The Best Store in Paris

Are you thinking The Bon Marché? Or maybe Printemps? Or the Hermès store on Rue de Sèvres that is housed in a former swimming pool?

You would be wrong. And while I am often found walking down Avenue de Montaigne lusting after the luxury goods at Dior and Chanel, I am just as often pushing a cart through my all-time favourite Paris store: Monoprix. They are everywhere in Paris, and when choosing our apartment I wasn’t oblivious to the fact that there was a large one two blocks away.

In September, when you bought two bottles of Crémant at Monoprix, you got a third one free. Can you imagine Safeway doling out free bubbly? In the beauty department, I stock up on lavender scented Savon De Marseille in the pretty bottles that I used to buy back home for $30 or something. At Monoprix they are 3 Euros. And my shampoo: Karl Lagerfeld favourite Klorane. I buy the one that smells like Peonies. Peonies! Over in the clothing department, I buy the girls packs of high quality Petit Bateau T-shirts and Bensimon plimsolls that they wear for gym class – they are bargain priced here, due to Monoprix buying power. If you are feeling fancy, you can buy them at the Monoprix on the Champs Elysées!

My most recent fashion purchase is a cool sweatshirt that says “Sentimentale” in red script, a collaboration with emerging Parisian designer Valentine Gauthier, who has a store in the Marias fashion district. Speaking of which, I no longer need to go to the Marias to buy the coveted table linens from concept store Merci—Monoprix has knocked the napkins off exactly, complete with the single stripe, for 3 Euros a piece instead of 10. Next up is a collaboration with Love Stories lingerie from the Netherlands and these sassy knickers are on my list.

When we were here in June for the school entrance tests, we happened upon a Monoprix collaboration with Antique Batik (who also have a store in the Marias) that included a very cool collection of patterned ceramics. On the last day of our trip Murray and I raced around in cabs from Monoprix to Monoprix finding a side plate here and two teacups there until we had a full service for eight. But the best part about Monoprix? You fill your cart with groceries and wine, roll up to the till, give them your loyalty card, and walk home. A little while later, your groceries are delivered right to your door via bicycle cart. If we dawdle too much, sometimes they are waiting for us in the lobby! They swipe your credit card and all that’s left for you to do is open that third bottle of Crémant.