On our second to the last day, my mom and I met R for breakfast at Merci - Paris' newest multi-brand concept store where a percentage of everything on sale goes to charity. This bright, loft-like space has been converted into a carefully-edited shop showcasing design items: from notebooks to gently-used furniture to cult sandals from K Jacques and soft t-shirts from James Perse. There is also a counter of Australian beauty brand Aesop (what I use) and another for Annick Goutal (Merci owners previously owned this brand along with the other cult children's label, Bonpoint). The cheeky Citroen parked permanently in the inner courtyard along with plants and garden furniture just shows how much fun Merci has with design and that they don't take themselves too seriously.
Aside from all the wonderful things in-store, there are also two places to eat - one opening directly onto the street like a French-style diner and another cafe leading into the store. The cafe walls are lined with floor to ceiling built-in shelves filled with donated hardcover books - partly decor and partly there for customers to flick through while enjoying a coffee. Cozy armchairs and mismatched furniture are scattered throughout and spindly crystal chandeliers light the place. The cashier's desk is an old used sink where cakes are also displayed. It's hard to explain and has to be seen to be appreciated.
We met R at the library-like cafe and had a simple breakfast of oeufs à la coque with toast soldiers ready to dip into the soft-runny yolk. R also ordered one of the daily cakes - a buttery lemon cake which went well with our morning detox ginger tea. After breakfast R headed off home to the Marais, my mom sat and read some of the books and I explored the store for a bit then it was back to St. Germain to visit another famous store.
|The whimsical spring picnic window at the left bank's new Hermes store|