Thursday, January 6, 2011

Soldes, Soldes, Soldes!

The Jean Vier Boutique in Hossegor

Colourful Stripes at Jean Vier

L'Atelier du Chocolat

L'Atelier du Chocolate

Soldes, soldes, soldes! Translation: Sales, sales, sales!

What better way to ring in the New Year then a day spent shopping the sales in all the stores!

France only has two sales a year. So its a big deal. The parking lots are full, the streets are jammed and the stores are bustling!

The soldes are the only time of the year that shops are legally allowed to sell merchandise on sale. In common with most things in France, the deadhand of government is evident here as the timing of the sales is trictly regulated. There are only two legal periods – the soldes d'hiver (winter sales) in January and February and the soldes d'été (summer sales) in June/July. It is of course typically French to have overly strict government regulation where much less is required, and of course to ignore everything outside France.

Nevertheless, the soldes are a great time to be in France, especially for shopaholics comme moi. So far, I've indulged in a few choice pieces from one of my fav clothing stores, Maje (more on this in my next post). Some very yummy chocolate from L'Atelier du Chocolat de Bayonne, also a fav. And I may have gone a bit overboard at Jean Vier. They make the most beautiful Basque style decor. Domestic I know, but their stuff is gorgeous. Their table linens in particular are to die for, with their colourful and vibrant designs, and all their collections are named after Basque towns or villages (St Jean de Luz, Espelette, Biarritz, Sara, Arnaga, Bilbao) or after traditional Basque past-times and traditions, Tixilin Txalan (a children's game) which I love.