Shopping in Bastille

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Violette & Co

  • Price band: 2/4
  • 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.

  1. 102 rue de Charonne, 11e
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Loulou Addict

  • Price band: 2/4
  • 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.

  1. 25 rue Keller, 11e
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Amélie Dupont, Paris Info

Marché Beauvau (Aligre)

  • Price band: 1/4

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.

  1. Place d'Aligre, 12e
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Les Fleurs

Les Fleurs DR

Les Fleurs

  • Price band: 2/4

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.

  1. 6 passage Josset, 12e
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© EP / Time Out Paris

L'Appart by Cendrine

  • Price band: 3/4

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.

  1. 34 rue Faidherbe, 11e
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© EP / Time Out Paris

Les Années Scooter

  • Price band: 2/4
  • 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.

  1. 23 rue Faidherbe, 11e
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© Barbara Chossis

Comme des Chaussures

  • Price band: 3/4
  • 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.

  1. 169 rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine, 11e
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© EP / Time Out Paris

Sissi's Corner

  • Price band: 2/4

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.

  1. 20 rue des Tournelles, 4e
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Rouge, Blanc, Bulles

  • Price band: 2/4
  • 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.

  1. 12 rue Parrot, 12e
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© SR

Anne Willi

  • Price band: 3/4

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)

  1. 13 rue Keller, 11e
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© La Musardine

La Musardine

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Perversion, debauchery and audacity are just some of the words suggested by the shelves at 'La Musardine', an erotic Paris bookshop that’s all about the daring and taboo. Forget Fifty Shades of Grey – 'La Musardine' has been popularizing erotica since 1996.The titles of the bestsellers alone are enough to put one in a naughty mood: 'The Notary’s Woman, 'The Sniffer', 'Isabelle the plump', 'Blackmail, Volume 2', before you even get to the comics, books, DVDs and photographs. The shop also organises book signings, projection nights and other themed evenings offering the possibility to meet other open-minded people over a cheeky buffet.

  1. 122 rue du Chemin Vert, 11e
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DR

Sessun

  • Price band: 2/4

Sessun offers perfect cuts, a style at once quirky and urbane, impeccable materials, ethnic and fantasy prints, and price which, though far from cheap, are not as insanely overpriced as certain other brands offering the same labels. Owner Emma François was supposed to become an archaeologist, but a trip to South America 15 years ago led her to discover another. Since establishing her brand in Marseille, it has grown and is now distributed around the world. In Paris, her boutique holds everything to satisfy your design needs: bags, shoes, beautiful winter coats (around €200), dresses, trousers, pullovers and pretty blouses (which rarely go for more than €150).

  1. 34 rue de Charonne, 11e
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© EP / Time Out Paris

La Cocotte

  • Price band: 2/4

Previously a bookshop, since 2011 this cute boutique has focused on homeware, with its chick logo appearing on mugs, aprons and tote bags. Graphic artists Laetitia Bertrand and Andrea Wainer (formerly a media artistic director) created their feathered friend in 2007, and now have a whole range of branded textiles and accessories for the kitchen, including cotton dishcloths (€15), oven gloves and even lollipop moulds. A world of bright colours and joyful prints that will cheer up the most dispiriting kitchen task.

  1. 5 rue Paul Bert, 11e
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Nicolas Hecht

Bimbo Tower

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Welcome to the world of ‘Weird’ – the musical Mecca of anyone looking for obscure and rare sound. Quite how the owners of Bimbo Tower have managed to cram so many bizarre CDs and records (think experimental Japanese electro, Slovakian film music, Chinese dub-step) into just 20m2 remains a mystery, but managed it they have, making a trip to this record shop an experience not to miss – especially for DJs in search of quirky samples. Comic books, graphic novels and even essays complete the offerings. Access is through a discreet door on passage Saint-Antoine, opposite a Hammam.

  1. 5 passage Saint-Antoine, 11e
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© Céline Astorg

Nomade Shop

  • Price band: 3/4

For some years now, this has been the go-to place for skaters in Paris. Though considerably more expensive than its online rivals (expect something in the range of a 40% markup), Nomade Shop has maintained its edge for two reasons: it allows you to try on your skateboards and rollerskates before purchasing, and it houses a repair shop that doubles up as a customisation service. The shop also offers a bewildering array of gadgets and accessories that range from the life-saving (helmets for €35) to the outlandish (Poweriser jumping stilts, anyone?). The staff unfailingly enthusiastic if not always spot-on with their recommendations, and the venue, a veritable den of shiny paraphernalia, is endlessly engaging even for those not planning on making a purchase. Better skate than never.

  1. 37 Boulevard Bourdon, 4e
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Heartbeat

  • Price band: 3/4

If you have an ardent passion for black American music and a couple of hundred euros to burn, Heartbeat's your shop. If you don't, it's probably not. As with its sister venues Bettino and Superfly, the emphasis is on R&B, soul, blues, funk and hip-hop, though rock and electro also get a look in. The albums themselves are very much collector-oriented: original editions and rarities take precedence over new releases, with prices to match (from €30-40 for a rare-ish curio to a couple of thousand for a true collector's item). And don't even think of coming here for CDs or digital.

  1. 26 rue Godefroy Cavaignac, 11e
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© Time Out

Rue Montgallet

A scaled-down, friendlier Tottenham Court Road, Paris’s Rue Montgallet is the go-to place for anyone looking to buy anything electronic. The street, tucked discreetly behing the Gare de Lyon, stakes its reputation on a string of specialist stores that deal in everything from cameras and hard drives to replacement doo-dahs for yesteryear's computers. Prices are generally more reasonable than at the big high-street brands, though you'll be hard-pressed to find the tidy all-in-one package deals that the likes of Apple offer. The Rue Montgallet comes into its own if you're looking to customise your hardware, or even to have a computer custom-built from scratch – if you're in need of guidance, the knowledgeable staff will oblige. One caveat: the warranties sold here generally last for only one year, rather than the usual three. Paris’s best… Second-hand shops There's oodles of vintage to be found in Paris, but the really savvy will plan their shopping sprees around these dépôts-vente and ressourceries. Dépôts-vente are second-hand stores where you can drop off your good, high-quality old clothes and, once some else buys them, recoup a percentage of the profit. Ressourceries are semi-permanent car boot sales where you can pick up everything from clothes to furniture and household items. At these shops, bargain-hunting is cheaper and more fun. Dépôts-vente Madame de Madame de… takes its name from the 1951 Max Ophüls film, in which the Parisian heroine is forced to pawn her beloved d


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