Last year we brought you a feature all about concept stores when these high fashion stores were the fad that had taken over Paris.
This year, going against the fashion of boutiques curating all sorts within the one space, it's no longer the done thing – especially for keen foodies who wouldn't be caught dead shopping at the supermarket, but rather, at the popular épiceries fines (high-end grocers and delis). These luxury speciality stores dot the city and include the Left Bank department store Le Bon Marché's La Grande Epicerie de Paris and L'Epicerie Générale as well as luxury shops Fauchon and Hédiard.
Taking the épicerie trend further, there is a new generation of dinner party hosts that will only swear by traditional speciality shops where the owners just want to do one thing, and do it well. One such example, especially with visitors to Paris, is Ladurée for its macaroons. However, hosts are now turning to single product stores and boutiques for all the extras and not just dessert. One of these shops is Le Comptoir des Rillettes in self-proclaimed neighbourhood 'So-Pi' (South Pigalle). Owned by the same people who run Les Rillettes restaurant just up the street, this little deli is all about the cold slow-cooked paté-like meat or fish mixture.
A little more high-end is the favourite Maison Dubernet, which from the 19th century has specialised in the age-old French delicacy of foie gras, close to the Champs de Mars.
Any expert dinner party host will know that ending a meal with fine cheeses is intrinsic to a perfect evening and there's no other place to go than Barthélémy. For cheese, one needs bread and the Maison Poilâne, with its three boutiques and e-shop, is the perfect stop for freshly baked bread with that renowned French savoir-faire.
Once you have stocked up on foie gras, cheese and bread, you need wine – and not just any old bottle will do. French wines are generally excellent and there is no other place to shop for the world's very best than at the upscale Les Caves de Taillevent. Attached to the Michelin-starred Le Taillevent restaurant and Le 110 de Taillevent upmarket brasserie, the wines here have been meticulously handpicked for the last 20 years and include wines from the biggest châteaux including La Lagune and Haut Bailly.
Although wine is the perfect choice to go with a sumptuous meal, an aperitif always precedes. For those who like something a little bolder than a kir or champagne, La Maison du Whisky in Opéra is a treasure trove of vintage whiskies and other spirits by international brands from all over the world.
For hosts who have more of a sweet tooth, Alain Ducasse, Michelin-starred chef and owner of a restaurant empire, opened his very own chocolate Manufacture in the lively Bastille neighbourhood where chocolate is made onsite. Or, for something a little more unusual, La Pistacherie sells nothing but luxury pistachios covered in all sorts from chocolate to fruit paste.
With some of the writers on the LUXOS Paris team being British, we couldn't leave out the luxury teahouse Dammann Frères established in 1692 and its three Paris boutiques. The maison specializes in the tea of the emperors, white teas from Africa to Asia, as well as green, black and herbal teas, most of which have been selected specially by Dammann Frères tea experts.
The rise in the single-product speciality food boutique trend goes to show that Parisians care more than ever about what goes on their plate at home as well as when eating out. Visitors to the capital who want to bring home a little Parisian food culture, will have no problem in picking up a few terroir treasures – the only difficulty will be choosing which ones to eat first once back home!