It's all about the best wine in Buenos Aires you can find, but what stuck out more in my mind was the great wonderful service you get at La Botica del Vino.
It's like taking a big variety-type wine emporium blended with the attention you would get from a family store. You can't beat it, ask for Hernan. Argentina´s red wine is world class, but the prices still aren't.
Ditch your husband at the Pompidou and nip round the corner for a breather at Le Musee de la Poupee.
An hour or so of pure delight with over 300 dolls.
You can buy a new friend, get your own dolls valued, repaired or made a new outfit, or even arrange a child's birthday party at the museum.
As LaDuree becomes more and more on the beaten track, with branches in Harrods and Printemps, consider getting your pastry fix at the boutique of the man who made them famous: Pierre Herme.
Indulge in passion fruit flavoured macarons or the redoubtable Ispahan, a cornucopia of lychee flavoured whipped cream, rose scented meringue, and fresh raspberries.
There's no seating here, but true Parisiens scoot around the corner to the Cafe de la Mairie on the Place Saint Sulpice, and order coffee for the upstairs no smoking room.
Forget Atomic Cafe, just a few metres down the road is the uber cool, but totally unpretentious cafe Agnes Curran.
It serves great java and sells art, antiques and homewares making it really classy and very quirky.
There's something really special about Agnes Curran. It is full of character and a real find; not only that but it is renowned for the Kiwi delicacy Lamingtons: a wedge of sponge soaked in dark chocolate, coated in coconut and served with raspberry jam and cream. The staff are lovely too. What's not to love?
181 Ponsonby Road, Auckland. Tel: 464 9 3601551
The place from where the Five Corners Quintet get their name and THE area in Helsinki to buy music. Vinyl and jazz included but you can get anything from Sibelius to Carl Craig.
Three great shops for any digger: Eronen, LifeSaver and Digelius.
Porte de Vanves fleamarket on a Saturday and Sunday closes up at 1pm despited advertised times of much later - but it's the best and friendliest fleamarket, much easier to get around than the massive Clignancourt markets.
On a day trip to Paris, arrive in time for lunch in a bistro, explore an area in the afternoon and then head for Rue St Jacques, near Jardin du Luxembourg to find all you need for your picnic home on Eurostar; shops selling wine, cheese, cold meats, bread and fruit are close by.
Upon arrival, take the metro to 'Rue de Commerce' in the 15th arrondisement.
Here, you will be able to see Parisiens go about their daily business; be it buying fresh cheese at the fromagerie or picking up basic fashion at the Petit Bateau shop.
A real gem of a place to get the feel of how locals live. Stop off for a drink at a terrace before continuing towards the end of the street, where you are only a stone throws away from the Champ de Mars and the famous Eiffel Tower.
Buy Mis’Manon tarte tatin on rue Saint-Antoine and cross the street to the glittering courtyard windows of Hôtel de Sully.
Dangerous Liaisons come to mind, it’s not hard to imagine Marquise de Merteuil staring down. Linger under the arches of Place des Vosges before eating pique-nique in the most elegant square in Paris, beautiful when the trees have no leaves and the gorgeous buildings glow through the tracery.
Climb to the top of Victor Hugo’s house in one corner to get an elevated view then walk to the other corner and visit an exhibition in Jeu de Paume’s new outpost.
There are several APC stores in Paris (there are none in the UK) but this is the best.
Visit to buy the kind of fashion basics - mens and womens - that only the French can make so effortlessly cool.
3 & 4 rue des Fleurus, 75006 Paris. + 33 1 4549 191
My tip is Bus 96, which runs between Gare Montparnasse and Porte des Lilas.
Even if you don't get off, and just take it from one end to the other, you'll get a wonderful insight into Parisian lives and times.
You can use the 96 to shop in the chic area around Odeon, or the wonderful market on Richard Lenoir, You can stroll through the famous cemetery at Montparnasse, where the illustrious dead include Serge Gainsbourg and Sam Becket.
Bus 96 is also a great way of taking in the Picasso Museum, or simply taking the weight off your feet. But remember to take account of one-way traffic system, which means that it doesn't always go back the same way as it arrived.
www.RATP.com (body overseeing public transport in Paris)
The best shop for wintersports, mountaineering, walking (they do many more sports) I have ever found is Au Vieux Campeur in Rue des Ecoles near the Sorbonne.
They have several shops in the area, and they constantly change which shop sells what. Just ask at the first one you come across for the one you seek.
The service and facilities are superb; they even have a climbing wall to try out mountainerring boots. The difference between their prices for skis and those of London shops has been the cost of the return fare for me several times.
Hidden inside the Vieille Bourse (Old Stock Exchange) you'll find a wonderfully eclectic range of second-hand books. We bought some old TinTin comics (in French, obviously), which we treasure as a great memory of our day trip to Lille!
Check out the Braderie, a massive annual fleamarket. Bring an empty case with you and check it into left luggage before having an exciting day of bargain hunting. When you arrive back at the station, fill your case with the numerous items you've bought and travel home in style. All is ease and comfort after the hustle and bustle of the market!
Le Chat Bleu is not simply a chocolate shop established in 1912 - although the chocolates are pure, dark and handmade - but also a repository of superb preserves. Home of the most blackcurrant I've ever had in a jar.
3, Rue des Manneliers, 59000 Lille
Tel : 03 20 15 01 73 - Fax : 03 28 52 61 04
Stock your freezer with French delicacies! Shopping day trips to Lille by Eurostar are short enough that your frozen food doesn't defrost and there are plenty of small boutiques to entertain even the most fussy shopper.
La Braderie de Lille: an all-over-town 48h street market is held on the first weekend of September. Think bargains on clothes, antiques, knick- knacks, night time shopping, local beer sampling and the restaurant competing for the highest mounds of mussel shells when tons of moules -frites are traditionally wolfed down over 48hrs. An absolute must-see.
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org