Blue and white at the Ralph Lauren Paris courtyard restaurant.
Merci's summery courtyard entrance was in need of some rain...
At Merci, a mix of natural and rustic textures, inside and out.
Chandeliers everywhere... with rough hewn wooden tables and antiques alike.
I did not spend all that much time shopping this visit but just enough to get a hit and test my husband's retail endurance.
First stop off the Eurostar was the chic Merci boutique (111 Boulevard Beaumarchais 75003) to see the cutting edge in French retailing.
It was not all that different to Anthropologie in its confident mix of eclectic, bohemian and textural pieces. Some of the merchandise is tempting, but the biggest attraction is the way its all put together - evidence of a keen stylist's eye.
The next must see was the new Ralph Lauren flagship store at 173 Boulevard Saint-Germain. Set over 4 levels in an historic 19th century building it is the perfect mix of American and French elegance.
While I shopped the various Ralph labels, each one on a different floor, the architect husband was kept well distracted looking at the beautifully considered restoration details. When I was starting to want to be thinner, younger and richer it was time to leave - via the courtyard restaurant which is decked out in blue and white banquettes. Heaven.
I would also recommend the loos on the lower ground floor. Must be the poshest in town.