If you love to shop, then come to Paris during the summer sales--Les Soldes. The summer sales are in full swing in Paris, which is when the locals do their shopping for summer essentials. Every week, the bargains just keep getting better with additional markdowns. The sales end July 26 and include chain stores, boutiques, and department stores.
Luckily there are places in Paris that offer a quiet escape from the crowded streets. One little slice of heaven is Ralph's, which is located inside Ralph Lauren's flagship store on Boulevard Saint Germain. Anyone who adores the style of Ralph Lauren will feel right at home dining in the restaurant's breezy courtyard or cozy interior space.
The menu is truly all-American with delicious entrees including Ralph's Cobb salad, Ralph's burger, lobster roll, and California crusted chicken. The friendly service, generous portions, fresh food, and serene atmosphere make Ralph's worth your time. Prices are a bit steep with entrees ranging from 18 Euros to 40 Euros apiece. The Ralph Lauren dining experience is definitely worth the splurge.
I know what you are thinking. Why should you go to an American restaurant in Paris? Well, why not? You definitely still feel like you are in Paris, it's a great way to spend an afternoon, and Ralph Lauren does everything so well. His store that is located just steps away from Ralph's is absolutely awe-inspiring. And, once you finish having lunch, a walk through Ralph Lauren's store is a must to see the design for yourself!
The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. For a reservation, call 01 44 77 76 00. Metro: Saint-Sulpice or Saint Germain. Ralph's is located at 173 Boulevard Saint Germain in the 6th.
Tombees du Camion at Marche Vernaison
My trip to the Vernaison market introduced me to Tombees du Camion--a store specializing in pristine vintage hardware and other unique objects.
I am a huge fan of old hardware because it's vintage that has a modern aesthetic. The store is hardware overload with boxes and shelves filled with multiples of enamelware light fixtures, porcelain switches, metal letterpress, wood spools, and more.
The shop showcases the inventory beautifully and it's so much fun to find things I have never seen before. The inventory comes from leftover stock from old hardware factories, so none of it has ever been used.
Tombees du Camion is located at Marche Vernaison, Allee 5, Stand 92. Metro: Porte de Clignancourt. Open Saturday through Monday from 10 AM to 6 PM. There are also two additional locations.
The market itself is worth exploring, so try to get there early. Vernaison is filled with tiny antiques shops that specialize in a variety of antiques. So, there is something for everyone.
I left the modern craft fair--Le Super Market--feeling inspired by the French designers who were showcasing their creations in fashion, home decor, and jewelry. The show is only held once a year, but the artisans can be found selling their wares at stores, on the web, and at other shows. It was a nice introduction to this young Parisian community of artisans. Every vendor was quite affordable too--a major plus. Here, are my favorites from the show.
Original jewelry designs by Ombre Claire. I have my eye on the bird ring and star necklace.
Vintage china is given a modern edge with stripes and geometric adornments by Pied de Poule. I like having a mix of china in my kitchen because it adds a little pep to my retro rental apartment. Who says everything has to be the same and match?
Simple and Young Pieces at Titlee
Tartes Kluger offers delicious handmade artisanal meringue, icecream, and tartes. Who can resist the packaging and typography?