March 5th, 2010

Secret Address: All Things French (in NYC)

New York has so many great French shops and restaurants, it is impossible to cover them all. So as admitted francophiles, we end our week with a smattering of French finds. Many of these stores have websites, plus we’ve included web-based “boutiques” for easy ordering no matter where you live.

Maison du Chocolat carries the most sublime chocolates, enough said.

Pylones has fun colorful gifts for kids, everything is adorable and reasonably priced.

Claude-Noelle Toly of Le Fanion

Le Fanion is a tiny shop chock full of earthenware, traditional pottery, chandeliers and antique furniture from the south of France. Located in the heart of the West Village, Le Fanion has been in business for 23 years and the owner Claude-Noelle Toly is as chic as can be. Tartine is right down the street for a perfect post shopping lunch.

If you have a preteen/teenage daughter with a rock’n’ roll bent (like ours) check out Zadig & Voltaire in the meat-packing district. The T-shirts are amazing for any age, especially when worn under a classic navy blazer- nothing run of the mill here.

We like Comptoirs des Cotonnier’s philosophy because it’s about clothes meant for women and their daughters no matter what age. While the Soho boutique does not carry children’s yet, it is a great place for peasant blouses, thin knits and good basics–in those great subdued french shades you can’t find in American boutiques.

Whether you are looking for french toiletries like Marseille soaps, Bensimon sneakers or authentic cookbooks, is a great source. Good for gifts, too.

Marseillais Soap

French cookbooks

Bensimon sneakers

If you want an authentic fisherman’s striped shirt, go to the source, Saint James. This Normandy-based company has been producing them since 1850, and they still show up in almost every chic woman’s wardrobe (J. Crew even has one of their styles this spring). There is a boutique on upper Madison Avenue, but you can shop online as well. The navy wool nautical sweaters are equally fantastic. Great for cool spring days and summer nights.

Jean Seberg

Finally, Les Toiles de Soleil offers sunny, colorful striped fabrics that are made in the Pyrénees of France and would perk up any room or outdoor seating area. (They have espadrilles and totes in their multi-color stripes as well.)

Bonne shopping!

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  1. Bonjour Claude-Noelle,

    Dix ans après les tours jumelles et notre “correspondance” dans le Dauphiné-Libéré. Je viens à NY en famille fin août….Peut-on passer vous voir? Cordialement
    Patrice Palau

    Patrice PALAU
    March 29th, 2011  3:00 AM

  2. There used to be a French Provence store in the upper East side which sold dried lavender and flower baskets. Do you know if it’s still there and what the name of it is? Thanks.

    January 5th, 2013  2:05 PM

  3. @Katya

    Are you speaking of l’occitane?

    February 17th, 2013  1:56 AM


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