Les Merveilles de Babellou

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>I love Paris in the Spring time… I love Paris in the Fall.  Paris is perhaps the city where any Diva would feel most at home – it is the epitome of style and taste. It also happens to be one of our most popular tour cities at The Antiques Diva & Co. The Paris Flea Market alone is a huge draw as you can find almost any type of antique you are looking for – but for fashionista’s our Paris Vintage Fashion Tours are a dream come true.  I wanted to share with you today one special source Les Merveilles de Babellou.  This boutique is THE BEST source for vintage fashion in Paris! In fact, you can see a snippet of the store in a video we did last year for The Editor at Large when I ran into one of our Diva Guides while I was shopping the Puce on film with VIP Designers toratlarge.com/editortv/a-tour-of-le-marche-aux-puces-with-the-antiques-diva-part-ii/279″ target=”_blank”>David Dalton and Jennifer Mehditash.

Isabelle Klein, Marché Paul Bert, Paris Flea Market, Antiques Diva Paris Tours, Vintage Fashion Tours Paris, Vintage Hermes,

Isabelle Klein, Marché Paul Bert, Paris Flea Market, Antiques Diva Paris Tours, Vintage Fashion Tours Paris, Vintage Hermes,

Isabelle Klein is one of our favorite dealers at “Marché Paul Bert”.  Her luxury vintage fashion boutique “Les Merveilles de Babellou” is actually bearing Isabelle’s  childhood nickname – Babellou! The store has the ambiance of an old time Paris boutique which transports customers to a time and place when Paris fashion was at its height. Top fashion brands of the twentieth century like Chanel, Hermes, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and many others fill the store, beckoning all who enter to take a piece of fashion history home with them.

Isabelle Klein, Marché Paul Bert, Paris Flea Market, Antiques Diva Paris Tours, Vintage Fashion Tours Paris, Vintage Hermes,

Isabelle Klein, Marché Paul Bert, Paris Flea Market, Antiques Diva Paris Tours, Vintage Fashion Tours Paris, Vintage Hermes,

Celebrities, stylists, and vintage fashion lovers can find clothing, haute-couture, accessories, and jewelry that elicit “oohs and ahhs.” If you’re looking to add to your collection or even purchase a special piece for an event, this is the place to find it! But inspiration can also be found on their website where you can click through stylish and rare pieces from the comfort of your home. All products in the store and online are guaranteed to be authentic and of good quality.

Isabelle Klein, Marché Paul Bert, Paris Flea Market, Antiques Diva Paris Tours, Vintage Fashion Tours Paris, Vintage Hermes,

If you happen to be in Paris, stop in and tell them The Antiques Diva sent you—or better yet, take one of our Paris Vintage Fashion Tours and shop on the arm of one of our lovely Diva Guides! If you’d like information on our Paris Tours, email us at to:info@antiquesdiva.com”>info@antiquesdiva.com.

Au revoir,

The Antiques Diva®  

Diva of the Day – Danielle

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 30px; line-height: 20px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Over the course of the summer months I want to take time to highlight some of our Team Members here at The Antiques Diva & Co.   Today we’re highlighting one of our Parisian Divas – Danielle.

Danielle is French and Fabulous… and she’s an Antiques Diva secret weapon. This lady knows how to shop and does it with French style.

 Antiques Diva

Which Tours do you lead?
Paris Puces de Saint-Ouen, Antiques Versailles and customized excursions around Paris

What do you like about your job?
It is a real opportunity to meet new people every time

What do you consider your specialty in helping clients? What do you enjoy about helping clients?
I’m good at bargaining, I have a good knowledge of shipping problems, and I like to help clients understand the differences between styles.

tower.jpg”>tower” src=”https://antiquesdiva.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/eiffel-tower.jpg” alt=”” width=”237″ height=”213″ />

Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Paris, but lived in Geneva, Switzerland for 5 years when I was a teenager, and for 7 years in western Canada, where I got married. My two children, Isabelle and Nicolas, were born there and we still travel their frequently. We all moved back to Paris in 1987.

What do you do when you’re not working? Hobbies? Interests?
I collect, alas!  It is a never ending passion. I collect perfume bottle (mostly art deco and Baccarat), enamel boxes, glasswork. We also are movie fans, we have about 700 DVDs, and books maniacs.

Favorite spot to vacation?
Canada, of course, and Corsica, which is one of the most beautiful islands in the world.

Do you have a favorite museum or work of art that inspires you?
I love the Quai Branly Museum, it takes you all over the world.

What do you think is the hardest thing for clients on tour?
Payment at the Paris Flea Market is difficult.  Cash is of course king.  Many vendors don’t take credit cards and if they do then often the card won’t go through or perhaps the client doesn’t have a high enough credit limit.   Sometimes a client shows up on tour with dollars not euros or doesn’t have a high enough daily debit allowance on their bank card.   Planning your payment methods in advance of coming to the market is very important.

Give me 5 words that describe your personality.
Open minded, curious, rigorous, honest, obliging.

 

Versaille Antiquing

Dear Diva Readers,

Antiques Diva French Antiques

Extra ,Extra! Read All About It!  Our Paris Antiques Diva Tours just got better than ever!

In addition to our already sensational line up of Paris Tours – shopping the Puce de Paris, Porte de Vanves, from the Left Bank to the Right Bank and all over the city of light looking for antiques, vintage, retro, as well as fabrics and frills and vintage fashion and Chanel –  we are NOW OFFERING Antiquing Tours in Versailles!

Antiques Diva French Tours

Antiques Diva French Tours

Antiques Diva French Tours

Paris Antiques Diva Tour Guide Danielle P explains about this special tour in a French Antiques Quarter in the Paris suburbs. 

Sometimes it’s nice to get out of Paris and go to the Suburbs to continue shopping in history.  I usually meet  clients at their hotel and drive them to Versailles in my personal car to take them antiquing in a really special place in the heart of the old town of Versailles.

The area was the local “le baillage” or the bailiff’s quarters. The bailiff was a judge of the criminal court.  Built in the first quarter of the 18th century, the main building housed the tribunal court and was surrounded by a series of courtyards, smaller dwellings….and a prison. 

About 30 years ago, a man by the name of Monsieur Lemonnier – nicknamed “Coach” – inherited the property and decided to install a few antique shops.    Today there are now a little over fifty stores, ranging from small booths to much larger spaces and the offer is wide! You can find jewels, paintings, glass wares, furniture, an old frames restoration shop, a “Toiles de Jouy” store, art galleries, Chinese antiques, and some of the most beautiful 18th century furniture you can find anywhere.  There’s even a little restaurant nestled in the middle of the shops called Little Italy that is delizioso for taking a mid-tour break! 

Antiques Diva French Tours

Antiques Diva French Tours

Antiques Diva French Tours

On my recent visit Coach was kind enough to show me the old prison cells adjacent to the stores.    Because I was attending for a fete, he even plied me with champagne!   I suspect I was given much better treatment than those who stayed in the prison!!”

When to Book this Tour?

We recommend clients book this tour on a Friday (though it’s also possible on Saturday or Sunday).  It’s the perfect day to have a little culture – and French retail therapy.  After your Antiques Diva Guide Danielle collects you from your hotel, she’ll drive you to Versailles to start the day by touring the castle gardens.  You can’t go to Versailles and not see these – it’s a stunning experience.  Then you’ll spend the rest of the day antiquing – in a diva style that would make Marie Antoinette proud!  Lunch at Little Italy is a must.

To book this new Versailles Antiques Tour with Danielle, email to:info@antiquesdiva.com”>info@antiquesdiva.com.

Bonne Shopping!
The Antiques Diva® & Co

In the Press!

Dear Diva Readers,

Antiques Diva

The Antiques Diva & Co is in the press again!!  Diva Guide Jennifer ROCKED an interview with CNN Travel, sharing her Paris Shopping Tips!  As CNN explains, Jennifer’s job at The Antiques Diva & Co is to help find shopping alternatives to guidebook favorites, creating custom shopping experiences for her clients.

“I often like to combine shopping with history and Paris is a great place for that,” Jennifer says. “Fortunately, there are still places to find true treasures, one-of-a-kind objects, and inspired purchases at any price that are unmistakably Parisian.” 

Jen’s tips in this article include: Avoid high expectations, Always use your “Bonjour” and “Merci” courtesies in stores and slow down and give in to the Parisian way of shopping.

To read more of Antiques Diva Tour Guide Jennifer B’s shopping tips in Paris see CNN!!   And be sure to read our “In the Press” section on the Antiques Diva website for other press features.

Happy Reading,
The Antiques Diva®

Mrs Wheel Barrow Goes to Paris with The Washington Post and The Antiques Diva

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 80px; line-height: 70px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>While this blog could begin with an “Extra, Extra, Read All About It” announcement that tonpost.com/blogs/all-we-can-eat/post/a-french-connection-mrswheelbarrow-goes-to-grrls-meat-camp/2011/09/15/gIQAXNXafK_blog.html” target=”_blank”>The Antiques Diva® was in The Washington Post blog, the story starts much further back than that.   It all started when Haven in Paris wrote an article on their blog tour-of-paris-marche-aux-puces/” target=”_blank”>HipParis” on The Antiques Diva & Co, giving a review of our tours/france/ ” target=”_blank”>Paris Antiques Tours.  

Cathy Barrow, famous for her blog Mrs Wheel Barrow, read the tour-of-paris-marche-aux-puces/ ” target=”_blank”>HipParis article and left a comment saying “I need to do this tour!”  Having long been a fan of Cathy’s writing and wonderful recipes and food discussions I jumped on the chance to meet her, emailing “Cathy we’d love to offer you an Antiques Diva tour next time you’re in Paris!”  Well,  bim, bam, boom… it just so happened Cathy Barrows was coming to Paris only a week or so later.  With some last minute juggling of schedules we rendezvoused in the city of light!  She had a tight schedule and less than 24 hours to do Paris (don’t worry – this must have been her 30th trip to Paris so she was well-versed in what she considered the highlights to hit – primarily gourmet food, shopping for gourmet food, Hermes, the flea markets and more gourmet food – you can see why I like her so).  Our goal was to maximize her time soaking in all the quintessential Parisian experiences…. and to do a slew of flea marketing while she was at it, all the while power chatting over shared interests and common bonds.

The Paris trip was an afterthought in Mrs Wheel Barrow’s French Countryside excursion – for Cathy knew she couldn’t come to France and not spend some time (even if only a day) in Paris.  Her real reason for coming to France was Les Grrls Meat Camp with Kate Hill’s Gascon Kitchen and Cathy had been tapped by The Washington Post to write about her week at this French cooking school for their blog.  Since she was meeting me in Paris she decided that our tours/france/” target=”_blank”>Paris Antiques Tour was equally tonpost.com/blogs/all-we-can-eat/post/a-french-connection-mrswheelbarrow-goes-to-grrls-meat-camp/2011/09/15/gIQAXNXafK_blog.html” target=”_blank”>Washington Post blog worthy and gave some great coverage of our day!  

We started the day with a chat over a Café Crème at Les Deux Magots as it turned out to be both our favorite Parisian coffee haunts.  Knowing that Cathy has an incredible collection of Hermes scarves and knows not only the pattern names but also Hermes’ various artists, I’d organized a special event in her honor! I’d called ahead to Les Trois Marche de Catherine B – unquestionably the BEST source for vintage Hermes in Paris – and asked the affable and charming Catherine if they’d open early for us to view their collection in private before we dashed to the Porte de Vanves flea market and then on to another traveling one-weekend-only brocante later in the day. 

Catherine greeted us with an effervescent smile and while Cathy tried on Hermes scarf after Hermes scarf, draping herself in luxury, I lovingly sported one vintage Chanel bag for the entire time I was in the shop.  I’ve fallen in love with this particular purse (which sadly I didn’t photograph) but should my darling husband happen to be reading this post…(hint, hint) Catherine knows which bag I want!  Can you say “DREAM CHRISTMAS PRESENT”?

Invigorated by that luxury shopping we hopped on the metro ready to conquer the day.  First official Flea Market stop of the day?  The Porte de Vanves flea market.  Cathy had told me she was looking for less expensive items, perfectly packables and anything to do with French cuisine.  She honed in on some café au lait bowls, some darling French menu cards and an array of French cutlery.    

Cathy wrote in her tonpost.com/blogs/all-we-can-eat/post/a-french-connection-mrswheelbarrow-goes-to-grrls-meat-camp/2011/09/15/gIQAXNXafK_blog.html” target=”_blank”>Washington Post article about the Porte de Vanves experience, “The whirlwind shopping day never could have happened without Toma’s help. She came well-prepared and rapidly sensed what I was looking to find. I appreciated her well-trained eye and her advice about how to bargain.”

Famished from all that shopping, we decided lunch was in order!  But not before we met a friend.  If meeting famous blogger Cathy Barrow was NOT enough excitement for me, Cathy had arranged for us to meet up with a friend of hers for the afternoon – Author Kari Underly of “The Art of Meat Cutting”.  Kari was fresh off the plane, arriving Paris only hours before we met for lunch, and would be joining Cathy at Meat Camp in Gascony. Kari had spent the last few days in NYC today.msnbc.msn.com/id/44522510/ns/today-food/t/take-crash-course-butchering-beef/” target=”_blank”>doing appearances on the Today Show, and meeting with Food & Wine magazine among others and burst into Paris ready to rumble! 

With our stomachs rumbling we rounded the corner from Kari’s hotel and took a seat at the famous French café Le Dome. With two “Meat Camp” gals by my side I was certain they’d order entrocote, but when we saw the fish of the day go by we all three decided Poisson was in order!

From Le Dome, it was time to conquer our 2nd market of the day.  Cathy wanted to get off the beaten path so rather than visiting the traditional flea market at St Ouen we visited a traveling brocante in town for only that weekend.  This was Kari’s first trip to Paris – and she was a flea market virgin – so with appropriate fanfare our afternoon shopping began!

You’d never guess what the girls gravitated towards at the brocante…..  ANTIQUE KNIVES!!!

After whiling away the afternoon flea marketing, we made our way back across the Seine for a little shopping and site-seeing in St Germain des Pres!

Cathy had one “must do” on her Diva Antiques Tour in Paris – she had to take time to stop at her favorite shop in Paris, L’Huilierie LeBlanc on Rue Jacob, to buy incredible olive oils and vinaigrettes.  This was the one thing she couldn’t miss on her trip to Paris.  Coincidentally I’d lived literally around the corner from that shop for five years and had spent my fair share of Euros in this boutique over the years – we agreed it was simply the best olive oil shop in town!

With olive oils and vinegars purchased, our arms laden with our antiques we decided the perfect way to cap off the day would be Laduree!   Enjoying champagne & macaroons, we curled into a booth to meet The Antiques Diva & Co Paris team as well as the famous French blogger La Mom for a final farewell to the day.  All in all, Cathy Barrow might have only had 24 hours in Paris but I’d say we made the most of her time, helping her Tour Paris, Antiques Diva Style!

To find out more about our tours/france/” target=”_blank”>Paris Tours email to:info@antiquesdiva.com”>info@antiquesdiva.com – all tours are private one-on-one experiences fit for your French fancy.

The Antiques Diva
(with 2 of the 4 Parisian Diva Guides – Franca & Jen – at Laduree)

Shopping in the Shadow of the Tour Eiffel

Dear Diva Readers,

tour-eiffel.jpg”>tour eiffel” src=”https://antiquesdiva.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/antique-shopping-tour-eiffel.jpg” alt=”” width=”600″ height=”340″ />

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 100px; line-height: 90px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Our friends at Perfectly Paris posted on my Facebook wall, sharing this fantastic news that I could not help but to share with you.   From now until the 29th May, you can literally antique shop in the shadow of the Tour Eiffel at Le Salons Antiquaires et Galeristes taking place at Pont D’Iena and Quai Branly in Paris 7eme arrondisment!  Talk about chic shopping!

And while this Antique Market is only on for a week, don’t forget that the famed Paris Flea Market in St Ouen is on every weekend!!!   Baron’s has recently posted an excellent article calledA Guide to Merchants at the Paris Flea Market”, sharing their top picks!  The article is a good resource if shoppers want to shop the market without a Diva on their arm – but don’t forget, for those of you who would like to shop hand-in-white-glove-hand with one of 4 great Paris-based Antiques Diva Guides don’t forget to reserve your summer Paris flea market tour!  

tours/france/” target=”_blank”>The Antiques Diva® popular 1 Day Paris Tour will take you by the arm, starting the day at “The Other Paris Flea Market”, visiting Porte de Vanves to pick up some perfectly-packable treasures and then just as your stomach starts to grumble we’ll stop for a typical brasserie lunch in a restaurant crowded with locals.   After a bite to eat, we hop on the metro and head to the pièce de la résistance, the famed Puce de Paris St Ouen – but this isn’t a typical flea market filled with makeshift tents.  Instead, it’s well-organized permanent structures housing millions of euro of inventory complete with 13 districts, 2,000 vendors and 7 miles of alleyways! It’s easy for one to get lost in the maze of alleyways and streets, but with The Antiques Diva® Guides by your side, we’ll weave into nooks and crannies you’d never find on your own, introducing you to our favorite vendors, and showing you the hottest items in the market today – plus pointing out a few frauds! While we stop often on tour for coffee breaks as needed to give your feet a break, at the end of the day it’s time to stop yet again – this time for a parting coup de champagne or vin! 

Our tours were recently mentioned in a variety of summer travel sources – including a great article in Independent Traveler on 8 Tours for People who Don’t Like Tours as well as Travel + Leisure’s website listing of 134 Things to do in Paris!

Bonne Shopping,
The Antiques Diva®  (seen below shopping with one of my Paris Diva Guides – Kim)