30 Mar Guest Blogger Julie Gilley: GIRL TRIPPIN’ IN PARIS
Welcome Julie Gilley to Weekend In Paris!
GIRL TRIPPIN’ IN PARIS: SHOE SHOPPING, CHOCOLATE AND WINE
For most, the city of Paris spells romance. For me, it spells girl trip! Yes, I know, it’s difficult to argue the allure of the Eiffel tower and dinner cruises down the Seine. But nothing says “Paris” to me and my gal pals more than shoe shopping, chocolate and wine!
As soon as we land, we hit the road in search of…what else…shoes! To get the shoe shopping juices flowing, our first stop is Rue de Grenelle in the 6th Arrondissement. I like to refer to this street as Sexy Shoe Lane because it comes close to being the shoe capital of the world! Here you will find designer labels such as Prada, Christian Louboutain, Michel Perry, Sergio Rossi and more. One of my favorite haunts is Iris, carrying the likes of Marc Jacobs, Veronique Branquino and Michael Kors. Although lovely to look at, prices for these shoes are even higher than the heels. So after a little ogling, we move on.
Next, we seek out a few boutiques the French call multi-marque (because they carry several brands of shoemakers). One in particular is Montaigne Market located on 57 Avenue Montaigne in the 8th Arrondissement. This uber-chic boutique has everything to accompany shoes and ranges in price from affordable to ghastly expensive. An hour (or two) later, we all leave with shopping bags in hand and giggles to boot.
Nothing sweetens an afternoon of shoe shopping more than a little dessert. There’s no shortage of boulangeries (bakeries) and patisseries (pastry shops) in Paris. But for my girls, there’s no substitute for chocolate! I take them to the local institution, La Maison du Chocolat. Starting in 1977, the first store (located on 225 Rue du Faubourg St. Honore in the 8th Arrondissement), La Maison’s chocolates are handmade and have a trademark ganache (light cream and chocolate) center. Need I say more?
To celebrate the success of our shopping adventure, the girls enjoy a visit to O-Chateau’s 17th-century cellar. We toast to our friendship with a sampling of 5 French wines and 5 local cheeses. Although, I’m not sure if it’s really the wine and cheese the girls love so much or Olivier Magny (the company’s owner) and his team of sommeliers—they are just so darn cute!
My girlfriends and I could make this same trip a dozen times because the shoes and wines are always changing! But next time we may shake it up with perfume, macaroons, and bistros!
BIO: Julie Gilley is a travel planner and small group tour guide for those wanting to uniquely experience France and Italy. She is the founder of My Far and Away Itineraries and author of the travel blog, Travel with Julie. She has a passion for experiencing a destination, not just passing through it.