Can I really afford to be shopping for souvenirs? Of course you can’t. But, on the other hand, how can you go back home, stare your friends in the face, and say, “Yeah, I was in Paris, I had a really great time – and, by the way did you get the postcard I mailed you from CDG? No, that won’t do. But even if your budget for souvenirs is severely limited, a little creative research will find some amazingly cool items available for under 20 Euros.
Coloring Books – Not Just kid stuff
Okay you dragged the kids through the Louvre. The only fair thing to do now is buy a coloring book so they can draw a mustache on Mona. But here’s the scoop. Coloring books are no longer just for kids. In fact, you may decide to stash your souvenir coloring book away in a drawer – because they look far too good to be scribbled upon. Buy one for your kids and one for you.
L’Art a Colorier by Anne Weiss
Price: 5.95 Euros
Who says you have to be rich to have a Philippe Starck designed living room? All you need for inspiration is a fly inhabiting your minimalist furniture free apartment. That’s what must have put a bee in Starck’s bonnet when he came up with this super design for a very affordable and USEFUL Paris souvenir:
A fly swatter.
Le Publicis Drugstore
Price: 9 Euros
(Design Lovers July 18-Aubust 28, 2008)
Is Your Cup Half Full or Half Empty?
The Laurence Brabant coffee mug answers the question with a ‘fuller than you think’ cup of coffee or wine.
Price: 14 Euros (petit) 16 Euros (grand)
Le Publicis Drugstore
133 Champs Elysees
Metro: Charles De Gaulle Etoile
(Design Lovers July 18 to August 29, 2008)
Really Cool Guys offer to Help Dry the Dishes
Beauville Dish Towels
Although you may not still be able to find the Eiffel Tower design in the linen dish towel format, Paris Magic is available . Beauville dish towels hail from the Alsace region of France. I’ve been collecting (and framing these dish towels for a while). My favorite is the Beauville cat collection. You’ll find Beauville dish towels at BHV (Bazaar Hotel de Ville) department store, Metro: Hotel de Ville.
Paris Magic Dish Towel
Price: 20 Euros
Oh so cute for your pint-sized friends. Although the 2008 couture for KIDS (and their Moms) might be a shy bit over 20 Euros, the friendly website offers some remaining goodies at 20 Euros and thereabouts. I know ‘Hello kitty’ is hot with Parisian kids because I’ve seen the familiar design popping up on numerous occasions when I’m walking around town.
Price: 20 Euros for the sleeveless body for wee ones
27.50 for the t-shirt (these are summer sales prices – if you don’t catch the summer sales, wait till January!)
Splitting the Eiffel Tower
In truth, Nadie Delepine’s Eiffel Tower’s pierced earrings are NOT under 20 Euros. More like 40 euros and change, but I had to include them in this post – because when a French friend (Murielle) who knows a thing or two about style, she REALLY like them.
Sometimes you just have to throw your cares to the wind and say – okay so, what if I have to sleep under Pont Neuf for the last night in Paris, my best friend really deserves a pair of Eiffel Tower earrings. OR, if you happen to have TWO girlfriends, who only need one earring to add to their six diamond posts (it could happen), you have STILL only spent 20 Euros and change per souvenir. By the way, if you are seriously contemplating this suggestion, it is high time to decide which girlfriend to keep rather than how to afford buying gifts for both of them.
Easy to pack Soledad
A ‘trousse’ in French is a handy catch-all for makeup, pens, pencils, spare change, Metro tickets, etc. Just the thing to throw in your carry-on at the last minute. And maybe the one souvenir you’ll end up keeping – just for you.
Price 12 Euros
Design Lovers (July 18-August 29, 2008)
Souvenir Shopping Addresses
133 Champs Elysees
Metro: Charles de Gaulle Etoile
Hello Kitty by Victoria Couture
36 Rue Etienne Marcel
Metro: Etienne Marcel
14 Rue Princesse
BHV (Bazaar de Hotel de Ville)
Table linens and kitchenware department (Beauville dish towels)
Rue de Rivoli (opposite Hotel de Ville)
Metro: Hotel de Ville
Boutique Les Enfants du Louvre
Musee du Louvre