I have been traveling to Paris for years and it never ceases to amaze me— with its wonderful food, and always interesting sights, sounds and endless opportunities for people watching. When I was in the city earlier this year, putting the final touches on my new book, I thought that it would be nice to share some of my favorite French finds with you, many of which are only found in France, which means I stock up before heading back home!
Poilâne Bread (but can be shipped to the US)
The first thing Ryan and I do when we arrive to Paris is drop our bags and walk to Poilâne: I get a piece of bread and Ryan gets an apple tart (and we share a croissant as we walk to lunch at Café de Flore). The bread made here is the most famous (and most photographed!) bread in the world, for good reason. A bread with sourdough tang, deep wheat flavor yet still light—perfect for cheeses, tartines, jams, and French salted butter. Avoid “le jet lag” and shop online and have Poilâne delivered to your doorstep!
Adrienne M—Fleuriste Paris
Amongst the many beautiful things in Paris, there is the wealth of florists that are located all throughout the city. Adrienne M— Fleuriste Paris is a small boutique-style florist overflowing with some of the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen! It is a truly jaw-dropping floral experience, that is a must-see for any fan of gorgeous florals. I love that the shop is organized by color, resulting in modern, color-blocked arrangements that lure in passerbys all day long.
Monoprix “Santal” Candle
Monoprix is the equivalent to your local grocery store and where I shop to get our apartment set up with “the basics”—I save La Grande Epicerie for the fine food splurges. The private label Santal candle from Monoprix is one of my top-travel finds and costs less than a bottle of French wine! The scent of this candle is sandalwood but with a slight floral undertone; it really is a unique scent. I usually bring back an embarrassing number of candles and burn them when I need a little Parisian moment back home stateside.
Bonne Maman Collection
Stateside, Bonne Maman preserves and jellies are what is most commonly found in the grocery aisles. But in France, Bonne Maman also has a complete line of pantry-stable (even refrigerated and frozen!) sweets and treats that isn’t found in the U.S. A French hybrid of Pepperidge Farm, Smuckers, and Pillsbury, Bonne Maman is inexpensive and absolutely delicious! Most items are pre-portioned for a single serving and are perfect for taking on a picnic!
Boulevard Raspail Market
From homemade breads, local cheese makers to farmers and everything in between, the Raspail Market is always a good idea when you are in Paris. Located on the picturesque Boulevard Raspail just a few blocks from the incredible Hôtel Lutetia (the only grand hotel on the Left Bank) the market is bustling with true French home cooks, chefs, and onlookers. While the market is open Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, I prefer Sundays as it is all bio (organic) and has the best vendors (and if you are lucky, you will be captivated by an accordion player, organ grinder, or even a lovely woman singing La Vie en Rose—which always makes me swoon!).