Hitting The Shops.

I always find shopping in Paris is slighty different to back home...

The photo above is taken from the Beaugrenelle shopping centre about 5 minutes from the Eiffel Tower. 

Beaugrenelle has to be my favourite shopping centre here in Paris, as it has a huge M&S in it and it is always really quiet. Only it's not open on Sundays. In fact, nearly all shops are closed on Sundays, apart from a few on the Champs Elysées. The only shopping mall you will find open is Les Quatre Temps in La Défense. Whilst I do appreciate that it means the shop assistants get a day off, it does frustrate me as I always seem to need to buy something on a Sunday!

In terms of supermarket shopping, this is a topic I could go on about for hours! On my list of things I miss most about home, Sainsbury's is top of the list. For a start, everyone in French supermarkets always has a basket, but they are literally NOWHERE to be found. I'm not sure if people pick them up in the car park or something, but I often find myself trying to carry a weeks worth of groceries around in my arms and dumping them at the till as quickly as possible. I also always feel that French supermarkets are so illogical. Ours back at home all seem to have the same layout, no matter which chain you shop at, with fruit and veg at the front and the bakery always at the back. 

This is found in a small local Monoprix. An entire section for plain yoghurt.

No, not in France. In my local Auchan, which is apparently around 7000m2, so pretty huge, you'll find a small aisle at the front dedicated to yoghurt and cheese. I spent ages thinking how can this just be it?! But no, about 10 aisles along you'll find a good 6 aisles dedicated purely to yoghurt, with one entirely dedicated to every brand of plain yoghurt you could ever imagine. You'll also be able to buy a bag of about 60 onions, but if you want just one, sorry, no can do. 

That's hopefully given you an idea as to how big this supermarket is. So this is why I was wondering why, in a supermarket so huge, that this is the only curry sauce you can buy. I'm not even kidding, there were rows and rows of tomato based pasta sauces, but when it comes to a quick curry, you'll have to put up with this heavily coconut based, tasteless, bland sauce.

Uncle Ben you should be ashamed.
I also find people's behaviour in supermarkets kind of strange. I don't know if this acceptable or not, but the other day this woman walked up to the Coke aisle, opened up a fridge multipack and just took one. I know they do this for water, fine, but for a product which specifically says on it "sold as part of a multipack"? As I watched her do it, she turned to me and did that typical Gallic shrug I've come to love/hate so much and walked away.

Another aisle I find funny is the Bio aisle. The French seem to have recently developed an obsession with all things organic, meaning the Bio aisle is just getting bigger and bigger. It's like having a mini supermarket just on one aisle, as you'll find tea bags hanging out next to apple sauce and Tofu just above bread.

Talking of putting things in weird places, it has always made me laugh that my local M&S here puts Baked Beans in the fridge. Hmm, no.

In terms of clothes shopping, Paris has the usual H&M and Zara, only I don't find the high street here as affordable. 

The clothes rail above can be found in The Kilo Shop, which I find is a pretty cool idea, you fill a basket with clothes, they weigh it and you pay by the kilo. A lot of the clothes look and smell like someone died in them in the 80s, but I've been told you can pick up some really nice pieces if you delve deep enough.

To finish this post, I leave you with a photo of one of my favourite shops in Paris, the Galleries Lafayette. If there's one place you need to go in Paris, it's here, and it's conveniently on the same road as an H&M, a Zara and even a C&A if your budget doesn't quite stretch to a 7000€ bracelet made out of a bit of cord (no, seriously).

A la prochaine!



  1. If the shops aren't all that, which I know they're not, then why did I spunk all my money on my year abroad on clothes and make up?! Love your fav Meg xxx


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