Brocantes Popincourt

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Just around the corner from me is a little collection of about 8-10 little brocantes shops which, surprisingly, not that many people know about… and they are fabulous. I think about 90 per cent of all the furniture I have bought in recent years comes from there. Each shop is owned by someone different, with its own distinctive style and they have beautiful French names: La Garçonnière, La Maison, La Chose, Alasinglinglin, Belle Lurette…

Some shops specialise in ’70s furniture, others have everything from 18th century to contemporary pieces. Some  specialise in mirrors and wall hangings, other have big wooden tables from old French farm houses. It is also a great place to pick up vintage crystal champagne coupes or old fashioned porcelain. If you love vintage furniture you are almost certain to find a gem in these places. (more…)

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Rue Keller

If you are ever in the 11th arrondissement in Paris,  rue Keller is a great street to visit for a little bit of off-the-beaten-track retail therapy. is lined with loads of cute autonomous boutiques, reasonably priced lively restaurants and bars, and little art galleries.

Anne Willi, the adult and children’s clothes designer, has her flagship on rue Keller. I especially love her kid’s collection. Her designs are not classically French — they have a very northern European feel to them, and every item is intelligently designed and crafted.

Another little shop I love is the design shop Lou Lou Addict. It is one of these shops were the owner has fantastic taste and has chosen each piece on display for good reason. (Even if you cannot make it over to rue Keller check out the Lou Lou Addict online shop.)

Dorothy’s Gallery is a great little art gallery which at the moment has a very topical exhibition on: an exhibition all about Obama in Paris!

And another one of my fav’s is Klok — a maternity and baby shop. They have wonderfully high-end maternity wear, and cute baby and toddler clothes. They are not exactly cheap but the maternity clothes are especially very well designed. They stock furniture like the Leander cradle and bed and beautiful baby bags and accessories.

- Emilie

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Paris Plage

paris plageIt is that time of year again here in Paris: the right bank of the Seine has been taken over by lounge chairs, palm trees, sun and sand.

If you happen to be in Paris for the month of August (most Parisians have left for the country and the city is spookily quiet) Paris Plage is the place to be. It has something for everyone: bars, a swimming pool and a great play area.

If you go in the mornings the “beach” is relatively quiet, even on the weekends, and it is a perfect place for kids to get rid of some excess energy. This year the place to be for kids is the area around the Pont de Sully at the eastern edge of the beach.

The other area of Paris Plage around the basin de la Villette is great too, there is even a sailboat you can rent! I loved the idea of sailing around a canal in the middle of Paris, but so apparently do a lot of people so it is completely overbooked. If you have kids from 6 years upwards, there are some fantastic little pedalos that they can peddle around in, in a supervised area of the canal. All of this has been sponsored by the Mairie of Paris so almost all the attractions are free!

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Moi et ma fille

moietmafille.jpgReceiving packages in Paris is a nightmare! The post is notorious for losing most packages. The other option is private delivery companies, but the delivery times are often between 8 am and 6 pm. There is no way that I can stay in my flat for a full 10 hours, so I always miss the delivery and spend hours on the phone trying to rearrange redelivery.

Now, there is another option… which is to have your package delivered to a shop near your home so you can drop by and go pick it up. Normally that means turning up at some dodgy mobile phone shop! But I was very, very agreeably surprised the other day when I went to pick up my package at the most lovely little boutique just up the road from me: Moi et ma Fille.

It is so nice to discover little gems in your neighbourhood. Moi et ma Fille (Me and my Daughter) was started by the Taiwanese designer Yafei Tsai after the birth of her little girl. She has created some lovely pieces both for mothers and daughters, and sometimes you find a adult and a children’s version of the same design. The collections are fresh, quirky and affordable.

I am certainly not going to wait for another delivery to visit her boutique again!

- Emilie

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Mum and Babe

salon-mum-babe.jpgA while ago I wrote a blog post about one of my favourite streets here in Paris, rue Keller. Rue Keller has just gotten even better. It is worth visiting for this place alone — Mum and Babe, Paris’ first Hairdresser and Beauty Salon with creche.

A beautiful separate room with a professional child minder awaits your children while you get your hair cut or coloured, have a massage or a manicure. Lucie, the owner, realised the need for a parent-friendly pamper centre when her niece was born and she could not find a place for her sister-in-law to have a well deserved post-natal massage, with baby in tow. It has taken three long years for her to find the perfect location and the perfect staff and set-up. But finally her persistence has paid off and Mum and Babe opened at the beginning of January. The childcare is included in the price of the treatment for up to two children under the age of six. Mum and Babe are offering a 10% discount for the month of January so there is no excuse not to treat yourself! As I write the website is still under construction so here are the details: (more…)

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Cupcakes conquer Paris

cupcake.jpgIn France we are so proud of our pâtisseries that I never thought this day would arrive…. the first cupcake bakery in Paris has opened its doors! Luckily for me it is right beside my daughter’s favourite playground on Rue de La Forge Royale in the 11th arrondissement.

Cupcakes and Co. is the brain child of two sisters Maddie and Rebecca, a trained patisserie chef. They spent years baking cupcakes for their family and friends and decided to turn their hobby into a business.

And the time was right. Cupcakes and Co opened in September and they have been overwhelmed by the response. Last week they were able to showcase their cupcakes at Colette, and in January they will be at Gallerie Lafayette, and the list goes on and on. It seems that the whole of Paris has been secretly yearning for cupcakes….

What I love about this place is that they stock classic cupcakes like carrot, chocolate and vanilla, but they also continuously come up with new ideas like a moelleux au chocolat cupcake or a violette flavoured cupcake. You never know what flavour you are going to find when you go to the shop, but you know you will never be disappointed….
Last but not least, the cupcakes are made out of organic ingredients, without any additives or colorants. There you go: the perfect excuse to indulge yourself…

- Emilie

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Lilli Bulle

lillibulle.jpgSeveral of our Babyccino readers have already requested I write a post about this shop and I was waiting for the right moment to give it the attention it deserves. Lilli Bulle is worthy of being the kids’ clothes shop featured in our theme week!
It is actually one of these places I have to stop myself from going, as I always come out having spent a fortune. Not because my kids needed anything but because I am the one who really, really can’t resist!

Lilli Bulle stocks a great mixture of beautiful basics, funky one-offs and wonderful accessorizes. The shop is tiny and crammed full of lovely stuff, from Petit Demons rattles, Miniseri’s satchels, beautiful Pepe kids’ shoes, hair clips, hats, little toys, and the list goes on and on.

For everyone who does not make it down to its shop off the rue du Faubourg St Antoine, there is also an online shop and a great blog, which keeps fans up to date with new arrivals!

- Emilie

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Paris Plage

paris-plage.jpgThere is no way the Parisians are going to be outdone by the Dutch. Amsterdam might have Strand Zuid, but we have Paris Plage — at least 2km of golden sand and palm trees all along the right bank of the Seine with scantly clad Parisians and Parisiennes sunning themselves. There are bars, there’s music, an exercise area and lots of other entertainment. It is great fun, but really hectic and so packed that it is difficult to relax there with kids in case they might mistake the Seine for the Ocean and decide to go take a dip….

This year the city council here in Paris has cleverly put up an outpost of Paris Plage off the beaten track on the basin de la Villette in the 19th (metro Jaures) which is hugely kid-friendly and a huge amount of fun. The ubiquitous manege, big trampolines, a waterplay area and a little beachy sand area all geared toward kids. You can even rent pedalos! It is incredibly clean (even the toilets), relatively empty and what impressed me the most are the organizers (or animateurs as they are called over here), who are incredibly good with kids and make sure that the kids know how to use the facilities and are properly supervised.

So why go to the beach if the beach comes to Paris?

- Emilie

P.S.: all of the facilities are free and the beach is around until the 21st of August

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