You cannot go to Paris without indulging in some retail therapy à la française. Shopping in Paris is a big deal and has been since the opulent department stores located on the most elegant boulevards started opening their doors in the 19th Century. The grands magasins remain, but added to the mix now are buzzing markets, big brand flagship stores and the most beautiful independent boutiques specialising in everything from fashion and home to perfume and shoes.
Each arrondissement has its own unique feel and style, and when I go home, I love drifting blissfully from one to the other. Here's my list of the top five Parisian stores well worth spending your Euros in...
Le Bon Marché
You can spend hours in Paris' oldest department store. Dior and Chanel naturally take pride of place on the ground floor and the remaining floors are dedicated to more designer fashion, cosmetics and jewellery. It's enough to work up an appetite, which means a visit the store's heavenly food hall, La Grande Épicerie, is a must.
In the Saint-Honoré district, in a secluded courtyard is a jewellery-lovers paradise. Mad Lords is a large concept store offering a very modern collection of jewellery for men and women with a style that is a blend of bohemia and rock 'n' roll. My friend Karine manages it so I always pop in to see her - and it's very hard to resist temptation when I'm there!
A temple of good taste located in the heart of the Marais, this is the place I visit when I want to catch up on the latest trends. Housing a carefully curated mix fashion, home, lifestyle, a gallery and a cafe, it has it all.
Created by the founder of beautiful sneakers brand, Veja, Centre Commercial is a great place to come for men's, women's and childrens' clothing. They have three stores in Paris, the historic one being on Rue de Marseille near the Canal Saint-Martin. I love this place because it feels more than just a store - it feels like a creative space too.
The courtyard in Rue de L'Annonciation
Located in the 16th arrondissement, this little spot is one of my favourite haunts. It's where they have the gorgeous interior designer, Maison Sarah Lavoine, Claris Virot with characterful bags, and Pascal Monvoisin for stunning handcrafted jewellery.