Choices from the trip, described below.
No, Anjela, Rabotin did not have the sparkly flats. Found the same ballerina-with-low-wedge in black patent at Accessoire, and happily embraced them.
Accessoire Diffusion, 6, rue du Cherche Midi (6th arr.)
A fine wool from Wolff & Descourtis, supple enough for indoor wear. Their silk and velvet pieces are divine (Nicole Kidman collects them) but too dressy for my current life. Victoria Wolff, designer and granddaughter of the founder, lectured me, "Never the point at the back." Superb quality and design from a small historic house.
Wolff & Descourtis, 18, Galerie Vivienne (2nd arr.); this passage is a treasure.
3. Amber earrings
I've been reveling in the honeyed luminous richness and blissful light weight of the amber bracelet my friend "sjcyogi" and her lovely spouse Brian gave me for my birthday. We stopped by L'Or du Nord to look for earrings for my amber-loving mother-in-law, and, after choosing hers, I found this glamourous pair. (Mine are far more golden than this photo.)
L'Or du Nord, 77 rue du Bac (7th arr.)
4. Black lace bra by Lise Charmel, from Bon Marché's lingerie heaven. How a woman can visit Paris and not buy lingerie is beyond me!
5. Eric Bompard sweater
I chose the Pull V Noeud Géant in taupe; so wearable, yet so French.
Eric Bompard, see www.eric-bompard.com for locations
Actually a purchase of Le Duc's; at Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier, his must-visit, he was captivated by the new La Reine Margot, a stupendous jasmine, amber and musk named for the famous courtesan, Marguerite de Valois.
Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier, 84 bis, rue du Grenelle (7th arr.)
A sizeable difference
My comments are mostly about accessories. I can't buy skirts, dresses or pants in Paris; at 5'10", size 14-16 (US) everything is too small and short. Dispirited by only looking, I defaulted to Marina Rinaldi (plus sizes in France start at 10). The only item that moved me was a sharp patent leather trench-styled jacket, but I looked like an accordian case in it.
Best new find
I'm liking resale more than ever. But typically a Paris depot vente carries too many things you'd consider ratty. I was stopped in my tracks by a pristine Hermes Lindy in the window of Les Ginettes; my walk-through confirmed the shop's selectiveness. If you can wear French sizes, a gem. Ample assortment of scarves, objects for interior design and art.
Les Ginettes: 4 rue Sabot (Arr 6) Metro: St Germain des Pres
Sweet dreams are made of these
Of endless windows to lick, one of the dreamiest was Cachemirien, a collection of finest cashmere shawls and clothes, 13, rue du Tournon (6th arr.) Textile arts at the swoon level.
The most beautiful clothes in Paris?
The complete Dries Van Noten collection at Bon Marché. If I were younger, thinner, and debt didn't terrify me, this is all I'd wear. Balenciaga, standing out in the design firament for enduring elegance and precision.
I won't catalog the meals, as that's a small book, and foodie bloggers abound. Three standout places we loved:
Tiny, rowdy; a specialty food store with a restaurant in back. The menu is set (only one entreé, main course and dessert each day), the wine's bought up front with a 10E surcharge (for all bottles) to drink there. We brought a Parisianne friend and all of us were thrilled. Fantastic value.
Full review here.
Les Papilles, 30, rue Gay-Lassac, 5th arr.
RER: Luxembourg Tél: 01 43 25 20 79
Young chef Christophe Philippe is already renowned for dishes like his grilled duck breast with duck-stuffed ravioli and delicious lemon-cream millefeuille dessert.
The three of us agree, best meals of the trip. Le Duc actually cried over his dessert. Our young guest, my son's friend, said he had never eaten so well in his life. You will hear a great deal of English here, thanks to press from people like the NY Times' Mark Bittman, who are all over this find.
Full review here.
Christophe, 8 rue Descartes, 5th arr., Metro: Cardinal-Lemoine
Au Moulin a Vent (AKA "Chez Henri")
Classic French bistro done right (you actually can get bad cooking in a bistro, but not here). A shrine for meat lovers. The deep satisfaction of beautifully-cooked and joyously-served bourgeois fare. Gorgeous wines. Small, warm, sympatico, beloved by Parisians for over 60 years. Short review here.
Au Moulin a Vent, 20, rue des Fossés-St-Bernard, 5th arr.
PS. Packing list
Worked so well could have done a carry-on outbound: I automated my wardrobe. Bottom, black: two new pairs of INC techno pants (genius! lots of stretch, hardly wrinkled), two pairs of matte jersey palazzo-ish pants for evening (Talbots, ssssh), one matte jersey knee length skirt (from local designer).
Tops: cashmere tees for day, low Vs for evening. Black nylon lightly padded blazer-cut jacket. (Talbots again, the place I love to hate... but when they get it right, dadgummit, it works.) Scarves, cashmere shawl for plane. Shoes: Paraboot patent slip-ons for day, Taryn Rose ballerinas for evening, spare pair in case I didn't buy any. A few silk/wool camis for extra warmth. Le Duc said I looked like a 5th arr. local but I think I was just a suitably-dressed tourist.