Take advantage of Eurostar's 2-bag luggage allowance and bring an empty case on any shopping trip to Paris. Even if you manage to resist the city’s ever-so-chic boutiques, you can stock up on plenty of delicious treats to bring home. Drop by upmarket La Grande Épicerie at chic department store, le Bon Marché, for artisanal preserves, hand-strung charcuterie and creamy Bordier butter (the smoked variety gets our vote). It's pretty much the Paris equivalent of Harrods Food Court so worth a visit, even if it's just to ogle the amazing stands of breads, cakes, cheeses and dry goods.
Head into any Parisian pharmacy to discover French women's best kept beauty secret - a tube of Homéoplasmine ointment. This multi-purpose cream will soothe everything from chapped lips to dry elbows and has pride of place in every French family's bathroom cupboard.
Need more inspiration? Here are five off-piste picks.
There’s hardly room to swing a baguette in Laurent Dubois’ cheese kingdom, where visitors can nibble their way through samples in search of fromage nirvana. Comté aged onsite might float your boat, or perhaps you’ll leave with quince-layered Roquefort (vacuum-packed for travel, bien sûr). Laurent won the Meilleur Ouvrier de France – the Oscar of the craft world.
Add some exoticism to your sudsing sessions with this irresistible yuzu soap from L’Officine Universelle Buly. Artist-designer Ramdane Touhami has given the beauty brand a modern makeover: cue Instagram-ready packaging a-go-go. Drop by the boutique on rue de Saintonge, where in-house Grand Café Tortoni serves delicate madeleines and dreamy hot chocolate.
Add Amélie charm to any outfit with Macon & Lesquoy’s kooky jewellery. We love the twinkly, sequinned brooches, which cleverly conceal tears and rips in clothing. The Paris-themed box of four sweet hand-embroidered pins could be shared with friends (or solo-hogged). There’s a multitude of accessories to pick from, including mice, mouth and magic-bunny motifs.
Crêpe to your heart’s content at beloved Breizh Café, then pop in next door to pick up their famous pancakes’ key components. The tiny grocery’s well stocked with buckwheat, Bordier butter and salted-caramel spread. Further Brittany-sourced temptation comes in the form of zingy perry (a pear spin on cider), artisanal jam and flavour-packed pasta.
Got a favourite Parisian ’hood? Flaunt it with Kerzon’s covetable neighbourhood-inspired candles, scents and accessories. Take an olfactory stroll through Faubourg Saint-Antoine, Île Saint-Louis and Place des Vosges, all inspired by iconic moments in the city. Other cues to part from your euros include fancy matches, illustrated maps and perfumed skin mists.
From hip food to cutting-edge art, Le Marais packs in the very best of Paris.
Where better to go on a shopping spree than to the home of fashion?
Tips for managing your holiday finances so you don't bust the budget.