exploring the rue du Cherche-Midi

It’s a long street in the heart of Saint Germain, it’s where our new Hotel Ferrandi is situated, and neither you or I know it very well for the moment (well, I don’t), so we decided to walk down it – yes, all of it! – to give you an idea of the charming shops you’ll find there.
Hotel Paris
all photos (c) jasonw


The rue du Cherche-Midi runs roughly southwest from the carrefour de la Croix-Rouge in the heart of Saint Germain to the place Camille Claudel in the 15th arrondissement. Our Hôtel Ferrandi is almost exactly halfway down, and a perfect base for shopping (and a lot of other things).

As we hadn’t yet explored the road very much, we thought it would be interesting to go down and take a photo of all the different shops (well, nearly all the different shops). You’ll find the complete Flickr gallery here with around 80 shots, but as a taster here’s a quick guided tour of the street.
Hotel Paris
First of all, let me say that’s it’s a street that is fairly quiet and narrow. Cars are allowed to go down it, but there’s not a lot of traffic to speak of. The shops at the top of the street are mostly small, hip brand names (Swatch, Camper, Marithé & François Girbaud) or small designer boutiques. If you are looking for shoes or bags, this is going to be heaven for you. Here’s a sneaky look inside the window of Marithé & François Girbaud (because inside they didn’t look all that friendly!), and a couple of other designer window displays nearby…
Hotel Paris
Hotel Paris
Hotel Paris
Hotel Paris
As you can see, there’s quite a wide variety on offer. Funnily enough, hidden hidden in the midst of all the glitzy clothes shops with a rather understated window display is the famous bread shop Poilane where you can procure some of their legendary bread and even order loaves inscribed with your name! Their bread is outstanding, and you’d be foolish to miss out…
Hotel Paris
Hotel Paris
As we walk further down this part of the street, there are a couple of nice-looking restaurants and a great chocolates shop called à la Reine Astrid. They were kind enough to let me take a photo…
Hotel Paris
Other shops were not quite so happy to have shots taken, and I got some distinctly dubious looks from some people. Perhaps if you are not actually buying anything they would prefer not to be bothered? In any case, we continued our walk towards the boulevard Raspail. Just on the corner of rue du Cherche-Midi and boulevard Raspail you’ll find a large interior decoration shop on two floors called Mis en Demeure. If you have a large house to decorate and an even larger bank balance, this is definitely the place to come. I saw quite a few things that I liked a lot and couldn’t possibly afford. I suppose you’d call that part of the Paris shopping experience…
Hotel Paris
Once over the boulevard Raspail, the Cherche-Midi ambiance changes. There are fewer designer clothes store and more antique shops, little brocantes and flower shops. The attitude has been left behind, but the class remains…
Hotel Paris
Hotel Paris
Hotel Paris
Hotel Paris
Hotel Paris
There are also a number of very specialist shops in this part of the street, such as a hairdresser that uses only products made from plants, furniture restorers and bathroom fittings shops…
Hotel Paris
…and towards the bottom of the street you’ll find the five Chercheminippes shops. These are dépôt-ventes where individuals can leave their items for sale or return. In five different shops between 102 et 124 rue du Cherche-Midi you’ll find menswear, women’s clothes (prêt à porter and designer), women’s clothes by Japanese designers, children’s clothes and household items. You may well find some designer stuff at pretty low prices.

We did veer off the street to show you two other interesting shops in the area. Firstly, English visitors may like to take a look in Tea & Tattered Pages, an English-language bookshop and tearoom that could be useful if you run out of reading matter during your stay (you’ll find them at 24 rue Mayet, see the map below, and according to their website they’re even open Sundays!).
Hotel Paris
Also, one of favourite quirky shops is at 31 rue de l’Abbé Grégoire (see map below). It’s called Au fil des Couleurs and they sell only wallpaper, but what wallpaper! Their selection is huge and their advice in choosing invaluable. Some of the designs are hard to resist – despite the prices – as they have the best designer collection in the city…
Hotel Paris
You’ll find the end of the rue du Cherche-Midi much quieter than the beginning, but by the time you get there you’ll probably be exhausted anyway from all the shopping! We very much enjoyed checking the street out. If you are looking for bags, shoes, jewellery, flowers, chocolates, wallpaper, bathroom fittings, a good meal, cheap designer clothes, expensive designer clothes, lovely bread, an organic haidresser, leaf tea to buy, antiques or great furniture and furnishings, this is the place to go!

And that’s not all. Nearby rue Saint Placide has whole host of cut-price clothes shops you should definitely check out, and just down the road is the upmarket department store Le Bon Marché and its food hall La Grande Epicerie. Unmissable!

Oh, and we know a nice little hotel you should try out too… 😉

Don’t forget that there are more photos of all the great things we saw in our extensive Flickr gallery


Bigger map here

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