The Time I Went to Paris

On 8 October I took a train to Paris. I arrived there just after the capital’s fashion week had ended, which gave me the chance to visit beauties such as the Oh So London exhibition in the high-end department store Le Bon Marché without the hustle and bustle of all the people brought into the city by the event.

The Le Bon Marché exhibition was very well thought-out. It showcased a collection of Bryan Ferry’s albums, a whole section dedicated to Kate Moss and a few collections by British celebrity-come-designers such as Lucy in Disguise (Lily Allen) and Pretty Green (Liam Gallagher). I wasn’t exactly allowed to take pictures (a mysterious plain-clothes security guard told me off as soon as I zoomed into a bunch of Lanvin ties), but I did my best.


Walking around Paris you cannot avoid stumbling upon all sorts of wonderful things almost constantly. The best of my visit included a whole pink-and-blue window dedicated to Matthew Williamson’s chocolate, a Russian tea chain shop called Kusmi, a gorgeous Isabel Marant window, the biggest Zadig et Voltaire store ever seen by human eyes and a very elegant tea and candle company called Mariage Frère – Comptoir deThé (the Darjeeling candle is on my Christmas wishlist).

One of the highlights of my trips, however, was a unique and beautiful jewellery shop, which I reached at the end of a long walk from La Frégate, a great upmarket-yet-affordable restaurant on the Rive Gauche, where I had a mouth-watering confit de canard with garlic roasted potatoes…

Going back to the jewellery shop (!), this little boutique is called BRAI exclusive and takes its name from the homonymous jewellery collection created by two of the most inventive jewellery designers I’ve met in a long time. Delphine Pariente started off her career designing bags in 1998 moving to jewellery pretty soon after and hasn’t stopped creating one-of-a-kind pieces of art since. Her co-designer Claire Naa is also extremely creative and is the creator of the origami jewellery. I bought two pink gold little pendants, but it was very hard to choose.


Unhappy with the huge (but seemingly not sufficient) amount of cash I had spent until that point, I went vintage shopping. I was lucky there. Shall we talk about how cheap quality vintage is in Paris? I headed to the hip area Le Marais and visited Fripes Star, Free ‘P’ Star (my favourite) and Le Verger du Prince among others. I bought a lovely blue polka dot 1940s dress, a skirt, two pairs of shoes, a jumper and a hat, all way under £20 each.

Oh Paris, I want to come and see you again!

The Best Shop in Lisbon

In the centre of Mouraria, a small up-and-coming area behind Alfama, sits A Loja, an incredibly inspiring vintage shop. The owner is a very sweet young French lady who loves all things original and vintage.

First of all, I have to apologise for the quality of pictures. When I first found this gem of a shop, it was night time and a brilliant little street party was in full swing. A few people were jamming in the tiny square adjacent to it and the restaurant right on the square was selling drinks (double shots, a large wine and everything in between) €1 per glass. I stopped by, drank, danced, made friends, bought a lovely little book from A Loja and took a few pictures of the shop with my mobile phone. A couple of days later, before my return to the UK, I decided to take more pictures, this time with a film camera, in the daylight. Unfortunately the daytime pictures didn’t work out as the camera went crazy and I had to resort to my first batch of mobile photos!

A Loja is full of vintage clothes, books (the one I bought was a very affordable 1969 copy of Sociologie de la Mode, by René König), small furniture such as chairs and shelves, cushions, vinyls, bowls and all sorts of charming knickknacks. A cage was hanging above the door with two colourful birds in it and more often than not you’ll hear crackling 1950s music playing which will definitely get you in the vintage mood.

If you happen to stop by in Lisbon, this is a wonderful little shop that has to be visited! You will not be disappointed.

A Loja, Largo dos Trigueiros, 16B, Lisbon.