House of the holy (Hermès)

Today was the first visit on this trip to the Mothership, the main store for Hermès. While there are other stores around central Paris, this is the “house of the holy” if you want purses, scarves, jewelry, clothes. Unlike Louis Vuitton, there was no gauche line to get in. We didn’t come for a purse and hadn’t made a reservation for that. Yes, you need/hope to get a reservation to look for a purse they may not have. What, you expected to waltz in and expect they’d have the purse you want in the leather you wanted? Ha! Whether it was the pandemic or the time of the year, though it was busy, there was no line at the scarf counter three people deep and you could actually get a sales assistant to help you.

The Devil wears wallets on her Pradas

We inflicted relatively minor damages to the credit card balance and decided to head off in the direction of Galleries Lafayette to see whether they had set up their Christmas decorations. But on the way, we had to stop at Laduree for some more macarons (not macaroon). Fleur de Sel, Chocolate and Pistache.

Laduree on rue Royale , Christmas decor

On the way to Galleries, we passed by the bus stop where we’ll go to catch our shuttle bus (Roissy Bus) out to the airport the night before we leave. We’ve found it prudent to buy tickets in advance because once, we went to catch the bus, the ticket machine didn’t work, it was cold and raining and I had to walk around looking for an ATM to get cash to buy the tickets.

It was a little cool, so on the way from Laduree to Galleries Lafayette we looked for somewhere to get a cup of coffee and found Pret a Manger had a shop inside the Galleries Lafayette food hall, which is in a separate building across the street from the two six story main Galleries buildings (one for men and one for women). It’s Thursday afternoon, but it feels like Saturday it’s so crowded.

The main store across the street was equally crowded, though the Louis line wasn’t as long here as it was at the stand-alone Louis Vuitton store on Champs Elysee. The ground floor has a series of small cosmetics boutiques crowded into the center of the store, with bigger brands like Chanel and Vuitton in boutiques along the outer wall. Looking up to the domed ceiling, we could see that they hadn’t yet set up their Christmas display (here’s 2018). We’re a week or two early for Christmas decorations at the big stores, but some of the smaller venues have already started. We took the escalators up to the sixth floor anyway and then I trudged up to the rooftop terrace to get a view of the city. See this link to our trip to some European Christmas markets in 2018 (seems so long ago).

Galleries Lafayette sits opposite Opera Garnier on one side, but has a panoramic view of the city.

Opera Garnier (center) Eiffel Tower in distance on right
Village Royal near Hermès
Ceiling of Galleries Lafayette

I had to use the selfie camera to get this shot. They’d frown on you lying down on the floor to take a photo of the ceiling (and you’d get trampled). Once they put out the centerpiece of their decoration, they’ll use the glass walk platform you see on the left above to walk out, suspended over four floors, to get a close up view.

Late afternoon. No umbrella. It drizzled, again. I should learn.

Flickr photos.

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