Paris holds a very special little place in my heart.
I first visited Paris with my parents when I was 6 years old. I was perhaps a clumsier traveller then than I am now. The highlight (or lowlight?) of the trip was me pouring orange juice all over my dad on the plane. Our luggage didn't make it to France, and by the time we got into the city, all the shops were shutting for the bank holiday weekend so my parents just about managed to get me a couple of bits but nothing for themselves. We then checked into a tiny little hotel with no air conditioning. The rest, I'd rather not go into too much detail...
Anyway, fast forward many years, Paris was where Jimmy and I celebrated our first (going out) anniversary, his 30th birthday, and our elopement!
One of my absolute favourite things to do is to wander around and soak up the Parisian culture and architecture, poke my head through giant wrought iron gates (not literally) and take a peek at cute little courtyards. And guys, I have found possibly THE cutest courtyard in all of Paris... just look at this!
Merci is housed in a beautiful, historic building that used to be a wallpaper factory for 150 years. Located in the heart of the 3rd arrondissement and set over 3 impressive levels - each with its own character - Merci is a shopaholic's heaven, and a designer's dream. Everything is eclectically curated. Whether it's trendy kitchenware in the basement, vintage clothing and accessories on the ground floor, or the most scrumptious stationery or furniture in the loft, I dare you to leave empty handed!
But my favourite part of the whole store has got to be the Used Book Cafe and the courtyard that its floor to ceiling windows open out onto! We only went there for brunch but I can totally see myself while away the hours with a cup of tea, a slice of cake, and one of 10,000 books they have in the library! It may not be the cheapest place to have tea and cake, but it's all for a good cause. Proceeds from the store go towards an endowment fund for educational projects and development in south-west Madagascar!