Original Souvenirs: Best Take-Home Presents from Paris

Original Souvenirs: Best Take-Home Presents from Paris
Souvenirs are laden with paradox: for some, they’re an affectionate reminder of a place worth remembering. The cynics among us will see their value as tokenistic – an object which could never supersede our own priceless memories. Collectors will hoard them as though they’re trophies of their worldliness; minimalists will see them as superfluous. Whatever your take on the traveler’s trinket, metropolitan memorabilia don’t have to be tacky, as long as you’re looking beyond the stereotypes of a place. Here are my top recommendations for Paris’s most elegant kind of take-home present. Marin Montagut 48 rue Madame, 6th Toulouse-born illustrator, antique dealer and designer Marin Montagut has an exceptional eye for detail and a strong affinity with Paris. A keen collector, Marin is always on the hunt for trinkets consigned to the past for which he can furnish a future. He creates handmade souvenirs and collectibles which celebrate the idiosyncrasies of the City of Light – a place where he always hoped that one day, he might live. Each postcard, notebook, plate and candle are handmade in his atelier in Montmartre and displayed in recycled grocery store shelving in his whimsical workshop-turned-boutique. Those who have frequented the Jardin du Luxembourg will be familiar with the green shade of the boutique’s façade – a nod to the curved green Sénat chairs which date back to 1923, synonymous with Paris’s green spaces. His recent collaboration with the Café de Flore, one of Paris’s most distinguished coffee houses, was an homage to one of his most cherished Parisian institutions. Featuring a teapot, a tea towel and a limited-edition notebook with the café’s menu at the back, the collection is a marker of his success in becoming one of the capital city’s household names: no mean feat for someone who originally comes from the South. And his enthusiasm is palatable. Even if you’re not a souvenir lover, allow yourself to indulge in some lèche-vitrine – this is a veritable treasure trove.     View this post on Instagram   A post shared by M A R I N M O N T A G U T (@marinmontagut)

Lead photo credit : Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

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Claudia lived in Paris for six months during a year abroad which she did as part of her French and Spanish degree at Durham University. With a penchant for all things culture, languages, food and flânerie, she quickly discovered why it is that the French capital is so widely celebrated. While she was in Paris, she started writing for Ma Vie Francaise, an online-based publication about Francophone cultures. After completing an MA in Newspaper Journalism at City, University of London last year, she’s currently working as an editorial intern at Monocle Magazine, a globally-minded publication which focuses on culture, urbanism and business. Her favorite Parisian hidden gem is the Musée de la Vie Romantique, and if you’re a gourmand(e), she recommends paying a visit to the Rue des Martyrs.