Christmas Shopping at Parisien Salon

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 40px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>You must have been very, very good this year… for Santa has some great things in store for you!  Parisien Salon, one of my favorite French websites chocked full of great articles on la vie Parisian, has opened an online boutique and they’re having a Grand Opening Sale!  And you’re invited to partake in the fab Parisian goodies!

What better to buy the loved ones on your list than something from Paris?  Better yet, you don’t have to save space in your luggage toting it home from Paris when you can order online and have it shipped to all the people on your Christmas list!  Want to know what my friends and family will be getting for Christmas this year? (Shhh… don’t tell!)

My cousin will be the recipient of some tower-dishtowels-set-of-3/ ” target=”_blank”>Paris dish towels.  What better graphic punch than La Tour Eiffel to brighten up her kitchen?


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My aunt definitely needs these enamel door plates to Frenchify her home! I love how you can label the rooms in your house in French – listing the bedroom, guest room, kitchen, bathroom, powder room and there’s even a plate for labeling the basement door.

My gal pal Lisa will get to relive Parisian memories of our times spent wandering the rues of Paris together with this gorgeous photograph of the Passage St Paul nearby where she used to live in Paris.  The photo was actually taken by Parisien Salon founder Linda Donahue and is done with gallery-quality metallic paper using archival inks

What better gift for newlywed friends? Monsieur et Madame napkin rings – so dinner time every day is a French occasion!

My sister will LOVE this Kasia Dietz hand-painted reversible canvas tote.  You can choose from Rive Gauche or Rive Droit, but for me there’s really no choice at all…. It’s Rive Gauche all the way!

For my dear mom I cannot decide – she’s certain to love the Jules Pansu pillows… but with such great designs which one should I choose??

Should it be the jacquard weaved “I love Paris”?

Or is one of the dog pillows more her style?

And for my friend the blogger of ShesShoppingNow – it’s clearly got to be Fleur de Sel.  My friend and I have toured the salt field of Ile de Re together and so we always buy each other special salt from all our travels!

Whatever you buy from Parisien Salon’s new online boutique it is sure to be Paris-Perfect.  Make sure to check out Parisien Salon’s online magazine – a “Virtual Paris”.  As the HiP Paris blog explains, Parisien Salon “transports readers to the city and offers resources for those planning actual journeys” giving “a true insider’s view of Paris.”

Bonne Shopping!

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” 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” 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” 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” 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”> – 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)

Haven in Paris

Dear Diva Readers,

Recently  I wrote to you telling about tour-of-paris-marche-aux-puces/ ” target=”_blank”>the article our friends at Haven in Paris shared on their HiP Paris blogThis week I want to share with you an inside glimpse at the fun & funky Parisian apartment of Haven in Paris owner Erica B. 

Earlier this year Erica and I had a chance to meet in person and I was absolutely smitten with not only Erica but the view from her Montmartre pied-a-terre as well as her divine French kitchen décor!

Above the door to Erica’s quirky kitchen hangs a giant Patisserie sign purchased at one of my favorite flea markets in the south of France. 

Erica happens to be a flea market maven and one day while shopping in Ville Neuve Les Avignons she honed in on the biggest bargain at the market.  This sign was going for a song and knowing she had a good deal on her hands she snagged this sign and before she left the market other vendors were coming up and trying to buy it off of her!  

In fact, I suspect this happens to her a lot for she has a great eye for French Flea Market finds and when I walked into her apartment my flea market mouth went into action!  Though I normally try to contain myself from trying to buy items off my friend’s walls, I immediately put in an offer saying, “If you ever want to sell that sign…” and she cut me off at the chase saying “Not going to happen!” 

I appeased myself by playing with her cat and laughed when Erica agreed with me that “A True Diva always has to try when they find something they want!” 

Erica happily showed me around her apartment and in getting to know her and seeing her fun French style of décor I could understand why her company – Haven in Paris – has become so popular.  She chooses apartments with personality – that show the French joie de vivre and style of décor.  Her commitment to excellence in quality guarantees the apartments in her selection are top quality.  Plus – you may not know this – but when Erica is at her other home in Italy she rents out her Bourgeois Bohemian partment as part of the Haven in Paris line up of sensational places to stay in Paris. 

Make sure to visit tour-of-paris-marche-aux-puces/ ” target=”_blank”>Erica’s blog – HiP Paris – and check out Haven in Paris apartment rentals on your next stay in the city of light (or in her other locales in Tuscany and Provence).

Au Revior,
The Antiques Diva®

HiP Paris Antiques Tour

Dear Diva Readers,

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;”>I am absolutely delighted to announce that Haven in Paris – with their short term luxury apartment rentals in Paris, Provence and Tuscany – has chosen my company The Antiques Diva & Co European Tours to be included in their list of recommended servicesWhile many companies provide links to a variety of services, Haven in Paris personally verifies all their service providers, really screening the services they recommend so they can give them the HiP Paris Seal of Approval!  They test shopped our company recently and then they wrote about their tour-of-paris-marche-aux-puces/ ” target=”_blank”>Paris Flea Market Tour on their uber-popular blog tour-of-paris-marche-aux-puces/ ” target=”_blank”>HiP Paris

Paris Diva Guide – Franca

They shopped with one of my Paris Diva Guides – Franca – and my favorite line of the article reads, “After experiencing a guided {Paris Flea Market} tour, though, we couldn’t imagine a serious antique-buying spree without our lovely Franca there to guide us to the real gems and ease away our fears with her expert bargaining.”

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Photo Courtesy of HiP Paris

Franca is an absolute gem and simply an expert antique shopper and I must tell you that I consider myself  down-right lucky and honored to work with 4 lovely ladies in Paris – they help me guide Paris Antiques Diva Tours when one of the other 6 countries where we offer tours has me away from the city of light and I’m not able to lead tours myself!  I’ve gathered a team of professional stylistas who know Paris like the back of their hand to guide Diva Clients through the Paris Fleas… and whether you’re shopping with Franca, Kim, Jennifer or Laila this statement from HiP Paris holds true!

Each time a client takes a tour they tend to write me the nicest notes, thanking me for introducing them to their new best friend in Paris – saying “I couldn’t imagine shopping the Paris Flea Market without The Antiques Diva & Co by my side”. 

On Antiques Diva Tours, we don’t just shop with you – we share our life!  We’re like your interior decorator, personal shopper and best friend combined and it just so happens we have an incredibly chic little black book of the best addresses in town and it’s our goal to match our contacts with your shopping desires to help you find that perfect souvenir from Paris! Don’t forget that in French “souvenir” means memories – and our goal is to help you buy memories so you can bring them home and put them on your mantle! 

Sincere thanks to Erica, Ariel and Andrea and the whole Haven in Paris Team for our Paris Flea Market Tour review – make sure to read the tour-of-paris-marche-aux-puces/ ” target=”_blank”>article here and to check all their other great tips on the Haven in Paris blog!!!

The Antiques Diva®
(seen below with 2 of my Diva Guides recently in Paris)