PRINTEMPS PARIS HAUSSMANN SPRING 2013

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Due mostly to lack of time, one thing I never got to do over the first two occasions I’d been to Paris was shop. With my visiting friends glad and willing to contribute to Europe’s ailing economy, I made sure their schedule included a trip to world-famous Au Printemps – all three buildings of it. I myself should have dropped by there a long time ago – freezing Spring weather aside as I soon found out, it was one dreamy-looking store!

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Surely there was an Asian convention in town as you couldn’t wave a chopstick without hitting one (of us)! We were clearly the majority of those wandering the store and, as evidenced by all the shoulder-slung shopping bags I saw, most were clearly there for the high-end experience. It was a bit funny seeing some carrying gigantic Chanel bags like sherpas going up a mountain but it certainly gave credence to this news item that came out recently. I’m beginning to believe now really is the Asian Century.

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Not only was it my first time in the ethereal confines of Au Printemps, it was also the first time for me to try the deliciousness that is Ladurée. How could I have ever missed these before! After inhaling a batch of different flavors of macarons, we went back for seconds, and each time there was a queue to buy them. I later found out there was another Ladurée outlet in the same complex, as well as familiar brands like Hediard, La Maison du Chocolat, and others that I would have loved to try. From thousand-Euro handbags to clothes to macarons, it was just luxury at every turn – oh, if I only had the money!  
Incidentally, the name Au Printemps is French for ‘in the Spring’. Given the frigid weather outside, this literally was the closest we would get to experiencing our ‘Paris in the Spring’, though it’s easy to admit this was just as beautiful. A giant flower-covered bunny should be enough to prove that. 

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