Manolo Blahnik: shoe heaven in London and Paris

Wall of shoes in Manolo Blahnik’s new boutique in the Jardins du Palais Royal, Paris

Could it really have taken until 2019 for Manolo Blahnik to open a shop in Paris?  The first shop in Chelsea’s Church Street, opened in 1973 and was followed by a Madison Avenue store in New York in 1979.  But Parisiennes have had to wait until now for their own shop.  It was certainly worth waiting for.  The gem of a shop nestled in a corner of the secluded Jardins du Palais Royal occupies the historic site of the Cafe Corrazza, Jacobin HQ in pre- and post-revolutionary France.  The shop has been sensitively re-purposed, the original tiled floor the same one that Napoleon’s feet are said to have trod.

Now the revolutionaries have been replaced by walls of the most exquisite shoes, many in styles that would have delighted Marie Antoinette herself.  With shoes as delicate as confectionery, who needs cake?

Back in London’s Burlington Arcade, Mr Blahnik has taken possession of a former pen shop to open a man’s shop next to the ladies’ store.  A rainbow of suede brogues now sits on little fold-down shelves that once held a prism of coloured inks.  The till is housed in a pedestal and a steep winding staircase takes you up to discover two more floors of bliss.

Best of all: the mens’ range starts at size 5 (38) which makes them popular with many females who, like me, may adore high stilettos but appreciate even more the comfort of a lace-up.

So now Mr Blahnik bestrides the Channel – whether you are in London’s Burlington Arcade or Paris’s Jardins du Palais Royal you will never be far from shoe heaven.

Les Jardins du Palais Royal, Paris: home of the new Manolo Blahnik boutique

Best of all the Wallace Collection has just extended its Manolo Blahnik: An Enquiring Mind exhibition until 27 October, so there are many more opportunities ahead to view his beautiful creations.

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