers by Blafre (€20) or an arty cushion by La Cerise (€55). Quality and charm are the order of the day in this shop, and during the holiday season, Loulou Addict is also an ideal spot for amateur interior designers to add a touch of Scandinavian chic (not the Ikea variety) to their Christmas decorations by way of a stuffed gremlin or wooden duck.

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Bastille

Marché Beauvau (Aligre)

This is one of Time Out's top 50 things to do in Paris this summer. Click here to see the full list. The Marché Beauvau-Aligre is one of the oldest covered markets in Paris, its bustling stalls groaning with charcuterie, foie gras and other treats. Outside in the Rue d’Aligre, Tuesday through Sunday mornings, there’s a riotous fruit, veg and flower market famous for its vocal vendors.

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Eastern Paris

Les Fleurs

There are two reasons to walk down passage Josset in the 12th: it’s quaint and off the beaten track; and it’s home to Les Fleurs, a girly boutique extraordinaire that drips with funky jewellery, bags, rococo mirrors and all sorts of gizmos and gadgets for little and grown up girls alike.  Owner Lucie Deniset has handpicked little-known, yet confirmed creators (like Nat&Nin, Adeline Affre and Titlee) to create a range of desirables quite unlike elsewhere in Paris – a move that has made Les Fleurs so popular, you can hardly move for the crowds, especially on Saturdays. The run up to Christmas is always a good time to shop here, when decorations and stocking-fillers abound. The boutique also stays open on Sundays in December, so you can avoid Saturday’s crush.

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12th arrondissement

L'Appart by Cendrine

With its fuchsia pink shop front and its prominently displayed tulle marriage dress surrounded by paper birds, L’Appart by Cendrine is forthrightly whimsical. But don’t be fooled by the girly-girl façade – inside is all elegance and class. Structured black and white Chanel dresses sell for €690, red striped blouses by Isabel Marant fro €129 euros, teamed with Louboutin shoes.Cendrine explains 'I invest in both the big names of high fashion like Yves Saint Laurent, Chloé, Hermès and also in brands that are a little more sport-chic like Sonia Rykiel and Paul& Joe. Everything is about 70% less expensive than in a boutique.'Still, you will need to come armed with some serious cash and not be larger than a size 40 (UK size 12). At the back, a small room serves as a space to talk about personal styling over a cup of coffee, and a third, small room is a showroom for young designers.

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11th arrondissement

Les Années Scooter

Critics' choice

Philippe Devant honed his taste for second-hand treasures as a compulsive collector since the age of 15, and a regular rummager at the Vanves Flea Market for more than 20 years. The passion comes through at his chaotic dépôt-vente on the Rue Faidherbe: he has a particular taste for vintage Vespas (from €1500 to €5000), as well a whole slew of other atypical knick-knacks (jukeboxes, Moon rocket shoes and old advertising signs). A set of traffic lights hang on the wall, a pretty 1920s chest (€120) sits in the entrance, industrial lamps are perched here and there: Les Années Scooter offers a large range of furniture from the 50s and 60s, from popular styles to signed objects. 'The important thing is that the objects stand out and have that something special about them,' says Philippe, taking a drag of his cigarette. Objective achieved.

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11th arrondissement

Comme des Chaussures

Critics' choice

Opened in 1988, this store has made its name offering comfortable shoes made from quality materials without compromising on style. Among the ranges on offer, you’ll find the big name brands such as Camper, Chie Mihara and Trippen as well Pantanetti, Ink or Minnetonka. Of course, quality comes at a price, but fortunately the cost (expect to pay between €150 and €300 a pair for winter shoes, and €100 to €200 for sandals) can be spread over more than one season, as the shoes sold here are made to last.

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11th arrondissement

Sissi's Corner

This dépôt-vente with its hot pink shop front in the rue des Tournelles has been around for 30 years. Renamed five years ago after its charismatic owner Sissi, it offers loads of clothes categorised by size, type and colour, and isn't limited to big name brands. Tailored trousers, tartan skirts, sleeveless jackets and mink coats can all be found here at very reasonable prices, like €60 for a See by Chloé jacket or €120 for a pair of Jimmy Choos. Clothing exchanges are done by appointment every Wednesday and Thursday.

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4th arrondissement

Rouge, Blanc, Bulles

Critics' choice

If most wine and spirits shops these days will stock champagne, few make it their speciality. Three cheers, then, for Rouge, Blanc, Bulles, which opened in 2000 on the site of the appropriately-named Le Champagne. An entire wall is devoted to certified appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) champagne vintages, showing off the most famous brands and promoting new discoveries. There are more than a hundred varieties to choose from, including the famous Bollinger and Krug, and real experts will recognise names like Egly-Ouriet (€68), Larmadier-Bernier (€45) and Coessens (€37). Owner Renaud of course knows the whole range – for bargain-hunter, he recommends an aromatic Stéphane Herbert (a subtle blend of the three main Champagne grape varieties, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay) (€19.80), a popular Charpentier (€18.30), an elegant brut by Louis Barthélémy (€25), or the perfect bubbles to go with chocolate desserts: D. Marc (€26.30). For parties, look out for special offers on boxes. And stop by on Saturdays all year round for tasting sessions, or at any time to investigate their 120-strong selection of whiskies.

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12th arrondissement

Anne Willi

Adjoining her workshop, Anne Willi’s boutique is a calm and agreeable space where one can take one’s time to choose THE item that will best fit one’s curves and personality. Pure, feminine lines, fluid materials and sober colours characterise the collections. Willi, who opened her boutique in 1998, finds her inspiration in contemporary art exhibitions and in her Swiss origins – thought her S/S 2012 collection was inspired by ‘Mad Men’ and the ’50s and ’60s. Prices are steep, but worth it – a silk dress for €200, shirts and trousers for around €150. If you don’t know where to start, don’t hesitate to ask for advice, as good humour and passion come as standard here.Other branches: 20 Rue de l'Odéon, 6th (Mon 2pm-7.30pm; Tue-Sat 11am-7.30pm)

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Paris
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