WHAT TO BRING HOME FROM FRANCE
I like shopping when I am travelling as you can buy things, which are not available in your home country or sometimes you can buy a higher quality items abroad if a particular country is famous for the quality of its products. For example, wine in France, cosmetics in Korea or cotton in Turkey.
On my recent trip to Paris, I had a bit more time to dedicate to shopping and I want to share with you some ideas on what to buy in France. You will notice that I am not suggesting to go and exercise your credit card on Champs Elysees – it is far too easy to do!
Children clothes in France are quite an industry and it is usual to find a whole floor of the department shop dedicated just to children clothes, including designer items. Style of clothes is slightly different to the ones you can find in the UK and I would say for the girls, especially, it is a bit more feminine and elegant.
Now, where do I start? There is foie gras, if you are not against it, there are mountains of cheese and numerous chutneys and jams to consume them with, there are cookies and madeleines, chestnut spread and wonderful marmalades.
Shopping tip: on the last day of your trip go into a bakery ( there is bound to be one in the residential area where your hotel is) and get fresh bread or patisserie, which are easily transportable or can be wrapped well. That way you will be able to extend your holiday by one more day when you arrive home and consume all the goodies!
French pharmacies and cosmetics
French women spend a lot on themselves and the market encourages them to do so. Probably even the smallest town, which has a pharmacy, will offer you a pretty solid selection of things, whether it is creams, hair care or body products. I usually do my research beforehand and go into the pharmacy armed with a list of things to buy. Otherwise, I always find myself slightly lost due to variety of items on offer and not being able to read French.
Wines or spirits
As in the case of cosmetics or cheese, I would probably recommend doing your research beforehand so you know what exactly you want to buy. Or you can try to find a friendly wine shop with a chatty sales assistant/owner who would be able to advise based on your preferences.
And lastly, one shopping tip from me is to check the working hours of the shops you want to visit, as sometimes they have extended lunch breaks or early closing hours in France and we don’t want to be greeted with “Ferme” sign, do we?
Happy shopping and please share what fabulous things did you bring back home from France!