I have a story to share about how I copped the most coveted pink Evian bottle crates. I first saw the Evian crates on Apartment Therapy’s Instagram a short time after we moved to France. I thought they were perfect for our apartment but I had no idea where to find them. The next thing I knew, I was seeing them everywhere.
All the brasseries have their bottled drinks delivered daily, so you can’t help but see the colorful crates stacked outside on the streets.
I have asked the staff at every brasserie about buying one of the crates however they told me the crates were rented from the Evian water company so they couldn’t sell them to me. “Ç’est impossible” seems to be the French National motto. Thus began my Evian crate obsession, asking every time I saw some at a bar or restaurant. I never even knew how much I was willing to spend on them (€25 each probably) because no one would even consider it. Finally someone told me to just go to the source and ask the Evian water company directly.
I never got around to that, we happen to be driving back from Cannes when I saw a ton of crates on the sidewalk.
I made a quick (and probably illegal) U-turn and jumped out to ask the guy who was making the delivery. He didn’t speak English so I had my official translator do her thing and he sounded happy to help me.
So the guy tells us, he isn’t allowed to sell them but we can go to a nearby grocery store to see if they have any. I had butterflies in my stomach with excitement!
We followed the guy a few blocks away to a Franprix store (a smaller version of Trader Joes) and he spoke to the guy at the register. I was grinning like a crazy person when he walked us to the back of the store. He then pulls out a 12 pack of Evian plastic bottles of water and is like “Here you go!”
The language barrier is no joke. So that was a complete bust, I disappointedly drove back to Nice. I was over it by then. I knew that I would just end up bidding on an Evian crate on eBay for like $200 with ridiculous shipping. I looked for the crates online and I didn’t find any for sale.
So, the next day we went to the the Cours Saleya market in old town Nice. As we were walking over Antz noticed a door he thought would be interesting to photograph.
As I was posing in front of this door trying to get a shot without so much shadow, a guy came over with a delivery of water bottles and of course he had a few Evian crates.
At first, I just moved out of his way but Antz insisted I ask the guy. He was confused by my horrible French but Liv translated and he told us to hold on while he went inside. I was fully prepared to hear the same thing “Ç’est impossible.” Well, he was smiling at us and he told us to come with him. We walked around the block to his truck. He jumped up and started moving things around. I was asking Antz for cash, not sure of how much I should offer. He then slide over a Coke Cola crate towards me. Liv then said “Non, rose Evian s’il vous plait.” I almost started crying when he jumped down he handed a crate to me, then another one he gave to Liv. I told him I only had €20 but he refused to take it. You guys, this angel straight up gave me two of the most sought after things I’ve been searching for in Paris for months!
I gave him bises (two kisses on the cheeks) and said Merci a million times. I mean look at my face!! Nice is so aptly named. I couldn’t offer anyone any amount of money to get one of these things in Paris but he just gave them to us. So freaking rad!
I was ecstatic. It didn’t at all occur on me that I had to haul them on the plane back to Paris. I didn’t really care, I was just so happy to finally have them.
If I had the space I would buy all the vintage postcards and portraits I could find. I love Victorian photographs.
This vide-grenier (antique sale) had so many good treasures. I was looking for a French emblem often worn after WW1 and WW2. The first ones we saw were expensive. He wanted €75 for this one.
I found some cooler ones for €40 for two. They are so fragile, I’m afraid to wear them out because I don’t want to lose them.
I also fell hard for this Parisian landmarks charm bracelet.
I wish I bought it but it was a little over my budget and the bracelet was too snug. If it had a few more links it would have fit more comfortably. I am still on the lookout for a vintage bracelet, it’s exactly what I want.
I ended up having the Evian crates wrapped in plastic at the airport for €25 and then Air France charged me another €70 to fly them home, so in reality I spent almost €100 for these crates but I love them so much, I think they are totally worth it.
I am currently using one of the crates for our plant Josephine and the other one is our printer stand until I find a replacement. I was thinking of using one for a bed for Lola (she’s probably too big) or to hold my records. They are super cute and functional.
Have you ever been on a mission for an impossible-to-find item? It’s so much harder here in France because my go-to websites don’t ship here. Yet, it’s still fun to search for treasures.
4 thoughts on “My Evian water bottle crates”
This is Vanessa (the French girl from Madrid, we exchanged a message a few weeks back), you crack me up with your Evian crate’s adventures! This is so funny. I understand you because I’m the same whenever I have to have something, I get very stubborn and I don’t give up until I have it 🙂 I’ sure you must know “Le Bon Coin” website, maybe you could have found one of those crate? It’s the most used website for all second hand stuff in France, so you can find some treasures there sometimes. Thank you for the funny post it made me smile, and your pictures are always so pretty. Keep telling us about your travel adventures in France and abroad! A big hug from Spain. xx
Salut Vanessa, I wish I could figure out how to use Le bon coin, Google translate doesn’t work well for me!
I wish I could find them online to get an idea of how much people are selling them for.
Ahah let me know next time you really really dream about finding something special and I’ll check “Le Bon Coin” for you 😉 Actually saw a few pink crates of these for sale on Le Bon Coin at very reasonable prices, from 5 to 20 euros (check “casiers à bouteilles rose Evian” everywhere in France, some were in the Ile-de-France area if you don’t mind the RER trip, otherwise in other parts of France but it was written they could ship it…). I’ll be happy to help for next time!
Thank you for sharing your story, Liz! How was your experience flying back with your coveted crates? Checked them in? Carried them on? I will be visiting my friend in Paris this May my top priority is securing one for my vinyl. Any tips on where to find one? Craigslist, Franprix, a certain cafe, etc?