Shakespeare and Company

Mini Eiffel Towers and shimmering City of Light snow globes are all good and lovely, but the Parisian souvenirs that might keep some of your favourite memories most vividly alive don’t come from the tourist shops or the bouquinistes’ sheds, but rather from the city’s best loved cafés and tea salons. Below are a few to add to your wishlist the next time you’re ordering a chocolat chaud or verre de rosé

Café de Flore

Café de Flore glass

At this legendary café you can buy much of the whimsically olde-worlde porcelain that the classic comfort food à la française is served in, such as the fruit salad’s ‘lotus cup’ or the ‘egg plate’ for your oeufs durs. The glassware is particularly appealing; especially the curvaceous vase-like ‘water carafe,’ and the petite ‘elegance wine glass,’ so that you can continue your afternoon rosé tradition chez vous. View the selection here.

Les Deux Magots

Les Deux Magots boutique

The city’s other iconic café also offers a slew of souvenirs, from the unexpected (branded umbrellas and USBs), to the delicious (bottles of champagne and mini jars of jam), to the same pots and jugs your favourite brew comes in, to the accessories (notebooks and pens) you need to lure out your inner Ernest Hemingway, the one-time fan of this literary haunt.

Shakespeare and Company The Café

Shakespeare and Company Cafe souvenirs

You might not be able to pack George Whitman’s famous lemon pie in your suitcase, but savour a slice with a cup of creamy chai, and then buy yourself the mug as a memento of the taste epiphany. And if you squeeze some lemon into your homemade brew, you’ve concocted what the French would call une madeleine de Proust, a flavour and fragrance sensation that takes your senses back in time to this lovely moment.

Mariage Frères

Mariage Freres Tea Caddies

There are numerous Mariage Frères salons de thé around town now, although those in the Marais and Saint-Germain best serve as a portal back into a time when taking tea was a serious and stylish affair. There are literally hundreds of blends to choose from, and a sommelier will guide you to your perfect pick. If it happens to also come in a tea caddy, you would be remiss not to buy it on the way out (along with a bag of green tea madeleines … because, pourquoi pas?!).


Ladurée Marie Antoinette Candle

The prettily packaged jams and teas make for delightful take-away treats — and unlike a coffret of macarons last well beyond the flight home — but a candle is the most enduring way to keep your Ladurée sensory memories burning. Highly recommended: Marie Antoinette, to match back to the delicately fragranced, oh-so-feminine tea of the same regal name.


Angelina Paris boutique

The porcelain jug that pours the decadently thick chocolat chaud à l’ancienne, for which Angelina is revered, is not for sale — but it’s what’s inside that counts, right? And happily, you can pick up a bottle or two of ready-made chocolate drink on the way out.

Melbourne-based comedian, writer and actress Tegan Higginbotham doesn’t just have an inner Parisienne, she can look the perfect Parisian part, too — surely few women outside of the City of Light can wear a stripy top, red lip and tousled hairstyle as well as Tegan can. Her long-time obsession with all things Parisian led her […]

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Chai lovers, rejoice: Parisian baristas have come around to the seductiveness of creamy, spicy chai. You might not yet find it in every corner café, but the specialist spots that brew chai do it so well that a trek will be well rewarded. Five to try:  Café Loustic, 40 Rue Chapon 75003  The fabulously tall glass of day-fuelling chai comes in a choice of milks; the oat is magnifique.   Café Kitsune, […]

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Shakespeare and Company   The iconic store has been nestled into this prime position (with its pinch-yourself view of Notre-Dame) since 1951, and a pilgrimage-like destination for lovers of literature, including lauded authors and misty-eyed writers-to-be. (Originally Le Mistral, the shop was reborn after Sylvia Beach gifted founder George Whitman the name of her own legendary bookstore, which had welcomed the likes of Ernest Hemingway back in the 1920s). […]

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