With sunny weather and warm tempertures, I’m getting serious about hitting up the local flea markets for a few little things to take home. I’m on the hunt for: 1- The perfect old mirror, gilded or simple, that will add some French elegance to a corner of my home, 2- Beautiful copper wares (which are far to expensive for me to buy new), I’m keep in my eyes open for the perfect cooking set or molds for my future kitchen, 3- gorgeous old plates inspired by the plates over at Manger, and I won’t pass up some beautiful silverware either 4- French linens, for tea towels or tablecloths, a little red detail or “D” monogram would be the cherry on top.
There are a few options to find the second-hand treasures you’re looking for in France:
- The first, and easiest for a tourist to find, is the traditional Flea Market (Marche des Puces) In Paris there are a few famous ones, and in smaller towns, like Dijon, there are always the vendors out with their goods on market days. You can find old dishes, sliver, jewelry and antique postcards and stamps here on a consistent, weekly basis.
- Another easy option for a tourist are Brocantes. They can be big markets, or simple shops selling antiques in town. Take a peek inside to find beautiful antiques sold by knowledgeable vendors.
- If you have a car keep your eyes open for a Vide Grenier, literally empty attic sale. Like a garage sale, the vendors at the vide grenier are average people out to sell their stuff – clothes, bags, kitchen ware, jewelry, antique books. The prices are usually really low, but it is a toss-up if you’ll find anything good.
- If you have a car it is also worth it to find the closest Emmaus. A charitable organization that gives proceeds to help people in need, the Emmaus is the place big and little pieces. You can find beautiful old wood furniture for less than 50 euros, old books and comics for pennies, traditional baskets, glassware and dishes. The emmaus will be packed on the weekend, but is full of treasures for the finding.
- Finally, if you have an internet connection check out Le Bon Coin, and online second-hand market where you can find anything you are looking for (or furnish your apartment if you are moving to France!) for really good prices. The only thing is you will need a car or someway to pick up your goods from the vendor.
Happy treasure hunting! I’ve got my fingers crossed I find everything on my list, stay tuned to instagram for updates!
I fell in love with Lyon last weekend. Maybe it was spring. Maybe it was having time to getting lost. Maybe it was the amazing food. Whatever it was, I saw the city like never before.An endless line up of top-notch produits regionelle make Lyon an indulgent escape. It’s the gastronomic capital of France, so stop by the seriously mouthwatering Les Halles de Lyon where, hungry or not, you’ll want to have a gourmet lunch of quenelles or oysters or some local cheese and a Rosette de Lyon sausage for a picnic. After, stop at any shop for the sweet, bright red almond praline that you’ll see in every window. The croquant de amandes is delicious and the brioche sells like hot cakes.
Despite being probably the most touristy place in the city, you can’t go to Lyon without a stop at a bouchon in Vieux Lyon. Rue Saint Jean is the place to be. You’ll find the same “Lyonnaise Menu” for about 15 euros at just about every restaurant, so take a stroll until you find the place you like best. We stopped at Les Paves de Saint Jean,where the magret de canard with honey and citrus sauce was amazing. Don’t be alarmed of you are seated at a table with another couple or the decor is absolutely hideous…that’s the bouchon’s charm. And, save room for a crepe made by the sweetest monsieur on the street.
For a relaxing retreat head to the Roman Theatre. Tucked in the hills about the city, the funicular drops you off just in front. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic or a moment of peace. When you’re finished the Basilica is just up the street. Despite being overwhelmed with tourists it’s still a must see with the neo-baroque byzantine interior and the breathtaking views of the city.
There is something about getting lost in a city, so go to Lyon to discover the corners and details instead of rushing from one sight to another. Take advantage of Lyon’s easy public transport (subway, tram, and busses) and find your own Lyon. If you’re out for the evening the Liberte Soiree Pass is a deal offering unlimited travel after 7pm for 2.80 euros, and for a day in the city the day pass can’t be beat at 5.20 euros. Add Lyon to your list!
Autun was recommended to us by our friends here in Dijon. A quiet town in the hills, it’s got a totally different feel than other towns in Burgundy we’ve visited with the winding streets connecting the high and low parts of the town. It’s claim to fame is the Roman theater and Roman ramparts found around the city. Back in the day the first Roman Emperor, Augustus, decided to call this city in Gaul, Augustodunum. From then on it was a powerful city, where the first Duke of Burgundy came from and where the Bonapart brothers studied many years later. Today, you can see a bit of the history of France in Autun, from Roman, Romanesque, Medieval Fairy Tale (found: Belle’s house from Beauty and the Beast-see pic below), and 19th century art and architecture.
Today the remains of the great Roman past can be seen at the Roman theater. Said to have held nearly 20,000 people it sits on a green hill patiently offering a seat to the generations-who now can watch a soccer game in the field below. Training next to Roman ruins, pas mal.
After the Roman ruins, Autun is known for its cathedral. A heavy structure with typically Burgundian colored rooftops, it seemed to have fallen into the only space left in the high part of the city-the next door buildings were seriously encroaching. Inside it is dark and under restoration, one thousand years of use begs for some care. But despite it’s seeming lack of grace and space at first view, the sculptures of the last judgement on the entrance portico seem to have been carved out of air just yesterday.
Visiting on a Sunday there wasn’t much more to see, so after a quick stroll around the cathedral we ended our visit with a café créme
watching the locals head to the town hall to place their votes in the first round of the French presidential election (way back in 2012!). One last reason to remember Autun for all you design folk: Autun is home to these fab Tolix chairs