rive gauche – st germain x le bon marché

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i really enjoyed my time in the left bank(rive gauche in french) that it deserves another post! :) the left bank was traditionally an area that cultivated a whole community of artists such as picasso, rimbaud, hemingway, matisse, etc. this area south of the seine also houses the university of paris or what is fondly called sorbonne which again, deserves a separate post – sentimental as my grandfather lived in paris and studied at the sorbonne during the 1920s.

what i liked the most about left bank is that it appears to be the more laid back part of paris. even its most famous shopping area, st germain, has a certain chill atmosphere about it.

this whole area is anchored by historic paris department store – le bon marche

Rive Gauche

it is also regarded as the first department store in the world. the building itself is a piece of art since part of its structure was designed by gustave eiffel.

Rive Gauche

Rive Gauche

inside is a treasure trove of merchandise worthy of delusional retail therapy. perfectly picked pieces from celine to lanvin to vanessa bruno to cacharel. even the beauty section on the ground floor was like a candy store filled with high-end, mainstream and french perfumes and cosmetics.

Rive Gauche

even the home section was a haven for total drool-worthy pieces that makes me wish i’d start renovating our house.

right across the street is bon marche’s gourmet supermarket the la grande epicerie. it is a food lovers’ dream!

Rive Gauche

think new york’s dean and deluca meets HK’s city super times 100. if only i’ve been to eataly, i would probably compare grande epicerie to that too. but alas. anyway.

Rive Gauche

wall to wall gourmet and artisanal food and condiments. my friend L and I bought a ton of cheese, dried meats, canned foie gras, truffle oil. i even got a few sticks of butter and some fleur de sal.

Rive Gauche

i would have brought home some bread too if it weren’t so ridiculous to have a luggage full of food. hahahaha.

Rive Gauche

the patisserie in the grande epicerie was also pretty amazing.

Rive Gauche

of course i had to taste the macarons! YUM.

Rive Gauche

if you’re looking for a less hectic shopping area where you can actually stroll and hang out, st germain is for you. most of the cool stores are here anyway.

Rive Gauche

Rive Gauche

Rive Gauche

lastly, this lovely bistro was really good. i just randomly picked it as it was the most full during the lunch hour and i got a table just by the edge of the outside section. ordered a house red and roast beef salad and as i soon as i got my wine, ina garten -yes, the barefoot contessa– and her husband jeffrey took the table beside me. i was screaming in my head! my mom and i are huge fans. i overheard their conversation that they just got to paris and went straight here, one of their favorite bistros in the city. they also ordered the roast beef salad. i texted my mom and was tweeting about it. i felt a little shy to whip out my camera but i did talk to her after my meal.

me: hi ina, sorry to bother you and your husband but my mother and i are huge fans!
ina: aww that’s so sweet. :) you’re in paris for a vacation too?
me: yup, for a couple of weeks
ina: great! are you from connecticut?
me: *puzzled look*

nyek, siguro it’s my pseudo northeast accent. kekekeke.

Written by divasoria

June 18th, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Posted in travel

Tagged with ,

9 Responses to 'rive gauche – st germain x le bon marché'

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  1. I love your travel posts!


    18 Jun 11 at 8:25 pm

  2. heart barefoot contessa (:
    ina and hubby must have looked really cute.

    Leeanne G.

    18 Jun 11 at 8:28 pm

  3. Ina and her husband Jeffrey are all sorts of adorable. I love them.

    Grabe, because of you, my list of things to eat is getting longer and longer and longer. Haha. I can’t wait for my trip!


    18 Jun 11 at 8:31 pm

  4. thanks anonymuse :)

    kat – have fun! i miss paris. i wanna go back soon


    18 Jun 11 at 8:39 pm

  5. LOL at “Are you from Connecticut?” Hahaha! 😀 Like Kat, my list of things to do/see/visit/eat is getting longer and longer! I need at least a week to fit everything in :(


    18 Jun 11 at 9:33 pm

  6. More travel posts Grassie!!! And woohoo! Ina Garten! <3 <3 <3


    18 Jun 11 at 11:31 pm

  7. yay! more travel posts to come. sayang yung mga photos kasi. kekekeke :)


    19 Jun 11 at 7:03 am

  8. hahahaha @ “puzzed look”

    The Shiznit

    21 Jun 11 at 7:17 am

  9. […] trip to Paris would be complete without a visit to La Grand Épicerie (thanks for the tip, Divasoria!) an authentic crêpe or a ridiculously sinful dessert. So, I tackle all three in my […]

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