Thursday, June 24, 2021

La Samaritaine


Yesterday I went to the first day opening of newly renovated and much anticipated La Samaritaine department store near Pont Neuf. There were long lines, but the place is so big they let us hoi polloi in almost immediately. 

The best thing you can do when visiting a new building is scoot up to the top floor via the elevator. Then leisurely take in the view as you drift down by escalator. You’ll get a much better sense of the whole place - a total of 7 floors to explore, since the French insist on calling the first floor zero.

Throughout are areas of artzy decor. This is photo of the Arte Nouveau renovation not someone still restoring the famous peacock ceiling opening day.

Like this furnishing display. I dont think Samarataine even sells furniture. 

Bendy yellow Parisian lampposts display items on each floor. 600 brands are represented, most of them luxury, but plenty for the kids. Egg yolk yellow is the signature Samartaine color if you didn't already guess. I’ll bet they don’t call it that...

Another flashy display - this conglomeration of Ruinart Champagne bottles.

Veuve Clicquot fits in with a prominent boutique of yellow metro seats and new tin containers with metro names. The perfect yellow collaboration.

A great commotion and long anxious lines at the Chanel shoe boutique on the 4th floor.

I asked their blonde rep, smartly dressed in white bouclé and glitter trim, “What’s up?”
“Oh we have the newest Chanel shoe styles you can’t find anywhere else.“ Word out PBers. Change your tickets fast. Tell em Parisbreakfast sent you.

I kind of stalked this stunning trench coat with enormous sleeves. It must be the house brand, Louis Vuiton?

Big voluminous sleeves are IN if you didn't know already PBers. Practicality has never been an issue in fashion.

My haul. You simply must walk out with a signature yellow shopping bag. I bought 3 rolls (4€ each and probably the cheapest thing in the place, yet very attractive I thought) of Samartaine washi tape to seal your envelopes 💌LETTER BUYERS. I said to the sales guy “they are le plus moin cher choise?” He agreed. Staff are  mostly young and attractive, wearing striped  marinier T-shirts and navy blazers. Easy to spot and friendly. The atmosphere is jolly and lively. Unattended ice cream carts (that sadly do not sell ice cream) on each floor sell souvenir art nouveau pencils and post cards, chocolate bears/ourson guimauve ,playing cards and my washi tape in 3 designs. They gave away yellow wrist ribbons. So you’re a walking advert for Samaritaine.

There are casual small cafes and coffee bars scattered on each floor. Plus a fancy restaurant on the top floor that requires reservations. 

I was thrilled to see they have Fermob’s Luxembourg chairs in the eggy yellow. But I painted the yellow cups instead. And a bottle of Veuve. My word on Samartaine: def GO. Really a fun experience.🐝☺️🥂✏️🍋🍾


  1. Loralei1:23 PM

    La la la la
    OMG…and yellow is my fav color…that chair …that bag!
    Hope you had a fabulous time!

  2. The Parisian department stores are like thrilling amusement parks, but I don't understand how they stay in business! Who pays the prices? What do they do with all the stuff?

    Does France/Paris have good secondhand clothing stores?

  3. Pamela M1:52 PM

    This was just a delightful post, thank you Carol for taking us to Samaritaine!

  4. So exciting to see the grand opening of an iconic department store! I remember it in long days past & the splendid roof top with a grand view.
    Dare you venture into the hotel & share?🗝❤️

  5. Looking forward to this! We have tickets to fly October 16th. We have fond memories of the old Samartaine. Thanks for the preview, Carol.

  6. Added to my must see on my Paris trip, unfortunately no date yet. ❤️ It Thanks.

  7. Will find some yellow to wear today in honor of - first paris dept. Store i went into& even ate there. Was excellent & priced well!
    Merci pour le tour

  8. What a fun outing! Disappointing about those ice cream carts.

  9. I didnt see the rooftop terrace..or signs for it.
    I’m hoping too 🙏

    I’m not sure the hotel is open yet..also no signs. There is enough to keep you busy with 3 buildings to get through anyway. The hotel can wait.
    I’m glad you all enjoyed the tour :))

  10. Lynne2:54 PM

    I fell in love with yellow couch. Fabulous store

  11. Jane G2:55 PM

    J’aime jaune!
    Ooooh, I must go!
    See, you are near everything.
    Moi, I walk outside . . . and it is still North Carolina.

  12. Kappy2:57 PM

    I would love to visit this newly renovated department store, La Samaritaine in Paris.

  13. Diane2:57 PM

    it was closed for 16 years!!!! i thought it was out of biz even though they were saying they were working on it. i remember going to the roof many years ago.

  14. looks marvelous!!!

  15. Oh Carol, thank you so much for the little tour of La Samaritane - it was my favorite dept store in Paris and I've been waiting for this reopening. I need to get one of those yellow tins - I just finished reading "French House" the story of Nicole Cliquot and how she turned the champagne house into what it is today. Very good book.

  16. I understand that the rooftop terrace will no longer be open to the public. It will be reserved for hotel guests only.

  17. Wow! I am so glad that you were there on opening day to share this with us. I was heartbroken when Samaritaine closed so many years ago…fearing its reincarnation as a hotel would render it unrecognizable. But, the renovation stayed true to its art nouveau roots. Stunning.

    Please keep going back to share more of it with us. Loved seeing the shoppers…looked like a Black Friday shopping frenzy at Chanel! Great score on the elegant washi tape!

  18. They NEED your aquarelle.
    Even trop riche I would never ever splurge on ridiculously priced shoes .
    Who cares..give me the tape lol.

  19. I went by this place often in my past Paris visits and always wondered what inside would be like, especially in its heyday. It looks wonderful. And WAY pricey!

  20. Thanks for all the photos and commentary . I can’t wait to see it in July!

  21. Yes! I think it works for me when I try to post! Yesterday at Whole Foods I saw chocolate covered marshmallow bears!!!! Of course I had to buy one and when I melt them into som'mores (sp?) for guests I will serve them with a French accent. Or would melting them be sacriledge?

  22. Jeanette -let them melt in your mouth! No one would think of melting them for a graham cracker :(( They should be small to be correct.
    Maybe they have come to America! :))

    Jeanie - they have mainly luxury lines but fun souvenirs on each floor for the rest of us like the signature washi tape.Very smart marketing. And plenty of cafes for us browsers.

  23. Beautiful!!! I like the "starting at the top" concept. A nice inclusion. Glorious yellow!! Tony painted the kitchen a deep egg yolk color this spring.

  24. Empress E.11:17 PM

    13 years ago when we moved here all front doors were white. OK. Then, about 5-6 years ago we visited Montpelier, the home of James Madison. The double front doors of the old brick house were this smashing shade of yellow and I fell in love! I found out the name of the paint and got a can of it. My husband painted the dull door this bright (James Madison) yellow.WOW! To this day, we’re the only ones with a yellow door - and an historical yellow at that! It’s easy to say - Just look for the yellow door.

  25. Thanks for the top advice on how to your a department store (never thought of going too to bottom!). Sounds like normal people can enjoy the cafe and souvenirs while looking at the expensive things other people buy, sounds fun! I love the yellow chairs and cups/saucers, very cheerful.

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