Le Bon Marché department store

Frankly, the Christmas windows were a disappointment. I saw one little boy looking into them, but there wasn’t much to look at. So I went on inside and spent a good two hours walking around.


The New York equivalents to Le Bon Marché, I guess, would be Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys. My favorite place to wander here is in the gorgeous Housewares department. In 2013 the entire store underwent a massive renovation. This, in my opinion, has its pros and cons. As dazzling as the new store is, there are things that I miss about the old store. Example: Le Bon Marché used to have a Hats, Scarves, and Gloves department in the middle of the main floor that I loved. All items were casually displayed on tables and you could easily help yourself and try them on. The scarves in particular were out of this world. That’s all gone now. Cold metallic counters and display cases are now in place on the ground floor. The friendly coziness has gone. 

I wrote a post about this very topic last year when I went into another favorite department store looking to buy a simple skillet. I only found luxury, unaffordable skillets. Because department stores the world over have taken the luxury route, ordinary shoppers like myself feel pushed out. The link to this post is below.


For years I’ve been admiring this state-of-the-art Jura espresso machine (Swiss.) Too expensive for my budget, I’m afraid. I love these colorful Marimekko cups and mugs (Finnish.)


Here’s the small whisk that I found, the one on the left.


Cotton and linen tablecloths and dishcloths from Italy below. Le Bon Marché is essentially an expensive emporium filled with beautiful things. You don’t have to buy. You can just walk around and look Pour le plaisir des yeux, as the French say (for the pleasure of the eyes).


Down to the Food Hall, called La Grande Epicerie, where an abundance of treats and delicacies are on display. I must admit that after writing about the Syrian refugees the other day, I felt slightly ashamed. We have so much here. An embarrassment of riches.


This fruit has three different names. Back home in Canada, I called them tangerines. Here they’re called clementines. And in the U.K., they call them satsumas. Another name is mandarin. Whatever you call them, winter wouldn’t be winter without them. Or without lychees, also a favorite wintertime fruit here, rich in antioxidant vitamin C and other essential nutrients.


Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without marzipan. Since childhood, when I found marzipan pigs in my stocking, I’ve adored almond paste.


Here’s the post on department stores that I wrote last year entitled Department stores in Paris, Chinese shoppers, and searching for a frying pan.