Thursday 10 October 2013

The Chic Ladies guide to shopping in Rural France

When you think fashion capital of the world, you think Paris. Am I right ladies? The Champs Elyse, Rue Saint-Honore... It's where the ladies who know go to shop.

But when you think of rural France, and Normandy specifically, you think fashion bypass.... the land that fashion forgot. 

You will notice that I have not posted too many photos of myself since we have been in Normandy. That is because almost everyday, I wear a flannelette shirt and tracksuit pants. This way I fit in just like a local.

However, this does not necessarily always have to be the case. Just because your only daily outing is the supermarche, does not mean that shopportunities do not abound. Indeed, this is my guide to staying chic in the French countryside.

The best lipstick and foundation I have ever bought was from L'Eclerc in Normandy. For those of you not in the know, L'Eclerc is a very special "boutique" (I use this in the loosest possible sense of the word.) It stocks a variety of ladies products, including lingerie, fashion, cosmetics, even champagne.
It's equivalent, outside of France, would be Walmart in the USA, Tescos in the UK, and K-Mart in Australia. Oui! It is very fancy.
In all seriousness, I highly recommend L'Oreal Lipstick 297, and the L'Oreal foundation that it stocks. As far as lipstick go, this is incredible; exactly the right shade bright red that is so very Parisian chic,  it stays on longer than any other lipstick I've ever used, and is very moisturising. At around 10 Euros it is a steal!

It was only yesterday that I discovered my new scent for winter. It is Fleur de Figuier by Roger & Gallet. I got it at the pharmacy. This was a somewhat lavish purchase at 39 Euros, but it was an extremely convienient because I was able to pick up Berroca and kids cough medicine from the pharmacy in Domfront at the same time.

While at the pharmacy, I also stock up on Avene skin-care products; they cost approximately 2-3 times less than buying them in Australia, and the selection of products in France is much wider.

I am an absolute sucker for expensive shoes. In particular, I have a soft spot for Marc Jacobs and Kate Spade.
In Normandy. these things do not exist.
However, while you at L'Eclerc, you can also purchase a pair of Aigle boots for around 20-30 Euros. Then, when your fashion-forward friends in Hong Kong admire your new shoes, you will have massive bragging rights, after all they spent about 10-20 times that much at the Aigle store in IFC!

Friends, you already saw the fabulous outfit I picked up for Henry. If children's fashion is that good, can you imagine what choices are availabe for ladies? And because you will be shopping for your Friday night outfit at the supermarche,  you have the added convenience of being able to pick up some milk, a baguette and some camembert at the same time!

Interior design
Yesterday, Lachlan, Henry and I spent a fab afternoon trawling antique stores (well, an antique store with a toddler is not fab, but it would otherwise have been). Here are some of the chairs I was desperate to buy. I just need to work out how to ship them to Hong Kong. So long as you are prepared to look around, there are tons of fabulous antique stores. My favourite is Rue de Antique in Domfront.

After a hard day shopping, you certainly need refuelling.  Look no further than te Hyper-U (Walmart / Kmart / Tesco) in Mayenne. The chef used to be the chef at a 3 Hat Michelin Restaurant! Everyone in town knows this secret and knows the Hyper-U is the best place for lunch. In fact, our neighbours are going there today because they are celebrating their son's 25th birthday! Brilliant.
 And of course, being France, you can match some lovely table wine to your meal.

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