Love Letter

The Perils of Shopping Le Bon Marché

by Melanie Dunea

Enough goat cheese to melt your taste buds and your wallet.

There's more to the grand French department store than fashion. There's food.

PARIS, France – I am always looking for an excuse to spend time at Le Bon Marché in Paris. Some people want to revisit the Louvre, Museé d'Orsay, Printemps. Not me. It's Bon Marché all the way.

In the years I've been going, I've learned that it's VERY important to approach and attack with a plan. First stop, the cheese counter, where several goat cheese medallions are decorated like fabulous little Christmas trees. I was so excited when I saw this that I whipped out my camera to snap a picture.

"NON!" I was told, in the officious tone the French are so good at. They didn't care that I'm a professional photographer. Here's my expert advice: You shouldn't try to take pictures in the department store unless you want someone to "escort" (which is to say, shadow) you during your entire visit. Bonjour, Louis. I see you glaring from behind the baguettes. 

Next stop, the sugar aisle, with the most extraordinarily perfect cherries that reminded me of a Cézanne painting. My inner Betty Crocker was awakened by an infinity of sugar cubes. Small cubes, big cubes, green cubes, pink cubes — everything to decorate the most fabulous wedding cake you can imagine. I have never made a wedding cake, but the possibilities seem limitless.

Last stop, the charcuterie counter. I started salivating just looking at the sausages for sale. I needed to buy something to placate my shadow, so I pointed at the display and the guy wrapped it up. I thought I had ordered half a kilo, but what I received instead was a package the size of a packet of smokes with a price tag of less than one euro. It was the most delicious and best deal in Paris.


Le Bon Marché
24 Rue de Sèvres
75007 Paris, France

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