Merci

It's really not such a bad job that allows you to spend a Wednesday wandering around the shops in Paris!

However, it was very much on official hush business - that's what I'm telling our accountant! - that just before 7am yesterday morning I found myself on the Eurostar heading over to France.

I was really trying to gain inspiration for next winter's hush range - and in that I have to say I was a bit disappointed.

I didn't think that what was in the shops in Paris was as good as what's in the shops in London - and in most cases the wow factor was confined to the price tag.

However, the shops themselves are a different matter. No-one merchandises a shop as well as a French person - and a couple of stores I went to were jaw-droppingly amazing.

One is Merci (pictured), a concept store in the Marais that was set up by the French couple who started Bonpoint, the very upmarket children's clothes company. As the shop name suggests, it is a thank you for their success with all the profits going to

I had read a lot about Merci online and in the glossy magazines and one of my friends who had been there had raved about it - so I was really excited to see it in person.

It is amazing. The building itself is absolutely beautiful, the use of space so indulgent and it does what all good stores do and that is make you look around for something to buy just so you have bought something from there. In my case, it was paper cutlery!!

The other store was the Bonpoint flagship store itself, which takes indulgence to a whole new level - especially as it's selling clothes for children. You can certainly understand why the clothes are so expensive when you see the shop, although one wonders who buys a pair of children's gloves for 65 euros.

Whether you have kids or not, if you are ever in Paris both shops have to be seen to be believed - and then come back here to actually do your shopping.