After studying law at Université Paris X Nanterre, Benjamin Cymerman moved to London to work for luxury jewellery brand Van Cleef & Arpels. He later returned to Paris to work in the marketing department of prestigious watchmaker Heurgon.
Since 2011 Cymerman has been president of the Comité du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, established in 1902 to protect the interests of one of Paris’s most important and beautiful shopping streets. Here he shares his insider tips about the city with Hannah Lewis:
‘I was born in the suburbs of Paris, but stayed there for just three days. Once I left hospital I went straight to my parents’ home in the 17th arrondissement, next to Parc Monceau.
Now I live in the 16th arrondissement, next to the Seine. What I like about it is that it’s a residential district. There are a lot of visitor attractions, but when night comes it’s a village again.
Nowhere is better than Paris for shopping; second place is London, and when I have several days of shopping planned I usually to fly to New York.
For luxury womenswear, I recommend Christian Louboutin on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré; it’s an amazing store. For me, it has to be Lanvin on the same street. I wear suits every day, and this store is close to my office and very chic. For casual wear, I head to Hackett on boulevard des Capucines or Brooks Brothers on rue Saint-Honoré.
I love the market on rue Poncelet, which is typically Parisian. If you like French cheese, go straight to Alléosse, and after that go to my friend Jérome at Les Grandes Caves to buy your French wine.
I like to eat at La Grande Épicerie. Chef Jean-Pierre Vigato at Apicius is one of the best chefs in Paris for me. I go to Ma Cocotte on Sunday for brunch with my friends and children. Colette is very fashionable and healthy for lunch.
The best place to have a drink and meet people from everywhere is La Palette, a great summer bar with a terrace. For a business drink I would go to Hôtel Le Bristol or the bar in the Hôtel Plaza Athenée. In winter, I drink at Café Chic, or at Bar 30 in the Sofitel Paris le Faubourg.
When out-of-town friends visit, I take them straight to Deauville in Normandy. It’s less than two hours away by car, you have the sea and the beach, and you can eat the best seafood and fish in France. If we don’t have time, I take them to Parc de Saint-Cloud, or Les Étangs de Corot. It’s as if you’re back in the 19th century for a day.
My favourite walk in Paris is from my apartment to my little girl’s school, because it means I have some free time, and I love to spend time with my daughter. My favourite way to travel around the city is by bicycle, once again because this means I have time to spare, and time is often a luxury in Paris.
When in Paris, visit the Musée du Louvre, the best museum in the world, and when you have finished go straight to rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré for shopping.
I can give you hundreds of favourite views: from the Eiffel Tower, from the Sacré-Coeur in the 18th arrondissement, from the rooftop of Centre Pompidou … there are too many to name.’