September 6, 2007
Shopping in Paris: the 4th arr.
There are more shopping gems in the 4th arrondissement, which is home to the traditional Jewish area of the Marais, as well as Ile St. Louis, the tiny neighbouring island to Ile de la Cite and Notre Dame. This area is perfect for an afternoon’s stroll across the Seine (and a magical view of Note Dame’s flying buttresses). Here are my favourite speciality stores (and some very good bakeries, creperies and sweet shops).
16 rue Pavee
This small boutique is dedicated to just one thing: quality leather sandals. And there are hundreds of them, in all different styles and colours. They’re not cheap (average price €150) but they’ll serve you well. New York fashion editors make a beeline for this shop when they're in Paris.
3 bis rue des Rosiers
Stop here for Issey Miyake’s celebrated range of pleated garments. The tops are practical and great for travel, as the permanent pleats never require ironing. The simple shapes and lines look sculptural on the body, and are available in a range of colours and prints.
10 rue du Pont Louis Philippe
I had only been in this shop for five minutes when I had the sudden urge to quit emailing and immerse myself in the old-fashioned art of writing letters. This little store has an impressive selection of elegant stationery, ink, pens and leather-bound notebooks. I’ve always loved beautiful stationery, so I was particularly taken by the lace-edged place cards and the boxes of correspondence cards. The friendly owner knows his stuff and is only too happy to help. Keep an eye out for the showcase wall of calligraphied envelopes sent to the shop from around the world.
Bleu dans Lile
35 Rue des Deux Ponts
Pick up an old-fashioned tin of dragees (sugared almonds) from this sugar haven on the tiny island of Ile St. Louis. The window display is a visual treat packed with nougat, chocolate, lollipops and marshmallows. Keep an eye out for the marshmallow Virgin Marys.
27 Rue des Deux Ponts
In summer, line up for the famous Berthillon ice-cream served from the window of this café. In winter, warm up inside with hot chocolate and crepes.
La Charlotte de l'Îsle
24 rue St. Louis en l'Îsle
Incredible handmade chocolates and sweets.
36 rue de Sévigné (3rd arr)
This French chain makes the best long-sleeved striped cotton tops that are inexpensive and instantly chic. This season the ultra-flattering cut features contrast piping around the neckline with a cute little bow. They also stock an extensive range of childrenswear and babywear.