Visited La Fayette to view their Christmas Tree suspended from the shops magnificent central glass dome. The glass was done by master stained glass designer Jacques Gruber at the turn of the C20th in a Neo-byzantine style, but our ultimate destination was to visit some Paris Passages.There are around 20 unique and charming covered passageways in Paris mostly built between the turn of the C18th and the mid C19th. Were these arcades an early precursor to the shopping malls we know today? They were created by linking some of the grand boulevard buildings with a covered glass walkway, and have typically Belle Epoque Parisian architectural features - each passage hosting it's own unique character. Some have very upmarket boutiques and food shops selling delicious patisseries; others are filled with interesting ethnic shops and restaurants. There are beautiful antique and jewellery shops, and even shops filled with all kinds of things that you didn't realise you wanted until you peered into their enticing windows.
Passage Jouffroy kept us busy for at least two hours. It houses Musée Grévin with its famous waxwork models, the Hôtel Chopin - an original and reasonably priced place to spend the night, and lots of very quirky shops.
Gourmets can enjoy eating in the unmissable tea rooms of Valentin, but we found a memorable Thai restaurant which served us all a beautifully presented and delicious lunch.