Off to Paris to hunt for antiques? Don’t go before you’ve read our guide
French antiques are, in many ways, very similar to their food. Always delicious yet often highbrow, high-end and high-priced. Luckily we discovered that if you narrow your Parisian shopping trip to the Marais district you’re in for a much less daunting trip.
Start your research by taking a look at our March issue for the best markets and shops to hunt in and a roster of handy travel tips.
To whet your appetite in the meantime, here are three of our favourite shopping haunts in the Marais.
Sentou, 29 Rue François Miron
Funky glassware and block colour bowls sing out from the white shelves of this Marais institution (it has been open since the 1960s and now has three other shops in Paris). Featuring a stocklist characterized by fun design and clean lines, the trendy young sales girls will be more than happy to point you in the direction of their statement furniture in the vaulted basement floor, themed by room. We fell utterly en amour with these sweet little eggcup people by Danish design company Lucie Kaas (above, €15 [£12]).
Hier pour Demain, 4 rue des Francs Bourgeois
Right on the historic main drag of the Marais, the rue des Francs Bourgeois, Francis Vergnet’s shop sells retro pieces from all over northern Europe. Having come from working in 18th-century antiques in Versailles, Francis started Hier pour Demain as a shop for Art Deco pieces. Three years ago he decided midcentury was the way to go and now restores pieces in his studio at home in Vaselle in the east of Paris before selling them in the Marais. His funky retro chairs start from around the €200 [£164] mark.
Espace Kiliwatch, 64 Rue Tiquetonne
Fashionistas at the ready – this place is a vintage clothes department store. So big you could get easily lost among its rails, it's worth the short walk beyond the bounds of the Marais to rue Montorgueil area - which has wonderful food shops anyway - to take a look. The customer base is more or less as diverse as the clothes themselves. When we were there boho Parisian teenagers were rummaging around next to a tweeded Irish couple buying belts. You can pick up everything from a classic ostrich leather bag (we saw one for €39 [£32]) to graceful Hermes scarves for €220 [£180].
For more antiques hotspots in the Marais, see the full feature in Homes & Antiques March 2014