A friend is off to Paris in March and she asked me whether I could recommend any (non touristy) places to visit, especially of the interesting shop variety. One place immediately came to mind – Merci.
I had originally seen Merci featured in a magazine as “the world’s best charity shop”. This immediately caught my attention as I do love une boutique de charité. I put it at the top of my ‘Things to do when in Paris’ list. It did not disappoint.
Set on boulevard Beaumarchais (Paris 3e), from the outside you would be forgiven for thinking it was just a petite, modern Bohemian, book-lined cafe. The cafe itself is painted in down pipe grey, which intensifies the feeling of intimacy but carry on past the tables through to the back of the cafe and it opens up in to an immense light-filled space.
Merci is unlike any charity shop I have been in before. It is a concept store, selling a mixture of new and vintage products. Designers such as Stella McCartney and YSL, wave their profit in order for the store to donate 100% of their profits to a children’s charity in Madagascar. Their philosophy is admirable, the store is stunning, their products are beautiful and just to make it that little bit more perfect, there was an original red Fiat 500 parked in the courtyard. Magnifique.