..BHV....nope..(although the tool section on the ground floor is worth exploring)
..Galleries La Fayette - impressive, but no.
..La Samaritaine (sadly closed)...non.
All the grandeur and showmanship in the world can't compete for sheer loveliness with a small family owned business that has has been supplying cullinary equipment to the chefs of Paris for nearly 200 years.
Situated on the corner of rue Coquillière and rue Jean- Jacques Rousseau in the 1st arrondisement (not far from the Pompidou Centre) E Dehillerin is an absolute mecca for anyone who enjoys cooking. Professional quality pots and pans of every conceivable size and shape in copper, stainless steel, aluminium or cast iron. Porcelain tableware, wooden spoons from 4 inches to 4 feet long, knives and cutlery, stainless or carbon, in dozens of different sizes and styles.
The most wonderful thing about Dehillerin though, isn't so much the wonderful products that they sell, but how they sell them, it's just like being in J.K. Rowling's Diagon Alley. Every last inch of the shop is full from floor to ceiling, the stock is carefully organised on plain wooden shelves and pigeon holes with pricelists hanging from pieces of string. If you would like an extra thick copper whatnot, then a nice man will disappear up a ladder and get it for you.
When you have finalised your purchases, they are all wrapped neatly into brown paper parcels while your hand written invoice is prepared.
You emerge from Dehillerin feeling exhilerated, there is a feeling of stepping back into the present day after a wonderful journey through time. Compare that with the feeling of information overload imparted by a modern department store and you have 'the difference'.
You can order from Dehillerin online, although it is not quite like a normal ecommerce site. You send them a list of what you want, they email you a proforma invoice, you send the payment details and your culinary goodies will be dispatched 'tout-suite'.
Beautiful tools, great prices, friendly service!