St. Germain des Prés Shop Walk
Where to Start: Corner of Boulevard Saint Germain and Rue Bonaparte. Metro: St. Germain.
Time needed: 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Highlights: Designer shops, home furnishings and fabrics, antique stores, pastries and chocolates, ending with famous Parisian cafés.
Start - You're in in front of one of the oldest churches in Paris, le Eglise St. Germain, built in 1183. One of the best crepe stands in Paris is located to the side of the church towards the St. Germain métro stop - pick up a crepe here for a snack or a bottled water to carry for the walk.
1. Rue Bonaparte - Walk past the church down Rue Bonaparte. On Rue Bonaparte, window shop in Dior and wonder what the design world will think of next.
Cross to the left-side, and examine the home furnishings in Nobilis - a large, ultra-chic home furnishings store. Marvel at the luxurious fabrics, furnishings and glasswares, and ideas for home decorating that are so "Parisian". On a recent trip, we noticed the use of black and emerald green feathers to decorate the chair rail in a living area of striped velvet green furnishings. Tres chic. If you've dreamed of peeking into a Parisian flat, step into Nobilis.
Continue and stop into Simrane at the corner of Rue Bonaparte and Rue Jacob. Look at the colorful fabrics in cottons and silks and shop for tableclothes and placemats, and pillow colorings - all in color combinations hard to find in the States.
2. Rue Jacob - Cross onto Rue Jacob and enter the lime green facade of Lauderee - the famous French patisserie. Try not to drool into the pastry display case where the food looks too good to eat. Order their speciality- small macaroons in dozens of different flavors. We recommend the chocolate, caramel or vanilla.
Follow Rue Jacob to the left. If you have an infant or toddler in your life, stop into Petit Faune, and browse through the white linen suits and ivory tulle gowns - absolutely endearing and totally impractical "baby-wear".
Continue and step into Poupoupidou for beautiful silk skirts in interesting hemlines, shirts and long tailored jackets in striking color combinations.
3. Rue St. Peres - Turn left from Rue Jacob onto Rue St. Peres. Walk into Debauve and Gallais, the oldest chocolatier in Paris. Satisy your sweet tooth with their exquisite chocolate truffles and continue walking up Rue St. Peres.
4. Boulevard St. Germain - Turn left onto Boulevard St. Germain. Window shop until you reach one of the most famous cafés in Paris, café de Floré. Pick a sidewalk seat here or at the equally famous, Aux Deux Magots and drink a café creme or a kir royale (champagne with cassis). Linger for some of the best "people watching" in Paris.
You'll notice that you are back where you started - the St. Germain church is directly opposite Aux Deux Magots.
Author: Cheryl Montgomery