My City: Paris, France with Jewelry Designers, Eric et Lydie
Posted on July 10 2017
**In honor of the new Eric et Lydie collection we have just received, I am reprising this wonderful interview I did with Eric in June of 2015. In it he divulges his and Lydie's favorite secret spots in Paris. Enjoy.**
I was never one of those girls that dreamt of Paris, but in 2011 I found myself living in The City of Light for nearly 2 years. The city captivated me like no other before and I found myself feeling for the first time completely at home in a foreign place. Indeed a piece of my heart will always be in Paris, and for that I am grateful.
Since living there, I try to get back to walk its rues as much as possible. During one of my trips back to Paris right before I opened the shop, I discovered beautiful jewelry done by a husband and wife team named Eric et Lydie. I was charmed by the whimsical, delicate and striking craftsmanship that defines their line, and knew I would have to feature their pieces in my shop.
The bonus of Eric et Lydie is that along with being incredibly talented artists, they are also fun, approachable and caring individuals. I get a kick out of it when they check-up on me via Facebook when I am traveling or send a note with my orders asking how I am doing. So it was a pleasure to have them participate here with all their best tips and tricks for one of the world's most important cities.
Let's get lost now in the idea of Paris. I guarantee Eric's answers will put a smile on your face as well as likely move you to book a ticket on Air France straight after.
And who knew you could buy a zebra in Paris...
Name: Lydie Chabot and Eric Semain (answers written by Eric)
Occupation: Jewelry Designers and Creators
Hometown: *See Note by Eric in the first answer below*
How long did you both live in Paris? Which arrondissement did you live in?
First of all I have to say that we have left Paris and we are now living in the country side (not too close but not too far). For work we both frequently come to the big city but we are more in Paris at daytime so it will be more difficult or us to share good places to go to for dinner for example...
We both come from Lille in the north of France. We went to live in Paris, Lydie for studies and I to follow Lydie, and we lived there for 15 years. We had a little flat in the15th arrondissement.
Where is your favorite place to meet friends or “hang out” in Paris?
I would say any cafe in Montorgueil Street near by our shop in the 2nd district of Paris any of them but may be the one called "Au Rocher de Cancale" - very old and real one!!!
What is the one thing a first time visitors must-see in Paris…besides the Eiffel Tower :)?
As I said we are not in Paris but this position makes us feel closer from tourists we always come to the city with new big opened eyes!! My best spot in Paris is "le Pont des Arts" between Le Louvre and the French Academy. On this bridge you really have one of the nicest view of the town. This is a place that makes me feel like Paris is really a very beautiful town.
What is your favorite boutique to shop at and why?
Besides our shop which is the nicest place on earth to by accessories!!! I would say "Le Bon Marchè" because everything sold there is nice (but sometimes a little expensive!). Then I always go to "Merci"near Rèpublique Square. It is a concept store. I am crazy about their Christmas gifts selection and they always do an amazing parcel even if you are just buying a 10 euros mug...
Near by our shop you also have those amazing shop where you can buy everything for cooking 100 varieties of knives to cut anything at "Mora" in Rue Etienne Marcel.
What is your favorite restaurant in the city?
La Maison Plisson, which is a 100 yards from Merci, is a grocery and also a restaurant ideal for lunch time. So French!!!
What is your favorite local food?
To buy any best French specialties go to La Grande Epicerie (just say La Grande ép') they've got everything!!!!!!!
On the days you are not working, do you have favorite things to do or places to relax in the city? Favorite Spa?
I'm not crazy about spa but I remember that one's lydie offers my one pass for one day at the spa of Le Ritz Hotel that was really amazing but the place is closed for works now we will have to wait!!!!!
Note from Jen - It is scheduled to reopen at the end of 2015.
What is the one thing tourists always miss when they visit Paris but shouldn’t?
More and more people are coming to Paris but I think they can do it better by visiting every passage of Paris and, of course, the best one - Le Passage du Grand Cerf.
Note from Jen - Their beautiful boutique is on this passage!
I always also recommend to my customers that they go to Les Jardins du Palais Royal in the 1st district.
A glimpse inside Eric et Lydie's shop
If you had to recommend one arrondissement to stay in, which would you recommend? Why?
I am now sleeping at friends when I come but if none of them is okay we stay around our shop in the Rue Montorgueil area. There is nice food and cafe in the center of Paris once you are there you can go anywhere walking!!!!!!!
What can you tell us about Paris that only you and locals know? :)
Come to Paris in August. All the Parisians are out of the town and it is the best time to meet kind people!!!!! lol
Note from Jen - I found this hilarious :)
EXTRA tips from Eric et Lydie:
1) Go to where Alain Ducasse is making chocolate. It s a real chocolate factory.Thé et Restaurant Angelina
3) Because you are all wondering - The best place to buy a zebra in town is in one of Paris’s oldest continually operating shops, Deyrolle.