Wherever possible I’ll look to encorporate our holidays with a little treasure hunting and summer 2014 was no exception. James and I were heading to the Dordogne for 10 days of camping and kayaking with two friends and as soon as we’d booked the ferry I got busy planning our flea market routes.
During our visit went to around 8 different markets and sales. Some were in small town squares whilst others were on the outskirts of small villages. There are different names for various types of events in France and it can get a bit confusing. I’ve given a quick snippet of what they all mean below:
- Vide grenier | literally means ‘attic sale’. Generally there is a mixture of general modern household and dusty relics that have been hauled out of attics and sheds. It might take a bit of searching but when you do find something it’ll generally be pretty cheap.
- Marché aux puces | directly translates to flea market. Fairly self explainatory and these are very similar to fleas in the UK. You will only find old items but the quality will be quite mixed.
- Brocante | is a secondhand sale but is normally of a much higher quality than you’d find at a secondhand sale in the UK. You won’t normally find any baby clothes or old electricals…!
- Antiquités brocante | you can probably guess this one. As above but with a higher quantity of true antiques.
I prefer vide greniers above the rest as they seem less ‘picked over’ and the stall holders are really friendly.
If you’re looking for flea markets I would really recommend using Brocobrac. It’s a comprehensive online guide to when flea markets are on, roughly how big they are and where to find them.
We were really restricted with space and couldn’t bring anything big back but I’ve included some photos of how I’ve used the bits we managed to bring home.
Most of the treasures we picked up on this trip are either used or displayed in our house. We always try and make them work for us, even if they are used in a way they weren’t originally intended to be.