With Christmas (or Sinterklaas for the Dutchies among you) coming up, some of you might already be shopping for the Christmas lists. And what better way to do so than by buying fun, high quality and original gifts at local shops? The good news is that we have plenty of fabulous boutiques in the South of France. For more information, you can check my previous shopping guides to Béziers, Carcassonne, Montpellier, Pézenas and Uzès. I noticed that Narbonne is missing in this list, although it is one of my favourite towns around. So here you go, below you will find my Narbonne sweethearts.
1. Fabrik – 46 Rue de l’Ancien Courrier
Whenever I go shopping in Narbonne, most of the time I follow the same route. I love starting at the Rue de l’Ancien Courrier with its numerous cute boutiques, like concept store Fabrik. This is the kind of shop that suits me like a glove. It is small but beautifully decorated with clothes, accessories, small furniture and always good for a hint of inspiration. A mother and her daughters share their ‘pépites’, or gems, and are happy to make you a coffee while you have a look around.
2. Loli Créa – 44 Rue de l’Ancien Courrier
The wonderful shop of Loli Créa is a feast for your eyes. At first, I didn’t quite know where to look, but roaming around led me to discover some great, original items. The collection includes statement jewellery, all kinds of accessories, colourful clothing, and French crafts. I was immediately drawn into the kid’s toy corner with sweet cuddly and creative toys to stimulate the imagination. And as always, I left the shop with a couple of retro postcards.
3. Kupirijo – 37 Rue de l’Ancien Courrier
I’m very fussy about my perfume. For ages, I have been wearing the same scent, Rose by Paul Smith, but it seems harder and harder to find. Therefore, my heart leapt for joy when I entered the wonderful perfume bar Kupirijo. A perfume bar! With artisanal fragrances! Maître parfumeur Sylvain Cara creates original scents with character, that he transforms into perfume and home fragrances such as candles and reed diffusers. You can also ask for a tailor-made scent or take a workshop. I happily left the boutique with a new perfume that, hopefully, will stay with me for years.
4. Marie Louise Boutique – 32, Rue de l’Ancien Courrier
Whenever I am with my girl, we have to make a stop at Marie Louise’s boutique. The first part is reserved for all sorts of bags and hats. And if you continue on your way, you will find everything a girl might want. Or doesn’t know she wants. No wall or corner is left unused to display the hundreds of accessories. You will need some time to absorb it all, at least my girl always finds it difficult to make up her mind here. It’s hard to leave this shop if you’re with a teenage girl!
5. La Fille du Consul – 15 Rue Droite
The building this great concept store lives in used to be part of the ancient medieval consulate of Narbonne and dates back to the 13th century. The owner Marie has personally hand-picked every item in her store, and passionately shares the story behind them. You will find, for example, handmade masks by Umasqu, Balinese lamps, artwork from internationally renown artists and highly desirable shoes and clothes. Marie has created her own universe with aesthetic items that represent the soul of the creator or artist.
6. Ma. Concept Store – 20 Rue Droite
Here is another place where you can feel the love in every piece on display. Ma. Concept Store, run by Marine, is worth taking a look every now and then, as the decoration changes monthly. There are, in fact, two shops just a few doors from each other. One mostly sells beautiful clothing and accessories, while the other is more home decoration related. In both shops, you will find unique and fetching items. I’m still wearing the colourful skirts that I bought here last summer, as they are too pretty to tuck away until next year.
7. Vague de Filles – 29 Rue Droite
The boutique Vague de Filles proves that you don’t have to be a granny to wear floral dresses. The most beautiful and colourful dresses- and skirts- welcome you to this happy shop. Vague de Filles has more than dresses in the assortment, think retro blazers, comfy sweaters and printed trousers. However, especially during the spring and summer months it is mostly frocks around the clock. Long dresses, short dresses, it’s all there. Everything except for boring dresses!
8. Délice Cake – 4 Rue Marcelin Coural
After all this shopping, I love to take a break at the delicious tea and lunchroom Délice Cake. Of course, I don’t come here for their salads or burgers, although they are more than ok. It’s their cake that I want! Every time I enter this heavenly place in Narbonne, you will find me drooling in front of the counter. I simply cannot resist their divine cakes, cupcakes and meringues. You can also take the cakes home, or order a custom made creation just for you. NOTE: for the moment it’s take away only.
9. La Mue Créations – 4 Rue Benjamin Crémieux
After all the goodies at Délice Cake, it is time to explore a different side of Narbonne. I skip the shops that you will see in any other given town, and head to the Rue Benjamin Crémieux. One of the shops along this street houses La Mue Créations, the bright universe of Murielle La Mue. This artist has chosen to reduce her ecological footprint on our fragile planet by bringing already existing objects back to life. Murielle re-uses furniture and textiles to create ‘new’ pieces by using all sorts of techniques. And by doing so, she makes the world more beautiful in a sustainable way.
10. Namasthé – 7 Rue de la Parerie
A visit a few doors down the road will whisk you away to a completely different world, the one of tea shop Namasthé. Here, you can buy your organic tea in some fantastic blends. Or get yourself a most elegant Japanese tea set, Mame Neko lucky charms or handpainted mugs. But there is more than just tea here, as the owners love art and handmade products as well. In the back, you’ll find a gallery displaying the colourful art of Cristophe Laslaud, one of the owners. It’s surprising shops like this that make my day!