Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Merci, Paris

Yesterday, we headed out to find a shop I'd read about at various blogs, Merci -- an interesting enterprise which sells designer goods from a variety of sources at discounted prices and donates some/most/all??? of the profits to charity. It's not far from the Place des Vosges, and 'round the corner from Café des Musées which I'd read about on David Lebovitz's blog some time ago and wanted to check out (a good find, by the way -- Pater says the terrine was among the best he's ever had and he likes his terrine). This is how we spend many of our days in Paris, setting out in search of some fairly arbitrary point or other, making interesting discoveries along the way (yesterday, par exemple, we detoured via Jardin des Plantes and have resolved to spend more time there when the weather's better).

Most of the goods at Merci were, despite the discount, beyond my means -- a gorgeously tissue-thin cashmere V-neck pullover by Paul et Joe was not much more than 400 Euros so perhaps a steal, but I'd have to steal to afford it. I got excited about some authentic Panama hats but they were too small and at 230 Euros, that was just as well. I did buy a 25 cl bottle of Annick Goutal's L'Heure Exquise -- they sell it in unmarked bottles in a variety of small sizes, decanted from the lab, I understand.

It's a lovely building and the goods are set out so attractively, with a pleasant cafe downstairs -- a nice way to spend an hour or so. I think my favourite spot, though, was probably the courtyard entryway where this little car was filled with plants, part of the garden items for sale.

I was surprised to find how close I'd come to meeting (or at least spotting) one of my favourite Paris bloggers, Eric at ParisDailyPhoto, whose path we must have come close to crossing -- he's posted a photo of Merci and a brief explanation about it -- after all these years of reading him . . . bonjour, Eric!


  1. Looks like the sun is out! Every photo you post is a delight; you could be a travel writer. I'm soaking in every electron.

  2. That car is fabulous, glad you are having fun in Paris, despite the weather. V jealous of your meals out, the French are pretty good with offal.
    Your pictures of St Pancras were good too, I sadly can never wait to see the back of that place, so it is interesting to see it from a fresh perspective.
    How do french women cope with the rain?

  3. Love the car - but also very interested in the skirt you're wearing in that photo!!!

  4. my mind is racing.... I just moved an old dresser of ours outside opened up the bottom drawer and filled it with plants. It looks great, very impressed with myself. I've just shown Kacey this picture of the car and the look of panic on his face was real. He has an old buick in the garage that he hasn't restored hmmmmmmmmm
    Love travelling with you vicariously.

  5. I agree with Tiffany - that skirt is very cool!!! Patricia

  6. Duchesse: You're right, we're managing to get some sunshine and the temperatures are quite decent. Trying to get as much walking done as possible while the weather holds.
    Alison: With the exception of andouillettes! And yes, how do those parisienees stay so chic in the rain?! (Ah, if only I'd brought along my polka dots!)
    Tiffany and Patricia: The skirt is actually the bottom of a sleeveness, cotton-knit dress by a Canadian label, simon Chang -- I've found it quite useful this trip (it looks better, I think, with a bit of a heel, but with the walking . . .
    Hilary: That's pretty funny -- hilary-ous in fact! Is Kacey going to be locking up that Buick? I really have to get over to see your garden this summer -- bet it's really creative!

  7. You can buy genuine Panama hats (woven in Ecuador) from Berkeley Hat Company ( They will trim the hats exactly to your specifications and ship them to you for much, much less.

    The basic rollable Panama runs ~$30-40 depending upon style. I add a leather strap for a few $ more, but they have tons of trims to spiffy up the hats.

  8. Thanks very much for this, BMGM!


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