Sunday morning Antiques’ hunting. 

If Saturday is a day for the local market then Sunday has become a day to spend the morning pottering around a local Brocante market or village ‘Vide-Greniers’ event.

In the summer we often found that we had to make a choice between the local events, all advertised a few weeks beforehand with large signs on the Apt bridges or bright yellow posters on lamp posts or fences.

During the summer , signs like this appear on a regular basis

Having started from scratch with furnishing the house it has given us a fantastic excuse to head off early to the markets and to see what we can find. In fact for us it was a big bit of ‘living the dream’ and it has really paid off.

And to be honest spending a Sunday morning somewhere like this isn’t really a problem!

I know it’s probably not for everyone but we’ve managed to buy some perfect bits for the house, from practical pieces like this old marble-topped bedside table that just needed to be repainted (Joucas Vide Grenier)

After a quick spruce up with chalk paints the bedside table looks great

…… to these beautiful, slightly battered paintings, which make me smile every day (Caseneuve Vide Grenier)

The other painting is of cornflowers – just as battered, but beautiful all the same

…. and the slightly quirky 1975, almost perfect, bright pink ‘Mercier’ racing bike that turned heads as we left the market & now sits happily on the wall of our son’s bedroom ( Maubec Vide
Grenier.)

It wouldn’t surprise me if one day this bike gets ridden up Ventoux!

lt has also been a good source of old containers to fill with flowers & decorate the terrace – although again we have had some odd looks carrying a few of the pieces home – especially the old zinc bath on the bike trailer!

I love all the old zinc containers – they actually ended ip coating less than terracotta & are much more fun!

We’ve found some of the Vide Grenier events are better than others, enjoying the ones in the villages where people literally do ’empty their attics’ and set up stalls outside their houses – there are still bargains to be found at these, amongst the old clothes and broken tools, but we’re slowly getting the hang of them.

A perfect day for the Vide-Greniers in (off the beaten track) Sivergues

Some great ones this summer were those at Castellet, Viens and Vachères – the latter being such a massive event that the village is closed to traffic and shuttle buses run from the makeshift car park in a field about 1 km away!

The pretty & sleepy village of Vachères was bursting at the seams with stalls & visitors

The Brocante Fairs are different, with a much more professional feel to them and again there’s always lots to choose from, but one of my local year-round favourites is at Carpentras every Sunday morning.

Carpentras Brocante on the sun this morning

The first time I went I arrived at about 8.45 thinking ‘the early bird catches the worm’ but I was far too early as the traders were still chatting, drinking coffee & in some places wine whilst their vans remained packed.

So today I headed over via Coustellet, which has a great Sunday Farmers’ Market, stopping there to buy a few bits and to sit with a coffee & pain au chocolat to start the day properly.

Amazing Autumn Squashes at Coustellet market

Once fully refreshed I popped over the top to Carpentras arriving mid morning with all the traders set up and lots of people all milling about.

Carpentras was already buzzing when I arrived

This market has a wonderful mix of items from china & glassware to furniture & vintage clothing. There really is something for everyone – today there was even an illuminated baguette sign if that is what you wanted.

Something for the Great British Bake Off lover!

I do like Carpentras as well as the prices there are always very good – although it’s always worth haggling a bit too.

I still haven’t been forgiven by the boys for walking past the stuffed ‘Sanglier’ head that I saw there back at the end of April, so always keep an eye out for one, but ‘sadly’ I couldn’t find one today!

I’m sure one day I’ll see another ‘Stanley’ the Sanglier

I did though manage to find some stunning pieces of French silver (stamped with the Minerve Hallmark), which I’ll be able to turn into pieces of jewellery http://www.dartmoorsilverdesigns.co.uk – so the day wasn’t wasted at all.

The detail on the fork & napkin ring in particular is incredibly beautiful


There were other bits that I could easily have found a home for, but with all the building work that will be going on this week to fit the woodburner I felt it best to walk away from the bigger purchases!

The nice thing about Carpentras market is that it is on every Sunday so there’s always next week. It’s also very easy to find, situated in the large Parking Des Platanes – just off the main road through the town.

As the trees change colour the setting gets better


Of course there are other weekly Brocante markets too like the Saturday morning events at Villeneuve-Les-Avignon or Sommières are again great Fairs to visit.

If you fancy visiting one whilst you’re in France then you can always take a look at

https://vide-greniers.org/

– a great website , which has details of most events across the Country – so no matter where you are you should be able to find something nearby & see what you can find…….

Shared via #FarawayFiles on the Suitcases & Sandcastles Blog

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14 thoughts on “Sunday morning Antiques’ hunting. 

  1. 🙂 We discovered the Carpentras one a couple of weeks ago. Got a little carried away. Came away with some knick-knacks to decorate the Bédoin place.

  2. I do like a good forage and let’s face it French brocante is vastly superior in so many ways to bric a brac. Really not sure why that is! I would have snapped up Stanley – he looks strangely happy for a stuffed head. Thank you for joining us on #FarawayFiles

    • I can’t even begin to tell you how much grief I got for not snapping up Stanley – I am reminded about him on a very regular basis! Ah well it gives me an excuse to spend more Sundays hunting for another!

  3. I love the brocante markets in France and I’ve been to Carpentras. I’ve never actually bought anything so it would be wonderful to have a French home to add things to over the years and the vide greniers website sounds so useful. Thanks so much for sharing this with us on #FarawayFiles – I feel inspired to go bric a brac shopping now!

  4. France is SO good at these sort of events. Living so close (Luxembourg) we try to visit a few during the year, notably the amazing “Les Puces de Metz”, where I am confident that one could find ANYTHING if one is lucky enough to stumble across it… I just don’t know why, but the “Brocantes” are simply not as good in Luxembourg or Germany. These markets look wonderful as well – not sure I ever saw a pink bike in Metz ;o) Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles!

    • Thanks – I hadn’t heard of the Puces de Metz, but I do fancy trying to get to the one in Lille each September (sadly cancelled this year after the attacks in France), which has a full 10km of stalls – comfy shoes & a big wallet would be required though. There is something about the French markets as you say & the fact that it is such a social event & the Vide greniers bring villages to a standstill is just wonderful – I can’t wait to get back out there again. #FarawayFiles

  5. J’adore this post! I am a huge fan of trolling through antique shops and fairs. Only the lovelier in France n’est ce pas? This is very popular in Denmark – they call them loppemarked here. I love the zinc pots, but will pass on the boars head even if he is smiling. Although my big boys would probably say otherwise! Cheers from Copenhagen. Thank you kindly for sharing this corner of the world with #FarawayFiles – Erin

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