June 11, 2015

Shopping & Eating in Paris with Kids

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

If I could shop in one city for the rest of my life it would be Paris. (Sorry, New York, but it’s true!) Like many women, I’ve always loved French style and prefer French clothes for my children when I can afford them. There is something about the timeless tailored look in classic colors like navy, white, and creams that appeals to me. When I was in Paris with my mother and daughter last month here were some of our favorite spots to shop:

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

Petit Bateau: This is one of my all time favorite clothing lines. I nearly cried when the Boston and New York stores closed! Their navy, yellow, and white color palate never goes out of style and works well for both boys and girls. Lucky for me, there are plenty of Petit Beteau stores in Paris. I stumbled upon one in nearly every neighborhood. I got a few great pieces for my kids and stocked up on their fuzzy onesies for baby gifts.

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

The French Pharmacies: I am going to write a separate post about this because I researched French pharmacies before our trip and was quickly sucked into the cult of French beauty products when I arrived. I’ll never bother with an expensive make-up counter again. French pharmacy beauty products are where it’s at!! I followed the Goop guide and a few others and found some real gems. (Note: Pharmacies are all over Paris. The famous Citypharma branch was my favorite.)

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

Bonton: If there is one DO NOT MISS store for kids, this is it. We didn’t even go to the giant one in the Marais but I won’t miss it next time! I shopped at the one on rue de Grenelle and it was so fabulous we stayed for nearly an hour. The style is a mix of French classic and Euro pop. It reminded me of the Benetton stores of my youth. In addition to clothes there were all kinds of fun books, games, jewelry, accessories, and more. My daughter and I were in heaven.

Alice á Paris: This small, understated store was a random find on our way to the Odéon metro stop. I instantly loved their style which reminded me of Jacadi, another favorite brand of mine. The tailoring is simple and classic, and the fabrics are sophisticated yet age appropriate. I swear, if I had a baby I would buy a whole wardrobe there in one fell swoop. My daughter picked out a gorgeous summery lawn skirt and blouse.

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

Pom d’Api: My daughter, like her mother before her, is a bit of a shoe hound. This store is right next to Citypharma. After dragging her through a beauty store the least I could do was stop and let her look. Fifteen minutes later we were leaving with a new pair of shoes and a new favorite children’s shoe company. (Note: They ship worldwide and have excellent customer service. Photo above from their website.)

Comptoir de Cotonniers: This fun chain is a longtime favorite of mine. The Parisian stores are amazing! I could’ve gone crazy but I stuck with a nice scarf. It is a must for anyone looking for signature Parisian style at reasonable prices. This is also a good stop in case you forgot a piece of clothing and need something for a meeting or dressy night out.

Rose & Théo: This is a gorgeous children’s store full of charming clothes for little ones. My daughter was too big for most of the clothes but it is an incredible place to shop for toddlers.

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

The Marais District & The 7th Arrondissement: Without a doubt these were my two favorite shopping areas in Paris. There was nice mix of European chain stores, independent boutiques, and fun streets for strolling. We did make a quick trip to Rue Saint-Honoré to check out the glitzy stores but that isn’t really my style, or my budget. It is fun to look, though!

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

Eating:

I didn’t spend a lot of time researching restaurants before we left since this was not intended to be a food focused trip. Instead we sought out specific shops and one famous restaurant over the course of the week. The rest of the time we just let ourselves stumble upon cafés and market streets and nearly never went wrong. Here are some of our favorite food finds in Paris:

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

Rue Cler: We stayed right near Rue Cler but didn’t know a thing about it until we accidentally happened upon it our second evening there. It is closed to through traffic making it easy to stroll and perfect for children. We were thrilled to discover our proximity to this classic Paris market street filled with boulangeries, butchers, seafood purveyors, cafés, flower shops, fromageries, wine stores, and more. We returned several times to during the week to try the cafés and shops. Perhaps our favorite thing to do there was treat ourselves to a scoop from Martine Lambert every evening before bed.

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

Á la Mére de Famille: There are several outposts of this gorgeous candy shop in the city and each one is more beautiful than the next. I’ll never get over the endless array of chocolatiers in general in Paris, but this shop was a real stand out. My daughter’s favorite were the marzipan farm animals. I loved the light and dark nougat.

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

Berthillon: I couldn’t wait to try this famous ice cream shop and sought the outpost on Île Saint-Louis immediately following our tour of Notre Dame. The ice cream was by for the creamiest, most intensely flavored I’ve ever had. I ordered the framboise a la rose, per the recommendation in Elizabeth Bard’s new book, my mother had the rhubarb, and my daughter a double scoop of cinnamon and chocolate. If there is one speciality food shop to seek out in Paris, this is it.

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

Polaine: Ever since reading about this famous bread in Ina Garten’s Paris cookbook I knew I had to visit. The shop was teeny tiny and barely fit 8 people. We sampled the bread, bought a large bag of sablés to save for later, and were back out in five minutes flat. But, oh, those five minutes were worth it. The bread was rich and chewy and I would’ve taken home an entire round loaf if I could’ve fit it in my luggage.

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

Mariage Fréres: Being a tea drinker this shop was my mecca. We first went to the one in the Marais district and stocked up on all sorts of delicious flavors. Then I found another shop on Rue de Montorgueil. You can find Mariage Fréres sachets in the states, but the loose teas are a delicacy to behold. I highly recommend working with one of their salespeople to learn about the nuances and flavors during your visit. My personal favorites: Paris Breakfast, Chandernagor (chai-like), and Black Opéra.

Fauchon: I used to visit this store in New York so I wasn’t expecting much when we went. But I was so wrong! The Paris shop is two floors and the first is filled, filled!, with gourmet teas, chocolates, macarons, jams, and wines. The second floor is a restaurant. Had I known I would’ve carved out a meal time to try it! This turned out to be another wonderful place to stock up on presents for friends and family. My daughter declared their lollipops the best she’s ever tasted.

Paris 16

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

Rue de Montorgueil: I sought out this street after reading about it in Natalie’s recent post. It was short and adorable and packed with all kinds of food purveyors and cafés. If I were living and cooking in Paris on the right bank it would clearly be a regular stop. It reminded me a lot of Rue Cler, only a little higher end. We enjoyed a light snack on the street and then walked over to the Louvre.

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

Creperie Suzette: This sweet restaurant was a fun find in the Marais district. We wanted to have a good meal before our entrance time at the Musée Picasso and this was on the way. There doesn’t appear to be anything special about it when you first see it but we had the most amazing savory galletes for lunch. I highly recommend ordering them.

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

Amorino: This ice cream is world famous and there are a few shops in the U.S. We loved their ice cream and they signature flowers they make when you order it. To be honest, I did prefer Berthillon, but this was a close second place.

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

Shopping & Eating in Paris | The Naptime Chef

Ladurée: It wouldn’t be a trip to Paris without trying macarons left and right. For the record, I do prefer Ladurée over Fauchon, but you really can’t go wrong with either one. My favorite thing about Ladurée turned out not to be the macarons at all, but the teas and chocolates. We accidentally stumbled on the Marquis de Laudrée, their new chocolate shop, and fell in love with their gourmet nibbles. I also picked up some of their gorgeous teas at the Laudrée shop in the Palace of Versailles. The Roi Soleil is my favorite because of the unusual flavor profile of caramel and rhubarb. I have never had rhubarb in my tea before and it is delicious!

Cafe de Flore | The Naptime Chef

Café de Flore: This is the one café I sought out. Not because of the food but because of it’s reputation. We were tickled to be sitting in the same favorite spot of many of our favorite artists and writers. The waiters were very charming and our meal was delicious. While it was crowded it was worth the meal just to say that we did it.