Quentin Long takes a wander off the Champs-Elysees in search of more intimate, less touristy boutiques in Paris.
Just under two kilometres long, from the Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe, is a grand avenue with the great luxury houses of France all represented. Think Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss down to Gap (largest store in Europe) Zara, Disney and Benetton. There is even the flagship Peugeot store, with concept cars and the brand’s famous salt and pepper grinders.
Okay, this is a little complex because the street is divided into two parts: the initial part called Rue Saint Honore and the second part, Rue du Faubourg Saint Honore – which essentially means Saint Honore Street outside the walls of the city. Today it’s just one street but Faubourg is where the massive fashion houses are – Versace, Hermes, Yves Saint Lauren, Prada, Valentino – and the Rue Saint Honore is where the smaller boutiques are; the part I love!
Colette: A concept store and authentic edgy designer store that really pushes the boundaries for everyday wear. Cutting-edge fashion at its best. A must visit!
Comptoir des Cotonniers: Easy-wear chic Paris.
Cotelac: The original Parisian BoHo-wear for reasonable prices. Great fashion and quality.
Starcow: Ultra-hip streetwear and cool store with limited edition shoes.
Astier de Villatte: Beautiful homewares, candles and knick-knacks.
Monies: Danish company that set up here. Chunky jewellery from petrified wood and organic material with gold from Greenland; interesting stuff.
Tosca Blu: Cool and great shoes and bags from Italia.
Goyard: The founding store of the longest running trunk maker in Paris. Seriously jaw-dropping luggage.
Avedis: Eclectic collection of small designers.
Le Castiglione is a chic local hangout with great food and burgers which suits any style of dining. Or try Café Ruc, on the corner near the Louvre, a modern Parisian bistro with soft loungey seating and classic fare.