Galeries Lafayette 

N left on Saturday for a couple of weeks, and feeling a little down after he left, I thought that shopping would be a great distraction.

Galeries Lafayette (40 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris) is quite close to where I’m staying at the moment, and I’d walked past it a couple of times but hadn’t had the chance to go in. Emerging theme I know, but I’d read a bit about how beautiful it was inside, and so it seemed perfect for window shopping and some retail therapy.

First things first, do not visit here at lunchtime on a Saturday. Unless you like the feeling of  being herded like cattle. Which I don’t. It was just so full of people that the ground floor wasn’t a pleasant experience at all. They had an amazing selection of make-up and fragrance that I didn’t get to browse, just because it was so crowded. But the further up you go in the building, the quieter it gets.

I sat and had a drink in one of the store’s cafes and people watched for a while, taking pictures of the dome roof and the different levels. It really does beat Harrods hands down for  that, if you can look past the crowds, it’s a pretty place to be.

It’s absolutely packed with high-end designers, which sadly I can’t afford (the dream), but it also has a small number of great high-street brands. The Zara was fantastic, with a tightly edited selection that included a lot of their hero pieces for the summer. I was feeling a little spendy, so couldn’t resist an embroidered bomber jacket with birds and flower blossom all over it that I can’t wait to wear.

After realising that I’d spent a couple of hours in Galeries Lafayette, I decided to wander over to the first Chanel store on Rue Cambon (31 Rue Cambon, 75001 Paris). Another place I’d been wanting to visit since I arrived, it’s down a little side street, which I hadn’t been expecting. Somehow I thought it would be on a grand street like the Champs-Élysées. Another thing I hadn’t expected, naively, was the crowds. It was absolutely stunning inside though, and I would love one day to be able to visit Coco Chanel’s apartments which are above the store.

But for now I’m happy just to have spent that afternoon window shopping.

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