A global field guide to design, (life)style and secret finds
est. 2007
  1. A wee trip to Paris, part 1

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    I spent a glorious weekend in Paris towards the end of last year. In the past I've tended to gravitate towards Le Marais, but this time around I explored more of Saint Germain and the Left Bank. It was by no means a comprehensive tour (I preferred lingering in cafes and strolling down sun-dappled boulevards) but I thought you might be interested in some of these wee gems…

    Deyrolle
    Admittedly Deyrolle may not be everyone's cup of tea (in fact, you may find dead animals dead creepy), but I spent a good couple of hours completely submerged in the sheer beauty of this historic shop. Downstairs looks like any other bourgeois gardening/interiors store, with a rather lovely collection of enamel pots and handsome tools. In fact, the only hint of the spectacle that awaits upstairs is the odd taxidermied animal in the window, or the deer wearing an apron.

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    I had heard a little bit about Deyrolle's impressive collection of taxidermied animals, mounted insects, shells and minerals, but I was still completely gobsmacked as I discovered what can be best described as a Darwinian collection of natural history at the top of the stairs.

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    Row upon row of brightly coloured birds fill the dark-wooded Victorian cabinets, and the most beautiful butterflies are laid out in 19th century display cases. It's like walking into a natural history museum – except every bug, bear and butterfly is for sale.

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    I was fascinated by the humungous black rhinoceros beetles, stick insects and scorpions, but couldn't draw myself away from the glass trays of butterflies in astonishingly vivid hues of irridescent turquoise.

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    Choosing your bugs to mount is an exciting (and extremely satisfying) experience, akin to a child in a sweet shop, except you're pointing to exotic insects, not sherbet fountains. Your choice of butterflies and insects are mounted on a special display case, and prices for individual insects start at a few Euros. It's a wondrous place to browse, and kids will be equally fascinated.
    Deyrolle

    46 rue du Bac
    75007 Paris
    Tel. 01 42 22 30 07

    Métro: Rue du Bac

    Les Deux Magots

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    I know, it's a bit touristy these days but I couldn't pass up the
    chance to have a latte in Sartre, de Beauvoir and Wilde's old hang-out.
    Except I didn't have coffee, I went for the hot chocolate instead. And it was rich, luscious and quite simply The Best Hot Chocolate Ever. Nice old tiles, too.
    Les Deux Magots

    6 Place Saint-Germain des Prés
    75006 Paris
    Tel. 01 45 48 55 25

    Métro:
    St-Germain-des-Prés

    Pierre Herme

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    Pierre Herme is everything that Laduree is not: modern, minimalist and a wee bit sexy. With not a hint of gilt in sight. But we're still talking about macaroons here, and Monsieur Herme's are very lovely indeed with big bold colours and delicate flavours. A perfect take-away treat to enjoy in the nearby Jardin du Luxembourg.
    Pierre Herme

    72 rue Bonaparte
    75006 Paris
    Tel. 01 43 54 47 77
    Métro: Saint-Sulpice
    Opening hours:
    Monday to Friday 10am-7pm
    Saturday 10am-7:30pm

    Sunday 10am-7pm

    Part 2 coming tomorrow.

    • http://makedostyle.blogspot.com Make Do Style

      ah now I want to go back to Paris – oh for a weekend there every weekend x

    • http://www.arosebeyondthethames.blogspot.com Rose

      very jealous about Pierre Herme- very jealous about Paris generally- I would love to just pop over every month or two- it always feels like an escape

    • http://le-petit-oiseau.blogspot.com/ nath

      ah, yes, you’ve got me craving a Parisian fix now too. i love the look of Deyrolle, quite quite fascinating.

    • http://www.sneakymagpie.com Sneakymagpie

      this is so funny, I did exactly the same route in November. but I didn’t go inside Deyrolle, I looked through the window and it looked all small and lifestyle-y, if only I knew of the upstairs wonderland!

    • http://alexsheppard.wordpress.com/ Alex

      Great post. I now have a whole list of places I need to visit on my next trip to Paris!

    • http://www.top5photos.wordpress.com Helena

      As a biologist by training (and one who’s volunteered in museum insect departments for years), that first shop looks like a wonderland to me!

    • http://www.carolineno.com Caroline, No.

      Deyrolle looks wonderful. The butterflies especially, but you can keep the beetles! *shudder*
      You’ve got me craving a Paris trip, now.

    • Nynke

      Wow that first shop seems to be worth a visit!

    • http://desiderata-mumbai.blogspot.com/ desiderata

      That stuffed giraffe in particular is INSANE. I don’t know whether I feel sick or intrigued. Both. Fantastic photos. Great stomach.

    • petajane

      As a lover of stuffed animals, all I can really say is ooooohhh!

    • http://www.charsinthecity.blogspot.com Char

      Thanks for giving me some new ideas for my next visit to Paris! Unfortunately now much further away, but at least you’ve brought it closer to home for me through your blog.

    • http://Www.urbanmums.net Urban mums

      Pierre Herme looks like reason enough to visit. Oh this post make me miss Paris! Will make note of hot chocolate too as I looove Luxembourg Gardens.

    • http://mlleparadis.blogspot.com mlleparadis

      FABulous post. Gives me goose bumps. Les Deux Magots is my favorite on the left bank. It doesn’t let you down. You can post more!

    • http://www.gourmet-chick.com Gourmet Chick

      Right thats it Deyrolle is on my list for my next trip to Paris. Already a big fan of Pierre Herme – amazing flavours – his passionfruit macaron is truly divine.

    • http://www.thespicespoon.com shayma

      oh dear weebirdy what a FAB trip. i have the exact same photo of the cioccolato caldo from Les Deux Magots. what a glorious day looking at all those gorgeous butterflies. makes me want to fly right over to Paris. x

    • http://www.beautywoome.com Beauty Woo Me

      How positively captivating, all those rows of beautiful butterflies and insects. It’s mesmerizing. Paris is perfect for such finds. Another fabulous patisserie in Paris (should any of you reading this be interested) is La Patisserie des Reves. Beautiful as well and one that I think you, Wee Birdy, would like. http://www.lapatisseriedesreves.com/
      Hope you’re last few days in London are lovely!
      xx

    • http://www.tiffanyjewelryllc.com/ Bowen

      Your choice of butterflies and insects are mounted on a special display case, and prices for individual insects start at a few Euros.

    • http://www.chinaamanda.com Wholesale

      Your choice of butterflies and insects are mounted on a special display case, and prices for individual insects start at a few Euros.