West of Paris there is a town named Chatou. There is an island in the Seine that is a part of Chatou, it is call the Ile des Impressionnistes. Impressionist painters used to come to the restaurant on this island and Renoir has a famous painting that was set here. Twice a year part of the island is devoted to the Foire de Chatou et le Foire de Jambon. Cool old stuff and ham, 2 great things to celebrate. I have been to the last 2 events and I was excited to get to visit this show as well. I usually would not have gone on the opening weekend, the show runs for 2 weeks, but because I have a full schedule over the next 2 weeks we decided to go as a family on Saturday. This is my youngest all dressed for a day at the market. He is our French baby through and through.
We made sure we were up early to get decent parking. Did I mention the event is held on an island? A long skinny island with limited parking. There is a little train that brings people from the train station in Rueil Malmasison to the front gates, but as for parking you can walk a long way. We were lucky and got there around 9:40 and got great parking. We only and to wait outside for 20 minutes, the gates opened promptly at 10. By the time the gates opened there were quite a few people waiting to get in. The fee to get in is 6 euros per adult. After our 12 euro entry we were ready to start shopping. Here is my oldest ready to go, she got herself dressed for the day and I love her look.
I always love how most vendors seem to arrive at about 9:55 and are still opening their booths at opening time. It is worse during the week because there is even less traffic. These gorgeous mannequins were sold the 1st day of the show. They were a hot ticket item this year, I saw at least 10. Each more expensive than the last.
These three lanterns would be so much fun to use on a house.
On my to buy list is a French farm house table. I want to find a show stopper, and I found 2. These tables were sitting side by side with the same vendor. The tops are all reclaimed wood and are absolutely amazing, with amazing price tags to match.
Have you ever eaten at a table set with knife rests? I haven’t, but I have several friends that are interested in buying a set. This vendor had great prices and a nice selection. I love when friends ask me about a certain item, I notice things that I might not otherwise see.
These decorative metal pieces were gorgeous.
I have looked at a lot of vintage linen since moving to France and would you believe I have never seen my monogram before? The vendor says it almost never works out that you find your own, but I did. Unfortunately her prices were just a little too steep. At least I was able to get this picture. Maybe one day I will find a set that I can bring home.
Did I mention the food? This is a ham festival too after all. There is an entire row dedicated to eating. There are fresh oysters, meat and cheese, and then ham. This first one is amazing. I ate there 3 times last time the show was on. This year I decided to branch out and try the raclette dish on the right. It was like scalloped potatoes and it was amazing. It was all amazing. We sat down and enjoyed our lunch. Then my husband took the kids out to throw rocks in the river while I finished up a bit of browsing.
This silver pitcher was great and I am still thinking about this white pitcher too.
These green archive boxes were so interesting, I love the green.
These pictures are from the same vendor. What a statement all of their pieces make.
When it is lunch time for the vendors they don’t cut corners. I have seen table clothes, glass stemware and off course their espresso after the meal. If you are trying to shop during lunch time be prepared to be ignored. If you want a price you have to really work to get their attention. I love this picture because they were using chairs that were for sale to sit in.
This pair of chairs had such a velvety, cozy fabric, and I love the lines.
Enamelware pitchers get me every time. The pink and green on this was so different and fun. I was already carrying an enamel pitcher so I left this one for the next collector.
I think this is my favorite photo from the day. These were all different patterns and makers, but oh so beautiful.
So my sister is a hair stylist so this sign caught my eye. How fun would this be to have outside your vintage styled studio? I took a picture and checked the price. The 500 euro price tag was a shock, even after a day of browsing these gorgeous pieces. I was even more shocked when I wen back later in the evening and the sign was gone!
More mannequins, they seemed to be really popular this time around. It might just be that I am noticing them more now, but I don’t remember seeing quite this many before.
Torchon any one? This was just one of the vendors with stacks of vintage kitchen towels.
There were several more shelves full of these vintage cafe au lait bowls. I stopped in my tracks when I saw this collection.
A final great display of vintage toy cars.
And in the end this is what I brought home. Compared to how I usually shop I know it isn’t much, but I am really pleased with what I did find. My purple transfer ware are two matching serving plates that are almost 2 feet long. They are heavy and gorgeous. I did not buy them from the collection pictured above, they were tucked at the back of a bottom shelf in another booth. I am so in love with them I am considering decorating a room around them. The enamel pitcher is a white and tan speckled pattern. The red and white enamel container is a different shape than most I have and I love it. The yellow basket has leather handles and dates back to the 60s. The gravy boat was made in England, the bowl has pink flowers and was made in Holland. The blue rimmed plate has a bunny in the middle and the paper egg was made in Germany. I picked up a table cloth with a great monogram and a few napkins with monograms. Overall it was a good day. I was happy to see some of my favorite vendors and to discover some new favorites as well and any day spent in the sunshine is a plus.
I hope you enjoyed my little tour of the Foire de Chatou. I am sharing with