Bring France Home – literally
Wandering the streets of Paris is my favorite activity: it allows me to take the pulse of the city while finding new gems. This July was no exception: as soon as I had dropped my bags I bolted out for a first taste of Paris 2016 vintage. Being based in Le Marais, it’s an easy walk to Place des Vosges via la rue des Francs-Bourgeois – after a few blocks I decided to veer of rue de Sevigne. As always, choosing the less traveled road proved to be rewarding: I only had to walk a few steps to see the sign”Bring France Home pop-up store” – most intrigued, I turned into rue d’Ormesson where I found a place where you can Bring France Home – literally !
In the store, I met Mathilde who shared with me how her and girlfriend Nathalie started Bring France Home: as proud French women who wanted to share what the French art de vivre was about – so like Your Voyage A Paris! – they were not happy with the selection of so-called “French souvenirs” trinkets that were not even remotely French. They decided to change this: to provide visitors with quality products designed and made in France, they started sourcing accordingly. First available online and now in this pop-up store, the result is a selection of products offering something for everyone: candies, toys, accessories and even a beer: BAP BAP – Brassée a Paris, Bue a Paris !
Of all these lovely treasures I brought 3 home with me: a book, a grocery net and a cat!
Being a bit of a history buff, I couldn’t resist the collection of English written books for kids about French characters, especially the one about arguably the first French woman who wanted to change things: Joan of Arc! Through one page chapters, maps, chronology and games, these books are both fun and educational making for great bedtime family reading! Quelle Histoire Edition books are designed in Paris & printed in Toulouse.
My second temptation was a “filet a provisions”: a net for grocery shopping. Reminding me of the one my grandparents used, it’s a great alternative to plastic bags which really, as Granville island puts it, should be a thing of the past (if you don’t understand why plastic bags should be a thing of the past, just google “great garbage patch”). Coming in rainbow colour, it’s perfect to go to the West End farmers market and it can carry up to 20 kg! These nets are designed and made in Caen.
Last but not least, the girly side of me couldn’t resist the funky design of M. Chat (Mr Cat). Originally designed to be a perfumed ceramic to be hung in a closet, I decided to wear it as a pendant – considering how many envious comments I got about it, I’m not the only who’s thinking it’s a great idea! M. Chat is designed and made in France.
All these treasures added up to 25 euros (CAD $37 / USD $28) so really there is no excuse not to Bring France Home with you next time you’re in Paris!