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VM choice: La Boutique des Saints-Peres

Paris is rightly famous for its flower shops. This one, on the Left Bank in Rue des Saints-Peres, after which it is named, is a charming example. With its slightly scruffy gloss black paintwork, it seems to be a permanent fixture of this quiet side street, just a block from the famous Café des Flore. Nineteenth-century window-panes set in the classic retail façade are subdivided by a metal grid of shelves which offer additional display space and opportunities for hanging baskets.

The metal superstructure is as nicely detailed as the façade, with an array of houseplants in sympathetic containers. Notice the additional shelves are contained within an arc of easy eye level gaze: not too low, nor too high.

Purloining part of the pavement adjacent to the store is a mix of wooden crates, a 1950s glass-topped table and old, rusted shelving. These form a pleasing base for a pyramid of flowering and foliage plants. This casually artful display has a considered colour scheme. From orange, through pink to pale yellow and cream, it pleasingly contrasts flower and leaf shape to form a giant bouquet.

In-store, the florist is a visual feast. The skill in floristry lies in the pleasing combination of plants and flowers, shapes and colours, combined to create a transient pleasure to the senses, adding the impact of perfume in a small enclosed space. Paris flower stores so often have double glass doors which don’t quite meet when closed. Sniffing the gap between the doors after the store has been closed for some hours is a particular Paris pleasure.