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Favorite finds for kitchen items from France

I have always wanted to find a unique champagne cooler in Paris and have yet to make it happen. Any ideas on stores that carry bar ware that might be worth a look.

Also, any kitchen items that you recommend as "so glad I got this" from Paris or Strasbourg?

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  1. A tangential suggestion is that you visit the Porte de Vanves flea market on a Saturday or Sunday morning. You will encounter stuff you never knew you needed, stuff that screams "Take me home!" regardless of the fact that you have no idea how to use it or will probably never make kugelhopf or canelles.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mangeur

      That does sound like something I would end doing.....maybe I will make kugelhopf..

    2. I recommend BHV a big,iconic department store on the rue de Rivoli. you won't find your cooler there, but they have tons of kitchen equipment. it's not a fancy food shop like Williams Somoma,rather a department store with lots of goodies,like art supplies and small appliances. also a great food equipment. It's right across the street from the Hotel de Ville,very beautiful to look at. The neighborhood is also quite nice to walk around (4th)

      10 Replies
      1. re: pammi

        Thank you....have never been to BHV but have passed it many times. I will have to forget everything David Leibovitz has written about the purchasing process at BHV! :-)

        1. re: travelbiscuit

          What is special about the purchasing process at the BHV? You pick your item, you wait in line, you pay, like everywhere else.

          1. re: Ptipois

            Exactly - lots of cash registers and places to pay. Slightly more complex if you want something delivered but nothing tricky.

            And even better than the cooking section is the hardware heaven in the basemet....!

            1. re: PhilD

              The hardware basement is what the BHV is famous for. It even has a reputation for matrimonial search (single women go there to rummage through nuts and bolts, sooner or later some guy proposes to help, and there is a small café right in the basement...)

              Now that La Samaritaine is no more, the kitchen department has become the best in Paris. Even better than the Galeries Lafayette Maison which has the same ownership. When I want to buy kitchenware, I go to the BHV, that's a no-brainer.

              1. re: Ptipois

                While I haven't bothered to check it out myself, I have read on other forums that the sous sol hardware area of BHV has undergone "diminishment" in the latest remodeling. Complaints were mostly from residents who said they were no longer able to buy the bits and pieces they had counted on for apartment repairs, etc.

                Recent experience from locals?

                1. re: mangeur

                  "Recent experience from locals?"
                  I just bought some stuff in the basement and I noticed nothing amiss save that they'd moved or removed the wine gadget section.

                  1. re: mangeur

                    The renovation is still underway so no doubt some things will have gone astray - hopefully temporary.

                    1. re: PhilD

                      I went there last week to pick faucet joints, as usual it took me 20 minutes to find out where they were, as usual the place was a big mess, as usual I had to ask for help, as usual it took me 20 minutes to find the cash registers, same as it ever was. Did not notice anything different.

                      The BHV basement is a sort of mysterious jungle, and I like it that way. Ground and upper floors feel far more civilized.

            2. re: travelbiscuit

              Actually I find BHV is especially good if you are a visitor looking to get your GST refund paperwork done. 1 easy stop at an upper-floor customer-service counter, no queue. Apparently this is not the case at the Grands Boulevards stores, which get bus loads of shoppers intent on handbags etc.

              And agree it has good sections for functional kitchen stuff.

            3. re: pammi

              I'm a fan of BHV, especially the hardware department. Still, it's pretty much a normal department store -- owned, in fact, by Galeries Lafayette.

            4. At the above mentioned Porte de Vanves flea market, on the right heading down Rue Marc Sangnier is a stand that always has 20-30 champagne coolers.

              1 Reply
              1. I purchased a can opener that opens those rounded triangular tins of foie gras, but my absolute favorite kitchen item is this round, plastic holder for brie and camembert cheese I purchased for less than 2 euros at an inexpensive kitchen items store..rue bonaparte? rue de rennes. The card is home.

                1. I would have a problem going to Paris and not making a stop at E Dehellerin.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Bigjim68

                    that is on the list for sure! Thanks to all and hopefully I will get to BHV also.

                  2. Just want to say that this is first time I made a recommendation on this board that all the ' names' I see on this board with regularity agreed with. Very humbled and pleased :)

                    1. Would BHV be a good place to buy a candle snuffer ( I guess that's what they're called)?

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: CMichaelis

                        Maybe - but it would be modern. My suggestion is to find a Diptique (sp?) candle shop (there is an outlet in Bon Marche) from memory they have nice ones and wick trimmers.

                        1. re: PhilD

                          Thank you for your reply. I had already planned on going to Bon Marche so will look for the candle shop. We had thought about going to one of the flea markets, but this sounds perfect.

                          1. re: CMichaelis

                            One of their main shops is on Bd St Germaine 100 yards east of Maubert-Mutualite metro in the 5th.

                          2. re: PhilD

                            The candles at Diptique are lovely. They do sell a candle snuffer for about $40. It's quite modern but elegant. You'll probably have the best selection if you go to an actual Diptique shop, though. Of course, you shouldn't miss Bon Marche, for its epicerie and lovely and elegant clothing/housewares, etc. collection.