SHOPPING in a city with a guide book is all very well but there’s nothing quite like being shown around by an expert, which is why The Beauchamps Hotel’s new weekend tour package is so exciting. From spring, the chic Parisian boutique hotel is offering weekend guided trips with Stuart Paterson an antique dealer and Parisian shopping guru. Paterson speaks fluent French and once briefed will show you all the coolest places in town with leisurely pitstops on the way. He will come to the aid of any struggling shopper, negotiate prices and even organise shipping home. After a weekend of shopping bliss, see my highlights.
L’Eclaireur’s Rue Herold concept store doesn’t have a sign and is hidden behind a discrete stable door that visitors have to ring on. Inside it’s a dramatically lit space filled with trinkets, books, candles and hip fashion. Chic. www.leclaireur.com
It’s touristy, loud and packed to the rafters with beautiful Parisian youths, but Colette – the original Paris concept store – is still worth a peak in my opinion. Pick up a magazine, browse, and people watch: www.colette.com
A fave among antique dealers for sourcing. Wonder down the stall-filled sidewalk and you can pick up anything from antique buttons, to retro badges, vintage lace, furniture and jewellery at bargain prices. Arrive early. www.ville-vanves.fr
Step inside Merci’s serene courtyard and you already relax. Inside it’s a large cavernous space with mezzanine balcony and fantastic edit of homewears, vintage fashion, hip fragrances and stationary at a range of prices. www.merci-merci.com
Parisians have a thing for taxidermy, and after visiting Deyrolle, a veritable zoo of the stuff, I’d have to say I’m with them. Check out its quirky collection of Tigers, Zebras, Moose and other animal folk all cheekily staged around a television to look like they are watching it. The store also boasts a full-size Giraffe. www.deyrolle.com
This vibrant sprawling antiques market – known to everyone as Le Puces (or, the fleas) – is the ultimate place to pick up treasures, reclaimed furniture, garden ornaments and vintage couture fashion. Be there early to beat the crowds and get the best pieces, says Paterson. I pick up a vintage Hermès scarf while I’m there. Weekend made.
PRICE: 500€ per person, based on two people travelling together INCLUDES: B&B, one day’s guide and transport in Paris.
EUROSTAR From £69
INFO: Hotel Beauchamps, www.hotelbeauchamps.com
+33(0) 1 53 89 59 00