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Nov 23, 2011 04:56 AM

Marks & Sparks on the Champs-Élysées

Tomorrow Marks & Spencer will open on 100 Champs-Élysées (near the George V metro stop) returning to Paris after an absence of a decade. The new store will include a modest food court, according to a report in Le Figaro,

Eventually they will open more stores as well as branches of their stand-alone Simply Food. I am very eager to see their marmalades - - particularly grapefruit - - return to France. And I do have a weak spot for their prepared Indian foods.

I am eager to learn if others share my enthusiasm and if any of my favorites will actually be available in the first outpost.

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  1. Why does this make me kind of sad? even though I don't have anything against M&S and technically don't even live in Paris anymore.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kerosundae

      What was really distasteful was when M&S closed their profit-making Parisian flagship store in order to "enhance share-holder vaiue."

      I'm sure the store on the Champs will do really well.

      1. re: vielleanglaise

        Agreed. The return of M&S to Paris is really, really great news.

    2. Great to know i can find clotted cream again even if it means going to the stupidest avenue in the world.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Parigi

        I think we've already had this conversation before, but I buy clotted cream chez les turques. It's called kaymak. There's long life and less long life versions. Less long life is more lucious.

        1. re: vielleanglaise

          I have had amnesia about this conversation. Must be age or alcoholism. Great to know. Merci.

      2. Open tomorrow? Yay! I knew it was coming, and that they were aiming for pre-Christmas, but YAY.

        Their foods are stellar (I know lots of French folks who are excited to see the store returning just for the goodies!) and their other merchandise is of good quality for fair prices.

        Can't wait.

        11 Replies
        1. re: sunshine842

          Le Figaro says that the Champs Elysees has a tiny food anticipation of M&S opening 6 outlets of their 'Simply Food' shops across Paris, so soon there'll be no need to trudge up that ghastly avenue!

          1. re: sunshine842

            Remembering a dinner in Paris last year where my hosts proudly served Oreos as an exotic, imported dessert, I have to wonder which M&S foods French folks think are "stellar."

            I have to admit that I did love M&S's dark chocolate digestive biscuits. It is one of those guilty pleasures where I simply do not read the ingredients label. I wonder if they still sell them . . .

            1. re: RandyB

              Just many things that can't be found in France. Real double (unfermented) cream. Clotted cream (not quite the same as kaymak...). British cheeses (allright not Neal's Yard's but heck they'll do), marmalades, pork pies, decent sherries and ports, real bacon, potted crab, prepared dishes and pies not above Picard level but not below either, and more. Including really comfortable, ladder-resistent hosiery and the like. Sensible things that French brands have stopped producing long ago. Food distribution in the UK is a real delight and M&S brings to Paris something "different", not "better" but certainly filling a gap.

              1. re: Ptipois

                Ok, between clotted cream and marmalade, you got me!

                1. re: Ptipois

                  After l get my ladder-resistant hosiery, l will get the marmalade and Gentleman's Relish, over there this AM

                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                    While you're at it you can also get some very comfy undies to go with that. Oh, and decent little Melton Mowbray pork pies.

                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                      Finally got there after not being able to wait the last time l tried. They had one marmalade, no peel, Food court is size of my flat. Bought nothing, feh

                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                        they're supposedly going to open a number of Simply Food stores, and a couple of much larger non-food stores in the next few years. (I curbed my enthusiasm significantly when I saw that the Champs store was 1500 sq m on three levels -- not very big!)

                    2. re: Ptipois

                      re. the double cream....i've hunted for it for years and found it in Leclerc of all places....they were doing an artisinal farmers promotion. Anyhow, bought 2 vats of what is called Creme Crue Bio, 'une cuillere en moins, le gout en plus' from La Ferme de la Butiniere. Its stodgy,thick,yummy is which sounds very phone is0254805382
                      I'll swap you that for a buttermilk supplier!

                      1. re: chattanooga

                        Lait ribot in either demi-creme, or lait entier, my choice, is available everywhere. This is French buttermilk, usually from Brittany

                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                          You can also get lben, fermented milk Maghrebi style, in every supermarket. It is very close to lait ribot.

                          Real buttermilk, of course, is a very different thing. I've never seen on sale in France, though I've taken a couple of litres once from a butter-maker in Brittany. The farmers told me they had no permission to sell it. It was incredibly delicious.

                2. It is good news. I miss those days when I can do Galeries Lafayette than cross Haussman to M&S. The Champs-Elysees address won't be quite the same.