In Paris, elegance is everywhere. From the architecture and cuisine to the immaculately dressed locals that stroll the leafy Parisian boulevards, the city lives by the watchwords of style, poise and grace, so it’s only right that your shopping experience should be the same.
To describe Les Galeries Lafayette as Paris’s premier department store is to sell the 100 -year old building a little short. Yes, this is the place to go if you’re looking to choose from more than 3,500 carefully selected brands, but Les Galeries Lafayette is an architectural attraction in its own right, a centre for fine-dining and a place-to-be-seen for Parisians. It’s a far cry from its relatively humble origins, having been founded in 1895 as a haberdashery. The owners experienced such success that within 10 years they had commissioned the plans for the current site on regal Boulevard Haussmann. It’s a classic of Art Deco architecture, all grand steel and glass domes, ornate staircases and a light and airy opera-house-like design that turns a day’s shopping into a joyous sensory experience.
MORE THAN A DEPARTMENT STORE
Alongside a range of affordable and luxury brands, you’ll find all sorts of extras to enjoy, like an in -store gallery that showcases the very best in international art. Staff are eager to help, with a team of personal shoppers, fashion consultants and beauty therapists ready to advise. When you’ve finished, a concierge service can deliver your new finds to your car or hotel. The food is, perhaps unsurprisingly, superb. You’ll find a 7,500m2 food court, as well as several on-site restaurants to choose from, each with a different take on gourmet cuisine. Sample world-beating sushi at Japanese concept restaurant Paris Tokyo, or traditional French fare with panoramic Parisian views at the rooftop La Terrasse. Don’t miss the 30-minute catwalk show either; held every Friday at 3pm in a private salon. If you see a piece you like, speak to a member of staff and they’ll have it waiting for you at the till. Its yet another example of the elegant service that places Les Galeries Lafayette among the world’s most luxurious shopping experiences.
WIN AN EXCLUSIVE VIP EXPERIENCE
Les Galeries Lafayette is offering you the chance to win an exclusive VIP experience, including a €150 gift card to spend in-store, a VIP welcome and access to a personal shopper. On top of that, every Lonely Planet reader can get entry to the Le Concierge VIP Lounge, which includes concierge service, hotel deliveries, use of the private wi-fi network and fast-track restaurant reservations.