Four Hours in Paris

• 19 April 2011

With just a few hours to get my Paris fix, there was time for only a handful of stops. My husband was kind enough to stay in the car with the 4 kids while I ran in to my very favorite places; and when I say "ran", I mean it literally! I hit a few of my favorites from the Paris Guide, including Poilane, Merci, Mamie Gateaux. I also breezed through Comptoir des Cotonniers and Bonton, a shop I've been meaning to visit for awhile, based on Anne's recommendation.

A few notes:

Poilane makes the best apple tart in the world, no joke. Buy at least two per person--there's no way you'll be able to stop at one! Also, if you arrive there after 11 o'clock, be sure to stop into the new Noa Noa next door. It's a great shop for women's clothing.

Merci is my absolute favorite stop in Paris, this you know. I was happy to see they replenished their supply of Liberty of London envelopes, but disappointed to see they raised the prices to $12 for one envelope. Bummer.

Mamie Gateaux is just down the road from Poilane and not to be missed. The dessert shop, the boutique and the brocante are all wonderful in every way. In fact, the rest of the street is quite lovely too, so if you have time saunter down a few more blocks and enjoy a quiet shopping experience.

Comptoir des Cotonniers is one of my favorite boutiques in Paris--there are a handful of locations and from what I've observed, they are all equally fantastic. I usually just window shop unless it's "les soldes", in which case I always pick up a little something.

Bonton was very sweet and well-curated; if you're a Cath Kidston fan, you'll be in heaven. The clothing is a little out of my price range, but all the accessories and trinkets are reasonably-priced. And I love that they have an old photo booth on the main level too.

Since I've visited all of the major museums in Paris {and many minor}, thanks to an Art History study abroad in college, I typically only add museum visits to my itinerary if there is a special exhibit or I am with someone who hasn't been to Paris before. Favorite museums include the Museé d'Orsay, Museé Rodin, La Louvre, Museé Jacquemart-Andres and Museé Marmottan. Picnicking at the Rodin Museum is an added bonus.

You can read up more on my Paris Guide here.

What would you do if you had just a few hours in Paris? I'd love to hear about your favorites too!


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