Paris is a real maze of art galleries, museums and wonderful antique shops as well as ‘brocantes’. I love to find these little shops which are so full of interesting items and objects. The great thing about them is that everything is so well displayed with such French style. Even the brocantes which appear a little hectic somehow manage to keep the chic nature that is so typical of France.
In between finding great places to eat, I love to go on a treasure hunt when I am in Paris. The flea markets are great and the massive indoor antique markets are wonderful to explore but one of my favourite pass times is to seek out a district and then find antique shops there. The nice thing about doing this is that I also find some lovely places to stop and have a cup of coffee or a lunchtime treat that I would not otherwise have discovered.
One place I love to visit when I am in Paris is La Rue d’Alesia. This is a long road where two very big antique/brocante shops come warehouses are situated. I can spend hours wondering around them and always come away with something that for me is a real treasure. I have found some lovely gifts for friends back home in La Rue d’Alesia and feel that these are much nicer than the traditional souvenirs we sometimes get for people.
The road also boasts some amazing cafés and restaurants along it, which are typically Parisian and where all the locals go to enjoy their lunches. The food they serve is really very good and the atmosphere is one of true Paris. As well as the restaurants there are a couple of boulangeries which have to be visited and a patisserie that has some of the best pastries I have ever found in the city. La Rue d’Alesia is a vibrant, bustling part of Paris and is definitely worth a visit.
Another of my favourite antique shops is called l’Aventure and is in the quartier Daguerre. This lovely shop is so full of exquisite objects and furniture that everywhere you look there is something beautiful on display. If I am in Montparnasse I love to visit La Rue Notre Dame des Champs where there is a very stylish Art Deco shop called Noire Ebene. There is also a wonderful restaurant on the corner of this little square next to Rue Brea where they served a really lovely lunchtime menu.
I love Paris and every area of the city I discover I find incredibly intriguing. I adore the shuttered windows that decorate the houses and I love the colours of the shop fronts but most of all I adore the sheer style of the city. The little streets that give off to the grand boulevards and the secret courtyards down passages between buildings are just so delightful and I just love to go and explore them all.