While I don’t blame you for filling your luggage with miniature Eiffel Towers or the delicate Ladurée macarons, don’t discount this list of Parisian mementos. They are a little expensive but will be wonderful gifts for special people in your life.
Surprise Book From Shakespeare & Co.
Your book-obsessed friend will thank you for getting her a surprise from unarguably the most famous café in all of France, Shakespeare & Co – a place where famous writers such as Allen Ginsberg, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and many more have found refuge and inspiration at.
Alain Ducasse Chocolate
As a purveyor of chocolates and all things sweet, I was pleasantly surprised to discover Alain Ducasse’s Le Chocolat while walking around Saint-Benoit. Don’t expect ordinary chocolate covered almonds though. Their selections are innovative, rustic and full of personality! From Trinidad’s delicate powdered chocolate to Indonesia’s smoky bars, Le Chocolat always retains the flavor of the cocoa bean’s origins. It doesn’t hurt that you get to try samples of the chocolate while you’re shopping!
If you’ve managed to walk along the Seine, you won’t miss these small stalls. The Bouquinistes, a huge part of Parisian history, offer the beautiful antiquated books, post cards and posters. I bought a poster depicting two men in traditional Victorian suits for €25 that was cut out from an old fashion magazine.
My sister’s husband tried haggling the price down but we ultimately decided against it when the shopkeeper explained how unique the actual print is. Try to see each shop as they offer different varieties. Some of the posters that you would see are reprints, meaning they scanned the original and created copies. These are of course a lot cheaper. However, its nice to actually shell out the cash and buy the original.
La Cure Gourmand Cookies
You’re buying the beautiful tin boxes as much as you’re buying the cookies and caramels when you’re in La Cure Gourmand. If there was a muggle Parisian version of Honeydukes, this store is what I imagined will look like. For €35, you can get pre-assorted goodies with a mix of cookies and chocolates or you can choose your own charming tin can and add whatever sweets you want.
Channel Amélie by using the vintage photomaton in Palais de Tokyo. While your friends might not appreciate a gratuitous photo of yourself, I’m sure your mom and dad would be happy to receive one. It costs €2 for one strip with 4 photos. You may wanna cover your nose when you pick up the photo because the chemicals smell like horse dung. Also, try to hold the photo on the sides unless you wanna smudge the photo and have ink all over your hands. It takes a while to dry.