Pampered Pooches at Moustaches in the Marais

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No one pampers their pets more than gay men and lesbians, and Paris’s LGBT animal lovers make a beeline for Moustaches, a large dog- and cat-specific emporium offering everything imaginable to spoil Fido or Fluffy. Sure, the boutique carries the basics, but with more than 3,000 items available, you’ll find plenty of fun merchandise—including hundreds of toys—that make fantastic gifts for your furry family members. Continue Reading →

Paris’s Oldest Candy Store: A la Mere de Famille

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Some of the best chocolatiers in the world live in and operate out of Paris, including such renowned chocolate makers as Christian Constant, Michel Cluziel, Pierre Herme, Jean-Paul Hevin and Patrick Roger, to name just a few. But in addition to the shops operated by these sultans of sweets, there’s another chocolate emporium that is highly regarded by Parisians and well worth a visit by any tourist to the City of Light—the A la Mere de Famille chain of boutiques. Specifically, the Rue du Faubourg-Montmatre outlet in the 9th Arrondissement, which is the oldest chocolate shop in Paris, founded in 1761. Yes, this charming and enormously photogenic shop, both inside and out, has been open for 254 years. Continue Reading →

Lafayette Gourmet: An Epicurean Delight

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There are countless Parisian destinations that provide the highest-quality French food items and cooking products—even for us amateur home chefs—including G. Detou, Hediard, Fauchon, La Grande Epicerie de Paris at Le Bon Marche and scores of smaller specialty shops and boutiques throughout the City of Light. But one epicurean destination I keep returning to time and time again is Lafayette Gourmet, the high-end food hall operated by the venerable Galeries Lafayette department store on the Boulevard Haussmann. And it’s because Continue Reading →

UPDATE: A L’Etoile d’Or to Reopen Nov. 3!

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UPDATE: After a gas explosion destroyed her candy shop A l’Etoile d’Or in February 2014, it was reported that shop owner Denise Acabo had thrown in the towel and would not be reopening the boutique that drew visitors from around the world. But multiple reports out just today say that Acabo is stocking her shelves for a Nov. 3 reopening! This is a most welcome development for scores of candy fans throughout Paris–and indeed the entire world–who regularly visited Acabo’s renowned shop. If you’ve never been, definitely make a special trip to A l’Etoile d’Or at 30 Rue Fontaine in the 9th Arrondissement (Metro: Blanche/Pigalle). Continue Reading →

Mora: Everything a Pastry Chef Could Desire

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Paris is a top destination for cooks of all stripes, from amateurs looking to improve the dishes they serve to family and friends right up to professional chefs seeking top-notch instruction and unparalleled kitchen experience. There’s a Parisian destination that’s a favorite among bakers and pastry chefs—Mora, a culinary supply store founded in 1814. This large shop in the Les Halles district is crammed top to bottom with more than 5,000 items (all of which also can be purchased online) to meet just about every culinary need. And many Parisians and tourists do, indeed, head to Mora for all of their cooking needs. But Mora is absolute heaven on earth for pastry chefs and bread makers, offering more specialty items for these cooks than any other shop in the City of Light—and quite possibly in the entire world. Continue Reading →

Rue Cler: A Perfect Parisian Shopping Street

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Americans love one-stop shopping—a large grocery emporium where one can stock up on all of the foodstuffs needed for several days. And while supermarkets are becoming more popular in Paris, the City of Light’s residents tend to prefer “one-street shopping”—essentially visiting a street or small section of their neighborhood where they can find a variety of different food shops, including boulangerie for bread, a patisserie for desserts, a fromagerie for eggs and cheese, a boucherie for meat and so on. One of the best is Rue Cler in the 7th Arrondissement. Continue Reading →

Don’t Miss Fragonard for Fantastic French Fragrances

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Perfume is big business in France. The nation emerged as a global perfume hub during the Renaissance and by the 18th century, aromatic plants and flowers were cultivated specifically for the perfume industry, particularly in the south of France. As such, it comes as no surprise that one of France’s best-known modern perfumeries—Fragonard—was launched in Grasse, a French Riviera town known as the world capital of perfume that lies just north of Cannes. Best of all, visitors to the City of Light can tour the company’s perfume museum and buy Fragonard scents at seven Paris boutiques. Continue Reading →

Lucky Records: A Quirky Shop for Madonna Maniacs

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Madonna is set to release her 13th studio album, titled “Rebel Heart,” early next month. And possibly the very best place in the entire world to purchase the Material Girl’s newest CD is Lucky Records, a quirky, Madonna-centric shop in Paris’s Les Halles district that is Nirvana for fans of her Madgesty: Virtually every Madonna remix and international music release is available for purchase, as well as posters, magazines, calendars, concert videos and even her films on disc. If there’s a Madonna collectible out there, you’ll likely find it at Lucky Records. Continue Reading →

Love Truffles? You’ll Adore Maison de la Truffe

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It’s that wonderful, pungent time of year when fresh truffles are available throughout France. The odorous—but delicious—fungi that grows underground near the roots of trees chiefly in woodland areas (and are traditionally found with the aid or trained pigs or dogs) is abundant during the late fall and early winter. And these rare—and very expensive—are available in shavings, slices and even occasionally whole at high-end markets throughout France. But one of the best places to stock up on the smelly delicacy—and one where you can buy truffle-flavored products at any time of the year—is Maison de la Truffe (House of Truffles), a small shop with an adjacent truffle-themed restaurant located directly on the Place de la Madeleine on the Right Bank. Continue Reading →

My Christmas Decorations That Celebrate Paris

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For lovers of both Paris and Christmas, there are many shops in the City of Light that sell Parisian holiday ornaments and decorations–including Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, many souvenir shops and two wonderful boutiques–Il Etait Une Fois… at 6 Rue Ferdinand Duval in the Marais and Christmas a Paris at 7 Rue de Conde on the Left Bank. And while I’ve bought decor from all of these stores, I was craving something more–something bigger than just a few Paris ornaments for my tree. Here’s what I came up with … Continue Reading →