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The NextTribe Paris Gift Guide: Yes, We’re Going There

Our Paris expert offers a preview of some of the treats she'll direct you to on our Customized Pre-Holiday Paris Adventure.

It may seem a little early to think about holiday gifts, but not if you want to take advantage of a unique expedition we have coming up.

We are thrilled to announce the first Next Tribe Customized Pre-Holiday Paris Adventure. The very special trip will bring together all the Next Tribe travel imperatives: an insider guide to a great city, with delectable food, taking in swoon-worthy sites, enjoying incomparable shopping, in the first-rate company of smart, curious, friendly women like you.

We will benefit from a city not overrun with tourists at a time when the dollar is at record strength.

Practically speaking, we will benefit from a city not overrun with tourists at a time when the dollar is stronger than it has been for years. We’ll be staying in the perfectly situated Hotel Au Manoir in St. Germain. What could be better?

Our aim is to start each day with a tailor-made plan for each of you to best spend your time. Maybe you’ll choose to go with another member of the group to a particular store, then have lunch at a recommended café and/or take in a museum before meeting up with the rest of us. We want you to feel both free to do as you wish—supported with lots of suggestions and directions—and/or welcome to blissfully suspend all your executive thinking and join the group on one of several daily outings to great shopping streets and charming Paris quarters brimming with fabulous shops. On the weekend, we’ll explore the delightful flea market at the Porte de Vanves for one-of-a-kind vintage treasures.

Each evening, we’ll gather at a carefully selected restaurant for an included French dinner.

What follows is only a teaser. The shops that I mention below are just a few of the scores of terrific large and small establishments that we’ll explore in Paris for gifts for others and, of course, for ourselves. I’ve here imagined pairing what are mostly two or three fairly inexpensive (and transportable) offerings from those shops to create more impressive and creative combination gifts—beaucoup bang for the euro, as it were. Of course, any of these items could be given as a stand-alone present or a stocking stuffer; many you might want to buy in multiples for several people on your holiday list.

Read More: 14 Love Stories: Celebrating Fun and Friendship in France

So Many Treats

best Paris shopping

For someone on your list who loves to cook, from Compagnie Française des Poivres et des Epices, a spice emporium on the charming Place Furstenburg in St. Germain, one of the six varieties of their globally sourced vanilla bean or flavored sugars paired with a copper mixing bowl—deemed the best for whipping egg whites—from E.Dehillerin, Julia Child’s favorite cookware shop, still in business in the Les Halles quarter.

Or, one of three dozen kinds of black, red, white, and green peppercorns along with a stylish grinder. How about a salt and a pepper with a gorgeous carving set or a set of steak knives from Laguiole, the prized French cutlery available at a shop on the Ile St Louis? Also from Laguiole, scores of cork screws with handles fashioned from antler, rare woods, or turquoise paired with a bottle of wine or other gadget for the wine-lover in your life.

best shopping in Paris

Vintage café-au-lait bowls from the Porte de Vanves flea market with a bag of coffee beans from Verlet, a 19th-century roaster near the Palais Royal, or with a battery-operated milk frother.

Also from the flea market, a retro-chic French laborer’s jacket paired with a new men’s scarf.

A selection of vegan nail polish from the hot responsible beauty brand Paris 1944, which is not yet available in the States, with a French foot cream or a vintage Bakelite bracelet. Or a selection of their lipsticks tucked into a small pouch?

Among scores of affordable prints at Artazart, a bookstore-gallery on the super-trendy Canal Saint Martin, one of cherries by artist Léa Maupetit paired with a jar of cherry preserves by Christine Ferber, considered the finest jam maker in France, from the fabulous food hall of the Bon Marché department store. (We’ll be supplying dozens of gift ideas at Bon Marché, the chicest, most historic department store in Paris, and a short walk from our hotel.)

For someone who loves making superb vinaigrettes, a selection of Dijon mustards—with many flavors unavailable in the States—from the Maille boutique on Place de la Madeleine (long the address of many of the finest gourmet shops in Paris) paired with melamine salad servers from Plastiques, a terrific Left Bank shop specializing in items made of plastic.

Also at Plastique, a set of silicone lids in the shape of tomato slices given with a bottle of Amora ketchup, the much-loved French supermarket brand.

And, for a young student learning French, a set of melamine plates illustrated with Paris landmarks and packed with French supermarket cookies.

Best shopping in Paris

Gorgeous hand-made paper floral arrangements from L’Aparté in the historic Galerie Vivienne shopping arcade tucked into a canvas tote from Deyrolle, the venerable taxidermy and natural history shop, along with a mounted butterfly.

For a little one, a set of Plastique melamine dishes decorated with the Little Prince, the beloved character from French literature, and Prince supermarket cookies tucked into a Little Prince Deyrolle tote.

To savor the prized hot chocolate from the venerable Angelina tea salon when you get home, a mix wrapped with a set of mugs from Monoprix, the shopping mecca, conveniently located around the corner from our hotel.

A toiletry case from Lipault, the beautifully designed French luggage company, packed with travel size products by Caudalie, one of the most popular French skin-care lines available at Citypharma, the best source for French beauty products in the capital (and around the corner from our hotel).

A bottle of Suze, the distinctive and very French aperitif with vintage glasses.

A cubist-inspired cake plate from Monoprix with a gourmet mix for a French specialty cake from Sébastien Gaudard on Rue des Martyrs, one of the best shopping streets on the Right Bank.

Read More: True Summer Escapism: A Cinderella Story for Middle-Aged Women

By Ellen Williams


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