Bazaar de l’Hotel de Ville, BHV, in the Marais area of Paris is a shopping mecca. Not for fashion, that’s for sure, but for the more practical needs BHV (pronounced bay hash vay) has it all. My favourite departments are the art supplies and the home wares floors. They have well priced merchandise that is often sold at cheaper prices than in the smaller boutiques. If it is glamour and glitz you are after then don’t bother because BHV is neither; if you have time to spare and the energy to cope with a large store like this then it is worth taking a look.
Le Bon Marche Rive Gauche, on the other hand, is all about luxury shopping. This left bank emporium opened in 1848 is another ‘die and go to heaven’ experience. Where the macaron breaks the diet this place blows the budget. Indulgence here is a dangerous game. Le Bon Marche is home to the most beautiful designer fashion for men and women, perfume and make-up lotions and potions, hats, hosiery, lingerie, hair-care and home wares. Riding the escalators at Le Bon Marche is staring temptation in the face and pushing the limits of restraint. If the urge to shop becomes too overwhelming La Grande Epicerie, the foodie sister, is next door and full of edible treats to help calm and ease you through the deliberations.
Good luck resisting anything in Paris, xv.