Boning Up On Parisian China
When you exit the Catacombs (you may remember the visit I described in the February 23rd newsletter), you exit on rue Rémy Dumoncel in the 14th arrondissement one half-block from avenue du Général Leclerc. At that corner, there is a a three-level shop, the largest I’ve ever come across, filled to the brim with china, mostly white and some with gold trim (and of every sort at outlet-store prices. It reminded me of when we first moved to Paris.
We had rented a furnished apartment in the 17th, took one look at the dinnerware in the kitchen cabinets and decided no, we don’t really want to live with these for the next three years. It was a weekly affair for us to entertain for eight to ten friends around the large dining room table, and we wanted dinnerware to reflect at least a simple, but elegant style for all the special occasions we were sure to enjoy there.
On rue de Levis, a bustling market street of the 17th, we found a shop (called a “vaissellerie”) where we could buy simple white china for next to nothing. The plates were stacked knee high and the shelves loaded with cups and accessories. We bought service for 12 and various serving pieces…they packed them up ready to go and then we realized we hadn’t planned on the weight, so we better hail a taxi home.
There are shops all over Paris like this, but Porcelaine M.P. Samie, at 45 avenue du Général Leclerc, is a real outlet of their factory, located in Marsac-sur-l’Isle in Périgueux. There are four stores; this one in Paris and the others in Périgueux and the Haute-Vienne of Limousin. If you do a search for other stores in “Les Pages Jaunes,” the “Activité” to note is “listes de mariage, arts de la table” to find them anywhere in France.
Prices are ridiculously low. For under 100 euros, you can easily buy a service for eight of dinner plates, salad plates, bowls, serving pieces and coffee cups. So when you make your move to Paris, leave the heavy old dinnerware out of the shipment and plan on updating your table that better shows off your newly acquired knowledge of French cooking.
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
E-mail: [email protected]
P.S. Don’t forget to join us Tuesday at Parler Paris Après Midi, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at La Pierre du Marais (upstairs). See /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for the details.
* Further resources:
* Dream of working and living in France? Don’t know how to go about simply DOING IT? Rose Marie Burke tells you how! (Spring 2004 version now available!)
* Practice speaking FRENCH…Celebrating our 6th Year in Paris
With a 6th Anniversary Hot Chili Lunch Saturday, April 3, 11 a.m.
* Learn how to live and invest in France! We’re meeting in San Francisco this March