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Simon Thillou saw that Paris stores sold beers from all over the world. But no one was selling French beers. And so, in 2006, he opened La Cave à Bulles, where he offers an alternative to Europe s mass-produced beers. The Marais-area store sells more than 100 strictly authentic French beers. The bottles on the shelves are diverse, from their colors, to the region where they were produced, to the art on their labels. Since French beer is not well known, Thillou makes recommendations based on customers tastes for other beers. A 33cl bottle is cheap and can make an unusual souvenir gift for friends back home. - Betsy Mikel
The gallery is devoted to lamps. The white building is appealing with divine lighting. Avant-garde and zany style furniture is on display. Extremely contemporary and creative, the designs speak volumes of the works of designers, such as Charles Eames, George Nelson and Arik Levy. Come here to pick exquisite art and embellishments for your house!
At first glance, Shakespeare and Company is nothing more than another English bookstore. But just a few steps inside the door, you start to see why the storefront is just as much a museum as it is a legendary bookshop. Between the books stacked to the ceiling, there are notes, announcements and fliers left from visitors all over the world. Since 1919, the name Shakespeare and Company has been a refuge to writers. The original bookstore was the stomping grounds of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Joyce and others. Today, writers from all over the world come to share their work. Unknown writers have a place here, too; Shakespeare and Company lends sleeping space in exchange for a couple of hours of work in the store.
More for perusal than serious book-buying, Les Bouquinistes (book peddlers), with their characteristic green metal lockers and sit-around-all-day attitude, form a vital part of Parisian folklore. Most vendors are out along the banks of the Seine come rain or shine, selling an array of antique and not-so-antique books, manuscripts, prints, and postcards. Don't miss them, having no legal status, they may disappear one of these days.
La Ferme Saint-Aubin is a fromagerie with much more than just sumptuous cheese on offer. You can also buy tender, savory sausages, hams, flavorful sauces and different kinds of yogurt along with the cheese. The peppery chette au poivre or the amazingly soft goat cheese is highly recommended. The prices are a steal for the high quality of the delicacies. Certainly a place you should try if you are exploring the area.