I hit the stationery jackpot in Paris. On a single street–Rue du Pont Louis Philippe in the 4th Arrondissement–I found four great shops. The first one I went into was a design studio that offered a small selection of unique, Paris-themed cards. I chose this foldable diorama of famous Parisian sights as a souvenir of my trip:
I then visited Calligrane, which is the single-most posh stationery store I’ve ever been in.
The shop specialized in fine-quality Japanese paper, the stationery was impeccably displayed, and the shop keeper was a crisply dressed woman who was clearly used to serving a clientele of the rich and famous. And the prices proved it! Small paper journals ran 45 to 60 Euros (about $65 to $85)! I was able to find three flat cards I could “afford.” The picture doesn’t show the great patterns on this divine, rough-edged paper, but here it is anyway:
I also picked up a packet of five sheets of paper that came pre-folded into their own envelope:
Next, followed my favorite stationery store of the entire trip: Melodies Graphiques.
I swear, my heart began beating faster when I saw these windows! They’re spectacular!
The shop keeper, Eric, is a calligrapher and the walls of his shop sport envelopes of the letters he’s received from what he called his “fan club.” I think they were thank you letters for his services, notes from fellow calligraphers, etc. But they may have been just letters from folks who really loved his store. I know I’m one of them!
Melodies Graphiques had cards, stationery, journals, calligraphy pens and inks and other little gifts.
Here are a few pics of his shop:
And here are the things I brought home. Two pens–a swirled calligraphy pen with removable nib and a delicate red pen that writes like a dream when dipped in ink (the shop had a display that let me try it before I bought it).
I also picked up a few sheets of this paper:
And some French royalty stationery:
Here’s one of my favorites, a gold-embossed, flat-card set with the quill pen image:
And my favorite piece was this large flat card featuring some wonderful calligraphy in the image of Montmartre’s Sacre Coeur Basilica. Even the envelope is gorgeous!
Wow! So many wondrous things! Oh, I wish I had a store like that!
The fourth shop, which I only had an opportunity to window shop, was Papier Plus, and it featured brightly-colored journals and books. Definitely worth a look if I’d had more time.
P.S. Since this is my last installment about my trip to France, I wanted to share a few pictures of some of the amazing paintings France had to offer. They’re from the Orangerie Museum in Paris
Here are the waterlily paintings that circle around two oval-shaped rooms constructed especially to house these fabulous works by Monet. You feel like you’re in a rowboat in the middle of the pond, and that it’s every time of the day, depending on which direction you look!
And I leave you with a Renoir I found enchanting: