Before we get into the meat of this post, let me just be upfront about something here: I HATE COLETTE. Yes, that concept store in Paris, smack in the middle of rue Saint-Honore. Sorry Parisians, but Colette is overrated. Everything in that store is over-priced, the food is not good, the service is the pits, and it’s ALWAYS packed with people of all sorts (most sorts you don’t want anything to do with), so I refer to it as a train station. Everybody’s mother goes there; and no my dear, that’s not a good thing. So shoot me for having an opinion.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I thought I’d bring your attention to another concept store in Paris instead – Merci. I know many of you have probably heard about the store, so it’s nothing new, but I wanted to highlight the wonders of Merci (in bold, underlined, font size 46 and in flashing neon pink). It’s truly a freakin’ haven, make that a mecca, for design and fashion fiends.
Housed in a beautiful 18th century building, this sun-lit loft is perfect for taking your time to enjoy everything the place has to offer. What’s more, Merci operates as a charity concept store, so the profits goes to a legit charity organisation. Shopping for a good cause, makes you feel a little better about yourself already, huh?
It’s really difficult to put into words the beauty of Merci – you just have to experience it for yourself. I visited the place with a friend in September, last year. During our trip, we were in the middle of a freak Indian Summer, but on the very day we stopped by Merci, it chilled out and I was pretty much freezing as we travelled out to Beaumarchais. I was glad to be able to take shelter in Merci, but the place truly stole my heart, from the courtyard entrance with a kitsch vintage car to the cosy book-cafe that had floor to ceiling shelves of books, books and more books (I’m a bookworm).
After going through their wares from furniture to stationary, cult designer fashions to niche beauty finds, I was instantly in love. And, I also stocked up on their renowned friendship bracelets as gifts for my friends back home. One of my best mates (French and with awesome taste) had previously gone and purchased a few back and I knew I had to get more. A girl can never have too many friendship bracelets – hear hear! Shopping done, we proceeded to park ourselves in the book-cafe and helped ourselves to freshly squeezed OJ, mushroom soup served in a glass (great for chilly weather), and a serving of yum-mums buffalo mozarella and roma cherry tomatoes on toast – heaven! Just reminiscing the food alone is making my mouth water.
Needless to say, we spent the whole afternoon there at Merci chatting away, stuffing our faces with good eats and just taking in the warmth and comfort of this philanthropic concept store. Merci Merci, for this amazing experience. Take my word for it, I will be back.
Merci is located at 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75011 Paris, France.