Monday, 21 November 2011

Paris Confidential - Part 1

Jardins du Palais Royal

After a wonderful visit to Paris last week, I though it only fair to share some of my finds with you.

We stayed at the Relais Madeleine, a lovely little hotel in the 9th arrondisement just round the corner from the Place Madeleine . Friendly staff, charming decor and that Parisian essential - the compact bathroom.

This area is chock-full  of shops, large stores such as Fauchon , Hediard and Ralph Lauren on the Place Madeleine, and  some interesting little shops in the back streets.  One of my favourites was Scarlett, 29 Rue Godot de Mauroy (the same street as our hotel) - it sold watch straps - but not any old straps - their straps come in all sorts of beautiful leathers, colours and styles and can made to order to fit any watch.

Also in this area you will find the private museum Pinacotheque, this museum challenges the normal way of hanging art according to the period or the style of work - instead it relies on the dialogue between works of art .  It also hosts exhibitions of  interesting private collections that might otherwise never see the light of day.

Back to shopping and moving to the area near  the Louvre, the galleries around the Jardins du Palais Royal house  an eclectic mix of jewellery, clothes and art as well as military memorabilia - it's also the place where mothers/nannies come after school with their young children/charges  to let them run around and let off steam.   I really loved the scarves in Epice, 27-28 Galerie Montpensier, Bess Nielsen a Danish designer works with Indian craftsmen to create  these beautiful scarves.  Floral, stripes, dots, you name it - available in London  from  Liberty and Fenwicks.

Pellini Jewellery

Nearby, the jewellery on display in Pellini is an eye-catching combination of glass and synthetic resin pieces.  Designed by Donatella Pellini the granddaughter of the famous costume jewellery designer Emma Pellini, this family-run business is based in Milan and creates truly stunning pieces.
Pellini, 30 Galerie Montpensier, Jardins du Palais Royal.

La Vitrine (shop window)  - Astier de Villatte

Did you know that the French for window shopping is 'leche-vitrine', which literally translates as window-licking - something that's very easy to do in Paris.

Do you have any favourite haunts or tucked away gems that you love in  Paris? Share them by leaving a comment.

I thought I would also mention my Christmas shopping promotion for 'Black Friday through to Cyber Monday'  - 25/11/11 to  28/11/11 - essentially an American Thanksgiving Weekend promotion but open to all my customers worldwide.  Use the discount code HOLIDAY10 at the checkout of my Etsy shop  to receive 10% off your order.

A bientôt, Rebecca.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Shopping London

One of my favourite shops in London is  Liberty situated just off  Regent Street in Great Marlborough Street. Established in  1875 by Arthur Liberty, the current building dates from 1924 and was built at the height of the 1920's Tudor revival. It is full of  beautiful and unusual items from all over the world, from the latest fashions to design classics.  The stationery department is paper heaven and packed with wonderful ideas for Christmas gifts.  I always head straight  to the third floor  - the fabric and haberdashery department,  where I  buy the Liberty Art Fabric tana lawn  that I use to line some of my bags.

Black Stripe Rebecca Bag

Liberty Art Fabric  'Edenham E' has been used to line this bag
The flower stall at the entrance is always inspiring and smells wonderful.

There are lots of great places to shop in this area, Liberty backs onto Carnaby Street and the little streets around here host a wide selection of small shops. Kingly Court an open air courtyard at the bottom of Carnaby Street houses 30 independent fashion and lifestyle boutiques:  shop for vintage fashion at 'Fur Coat No Knickers', sewing and knitting supplies and quirky hand made accessories at 'All the Fun of the Fair', hats and millinery supplies at 'Atelier'.

Follow this link to register for the shopping party

Do you have any favourite shops in this area or a Liberty equivalent in your home town/country?

A bientôt, Rebecca.