18 November 2011


During my trip to California, I popped into a favourite shop—Bell’occhio. Hidden away on a tiny side street, it’s filled with all sorts of lovely things that you never realized you needed but find you must have (A Napoleon wine stopper? A necessity in every household). Stepping inside Bell'occhio's doors, you feel like you’re in Paris circa some past decade. There are spools of ribbons, glittering jewels, boxes shaped like fruit, jars of ink and creamy stationary, Tricorn hats, checkered linens, Marie Antoinette dolls, and much, much more.

I wasn’t allowed to take photos inside otherwise you’d be looking at a slew of images. Instead, I’ll share with you the items I purchased.

I wanted everything but ended up settling for an Eastbound passage ticket complete with a notice of safety regarding my baggage that makes me feel like it's 1930, a packet of handmade caramels, a wee engraved card of a fox, tricolour wire ribbon, a blackboard mat, German Reform Schule chalk, a 3D postcard of the Eiffel Tower, a Napoleon wine stopper (the label on the package says “Able was I, ere I saw Elba”), and some black stretch velvet ribbon.

The ticket is now on my desk along with the fox card; the Eiffel Tower postcard is on a bookshelf. There are still some caramels left (miraculously) in the kitchen and the blackboard mat is hanging on the side of my refrigerator with the box of chalk nearby so I can jot down things I need to pick up. Napoleon is serving time with the wine glasses and the ribbon is waiting to be turned into something (the black velvet is definitely becoming a choker but I’m not sure yet what will happen with the tricolour). All in all, a nice collection of items to bring home.

If you are going to San Francisco, make sure and visit Bell'occhio. If you’re not, they have a website where many of their items can be purchased here.

Photos by Michele.

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