With its breathtaking fusion of old world architecture, high fashion and gastronomical splendour, Les Galeries Lafayette remains one of the last bastions of great Parisian chic.

With more than 10,000 of the most exclusive lines, the Parisian store's 32,000 sq ft food hall offers everything and anything that the dedicated gourmand could ever wish for: a dazzling array of specialist artisan breads, high quality meats, fresh fish, every kind of exotic fruit and vegetable, as well as some of the very finest cheeses and luxury groceries.

Meanwhile, the store's Comptoirs Gourmands (which literally means greedy counters) are a destination in their own right - gilded gold and glass cabinets house layer upon layer of the most decadent chocolates and confectionary items money can buy.

Add to this a wine cellar that includes more than 3,500 of the world's finest wines, six gastronomic restaurants, a travel agency and a selection of all the top designer clothes labels and it's no surprise to learn this shopper's paradise was a favourite among our Academy members.

The company now boasts a network of 57 stores throughout France and one in Berlin.

Flagship Location: Paris, France

Established: 1893

No. of stores: 58

Fact: Similar numbers of visitors as the Eiffel Tower