Shopping for souvenirs in the region’s capital
Limoges is undoubtedly best known for its porcelain and enameling but there are many more delights on offer to tourists visiting the city this summer.
Take a stroll around with your wallet at the ready and you will find great gifts and souvenirs for all ages and all pockets.
Why not start at one of the funky youth shops of Communauté Révolutionnaire Indépendantiste Limousine where you will find cool and contemporary clothes, jewellery and accessories, all made in Limousin. 80% of the shop’s sales come from tourists to the region and you can see why their own brand of Limousin souvenirs prove so popular with the city’s visitors.
Why not make the next stop Aux Delices De Mathile 8, rue Haute-Vienne 87000 Limoges for a great selection of Limousin treats.
Here, you can buy the local pastis distilled at the artisanal distillery Turin-Labidoire. It is a special Kaolin inspired white pastis . You can also find so many delights produced from the Limousin’s store cupboard of chestnuts, apples and walnuts. There are many locally made liquers and “eau de vies” created from blackcurrants, strawberries and blackberries to name but a few. Or how about local brandies or chocolates filled with fruit flavoured fondant creams.
With Limousin being the international home of the apple there are also many apple based juices , treats and ciders on offer.
Let us not forget the delightful and pure local honey and jams, the specialist Creusois cake, tiny scrumptious Madeline sponges, the unique and delicious Violette mustard from Brive and so many other delights too numerous to mention. You really will have to go and see for yourself!
So, with a bag packed with edible goodies let’s head off to the historic and charming butcher’s quarter. Rue de la Boucherie to be precise, where you will be inspired by the wonderful textile designs at Kimeko, a textile creations workshop.
Sandrine is the inspiration at Kimeko, the name she chose is in honour of her Japanese grandmother. This shop has an offer some great works from the artist in the form of a variety of unusual accessories. Sandrine works with a wide range of materials, although not leather and regularly has guest artists displaying their work in her shop.
Now lets take a trip to Rue Gondinet where you can purchase wonderful artisan hand made soaps at Les 1000 Bulles de Limoges , so now you can take home the wonderful aromas of the Limousin too with chataigne (chestnut), miel(honey) and pomme(apple) included in the wide selection of delightful soaps on sale.
If you now need a new bag to put your goodies in, stop by the Tourist Information office where you will find some fantastic bags and satchels in great fun designs inspired by the artist Jean-Joseph Sanfourche.
Sanfourche, was a widely acclaimed painter, sculpture , designer and poet, born in Bordeaux in 1929 but who made his home in Limousin. Sadly Sanfourche passed away earlier this year on the 13th March 2010 at Saint Léonard de Noblat. These fab bags are also available in other tourist offices around the region, at the airport and online from Bonplans Limousin.
Bon Plans Limousin offers a wide range of Limousin gifts and memorabilia online.
Anyway, time for a beer. No trip to Limoges is complete without a trip to the centrally located micro at Place Denis Dussoubs.
Since 1987, this independent brewery has prided itself on quality not quantity and has a deep respect for the authenticity of its beers.
The personality of each of beer is the result of a process of careful and lengthy development.
They use the best ingredients available including Limousin water and hand selected malts, hops and yeasts.
The brewery can now also offer its very own Whisky Michard – so, well worth a visit. But we must remember we are supposed to be gift shopping, but that’s ok, the brewery offer beers and kegs of their brilliant brews to take away and enjoy at home!
Suitably refreshed, any visitor will of course enjoy a trip around the infamous porcelain and enameling areas of Limoges or one of the many factory outlets, where you can pick up really competitively priced everyday table ware as well as some fantastic hand decorated would be heirlooms.
Well, I think we have but scratched the surface of the hundreds of wonderful specialist shops offering a unique experience to locals and visitors alike. Although perhaps not the place for souvenirs, (unless you like someone very much), Limoges is also well known for its many excellent jewelers who offer fantastic bespoke pieces for jewellery aficionados.
Happy Shopping !
If you know of any shops not to be missed, or have a favourite shopping area in Limousin why not drop us a line and tell us about it