Sally Peabody is an
American Journeywoman and President of Your
Great Days in Paris, a specialist company focused on
leading and advising adventurous travelers to find their
best in Paris. We asked Sally about women-centered destinations
in Paris. She happily informed us about these sweet spots...
chocolates and fashion are a perfectly complimentary trinity
if there ever was one. However, if like me, you enjoy pastry
and chocolates a bit too much to indulge in shopping for
French chic other than scarves, bags, jewelry and shoes,
I have a new find of interest on the fashion-front and two
on the ‘foodie’ front. But first to the patisserie
good fortune to spend late September and October in Southwest
France and in Paris, I used every bit of ‘down time’
from my tours to explore up-and-coming quarters in northern
and eastern Paris. Serendipitously three of my favorite
finds are owned by talented, creative women. Each is worth
the visit entirely on its own merit, but sitting in vibrant,
off-the-beaten path quarters as each does, well, that is
even more reason to visit these women and their shops.
sugar more natural patisserie...
is a lovely, light, contemporary looking patisserie
at the upper end of the top quality rue de Lévis
market street in the 17th. Laurence
Edeler is the charmingly engaging
owner of this shop. She is re-inventing French pastry
by using beautiful contemporary presentation, less
sugar than many patissiers do, using only the best
quality butter and cream and emphasizing ‘market
patisserie I asked? Not surprisingly that means making
patisserie, tarts, macarons and other temptations
with fruits, nuts, flowers and other flavors that
are seasonal, totally fresh and full of flavor. In
early fall that included luscious fresh figs, passion
fruit, pears, chestnuts, sweet clementines and more.
philosophy means that in general Lecureuil eschews
icings and sweet toppings. For example, they prefer
to top their classic éclairs with an eye-catching
thin sheet of bitter chocolate. Lecureuil’s
macarons were among the absolute best I have enjoyed
anywhere in this macaron-obsessed city. I loved the
lavender and the cassis flavored versions. On weekends
Lecureuil expands their offerings to include hearty
breads and Alsatian cakes such as Kougelhopfs.
also sells lovely pure-fruit jams and jellies from
an artisanal producer in Normandy. Other temptations
include chocolates, floral ‘finishing sugars’,
liqueurs of rose and other floral and fruit essences,
plus good herbal tisanes. This is one terrific little
sweet-spot. Address: 96 rue de Lévis, Paris
17. Nearest metro: Villiers. Website: www.lecureuil.fr
chocolate shop steals my heart...
is an undisputed fact. Paris abounds in fabulous chocolate
shops. However, it is Natier
that steals my heart. Natier is a tiny shop owned
by the personable and welcoming Madame
Dominique Letterrier. Natier sells
a selection of classic French chocolates, carefully
chosen and all utterly delicious. All of the classics
are there: pralines, marzipan, truffles, pure fruit
fillings, rich dark ganache, and much more. I loved
the ‘reglisse’ which is a mild licorice
gélee enrobed in dark chocolate.
are also addictively delicious fruit pates in 16 flavors,
making for a jewel-like assortment of pure deep fruit
flavor in these very sophisticated little candies.
Another favorite of mine are raisins steeped in Bordeaux
wine or in sweeter Sauternes and then enrobed in dark
chocolate. There are bags of pretty chocolate ‘olives’
that look uncannily like olives from the south of
also sells excellent Calissons de Aix, for fans of
those emblematic almond Provencal sweets. To accompany
all those goodies, Natier carries a good selection
of pure and flavored teas from Le Palais de Thés,
all beautifully packaged. While I tend to be a pure-tea
fan I do love the Thé des Moines and Thé
du Hammam blends. Both are spicy, floral, a little
exotic and totally delicious. Address: 1 rue Henri
Monnier, Paris 9. Closed Sunday. Nearest metro: St.
rue de Martyrs...
is just a long block off the marvelous rue de Martyrs
market street in the 9th arrondisment which is home
to the famed organic food shrine, Rose
Bakery (46 rue des Martyrs), Les
Papilles Gourmandes showcasing foods
of the French Southwest (26, rue des Martyrs), Arnaud
Delmontel’s fabulous patisserie
(39 rue des Martyrs), and myriad other worthwhile
short rue de Martyrs is also a fine source for quirky
one of a kind fashion-boutiques or adorable shops
for children’s clothes. Women, check out the
tiny boutique of designer Hortensia
Louisos at 14 rue Clauzel just off
the rue de Martyrs. Ms. Louisos designs classic pants,
skirts and jackets in seasonal lines that are all
about good taste but always with a little distinctive
French flair. I found a stunning red leather handbag
here last fall. Nothing exceeds 100 Euros.
check out the Sergent
Major shop at 18 rue de Martyrs. This
shop is one of a French chain that dresses kids to
look like kids, not baby rappers or mini-members of
the artistocracy. The quality is tops—and most
choices for infants to young teens are under $25.
You will love the toddler button-front jackets with
striped cotton linings.Visit www.sergent-major.com
for hours and other locations around Paris. This area
of the 9th is delightful. Go explore!
shop for generously proportioned women...
my personal fashion find. La
Bonheur des Rondes is a tiny shop
in the 11th behind the Place de la Bastille and near
the animated Aligre market. ‘Rondes’ are
generously proportioned women. Any woman over a size
14 who has visited Paris knows how impossible it is
to find clothes that fit. This shop, run by an attractive
woman who is chic and ‘ronde’ has a well
selected line of slacks, dresses, jackets, tops and
sweaters from designers like Marina Rinaldi and other
small scale ‘createurs’. Clothes range
from casual to dressy and top out at the approximate
western equivalent of a size 22.
a stunning knit top in an unusual ‘marron’
hue (chestnut) with a great cut and fit that I treasure.
Madame said “Mais, c’est parfait pour
vous” (This is perfect for you) and I had to
agree. Definitely French. La Bonheur de Rondes is
a great stop if you are visiting the Aligre market
or the rue Paul Bert gourmet nexus that is just down
the rue Faubourg St. Antoine. Address: 201 rue Faubourg
St. Antoine, Paris 11. Closed Sundays. Nearest metro:
after shopping, stop in at the tiny Tesnisme
virtually next door for some fabulous thé a
la menthe and Algerian pastries. The tea is brewed
from fresh mint leaves and the pastries are chosen
from a panoply of squares, crescents and circular
ones that incorporate a veritable entire world of
nuts, honeys and flaky pastries. Address: 207 rue
Faubourg St. Antoine, Paris 11. Nearest metro: Faidherbe
Peabody will be leading new “Paris Off the Beaten
Path” four-day tours in spring and fall that
will take you to these wonderful spots and many more.
gal-friendly tips about Paris and beyond...
delighted with the many tour operators leading female-friendly
adventures to France who are also members of our Journeywoman
network of classified advertisers. These are the experts,
the people we go to when we need advice about travel
to Paris and the French countryside.
each of these savvy tour planners to share one of
their 'travel to France' secrets with us. These are
their juicy offerings along with a bit about each
of their diverse woman-centered travel companies.
Keep this advice handy. You never know when the urge
to be in Paris or France, in general, becomes too
great to resist. Click
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