Foire de Chatou Spring 2015

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.

IMG_0005

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.

 IMG_0006

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.

IMG_0007

These three lanterns would be so much fun to use on a house.

IMG_0008

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.

 IMG_0009 IMG_0010

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.

IMG_0011 IMG_0012

These decorative metal pieces were gorgeous.

IMG_0013

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.

IMG_0014

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.IMG_0015 IMG_0016

This silver pitcher was great and I am still thinking about this white pitcher too.

IMG_0017

These green archive boxes were so interesting, I love the green.

IMG_0018

These pictures are from the same vendor.  What a statement all of their pieces make.

IMG_0019 IMG_0020

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.

IMG_0021

This pair of chairs had such a velvety, cozy fabric, and I love the lines.

IMG_0022

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.

IMG_0023

I think this is my favorite photo from the day.  These were all different patterns and makers, but oh so beautiful.

IMG_0024

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!

IMG_0025

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.

IMG_0026

Torchon any one?  This was just one of the vendors with stacks of vintage kitchen towels.

IMG_0027

There were several more shelves full of these vintage cafe au lait bowls.  I stopped in my tracks when I saw this collection.

IMG_0029

A final great display of vintage toy cars.

IMG_0028

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.

DSC_0356

I hope you enjoyed my little tour of the Foire de Chatou.  I am sharing with

Coastal Charm

The Scoop

Let’s Talk Vintage

Elephants and Ivy

Vintage Inspiration Party

Treasure Hunt Thursday

Feathered Nest Friday

A Visit to Porte de Vanves in January

Last week was a difficult week in Paris, as I am sure you all have seen.  We live in the suburbs of Paris and we were not directly affected by any of the violence.  It is still very difficult to see our home in so much pain.  On Friday I did head into the city for a MOPS meeting, Mothers of Preschoolers.  We meet at the American Church of Paris and when I went into the city I had to think about whether or not it was safe.  There were two security guards instead of just one outside the church itself.  The hostage situation developed on Friday, but it was on the east side of town.  The part of town I was in didn’t really look that different, but there was definitely a higher level of tension for everyone. On Saturday we had planned on going into the city so I could visit the Porte de Vanves and my family could play on a play ground.  We talked about not going in, but we decided that since all of the hostage situations had been resolved that we felt comfortable going in. The market definitely was not as busy, but there were still quite a few vendors and shoppers and it was a nice enough day.  I visited my favorite vendor first and I was well rewarded for stopping.   This whole stack of trays.  They weigh a ton and have a variety of different marks on the bottom.  I am going to have to do some research to see if I can determine their ages and origins.  The shoe forms are something I have wanted to pick up. DSC_0016   Then I found these coal scuttles.  Thankfully I had my rolling market bag, but they still made quite the statement as I rolled and carried them through the rest of the market.  I am so excited about this pair of square ones.  I don’t know how old they are, but they are in really good condition.   DSC_0017   The third coal scuttle I found, another egg basket to add to my growing collection and an enamelware ladle, red of course!   DSC_0021   I found these pink plates, there are two plates and two bowls and they have a flamingo design on them.  How fun is that?  I haven’t been able to find any information on the marks on the back yet.  The painted coffee pot is an enamelware piece that I have been looking for.  I love the hand painted design, but usually these are out of my price range.  Thankfully my patience paid off and I was able to bring these beauty home.   DSC_0015   This plate is not my usual style, but something about the colors spoke to me.  That is what I love about markets, you never know what you are going to find and what is going to jump out at you.  When I got this home I realized I do have a growing collection in this color palette and it is fun to see these collections develop. DSC_0020   Another growing collection is of linens.  This large sheet has beautiful yellow embroidery along with the initials A L .  As far as I can tell it is in perfect condition.  I found this in a plastic bag sitting on a table.  The gentleman that was selling it was so engrossed in a board game his friends were playing that I had to wait several minutes to get his attention.  I love going to markets here in France and seeing how much fun they have.  Customer service is not something they worry about too much, but they still seem to do okay.   DSC_0018   And here is the entire collection.  I was able to purchase all of this in about 2 hours of shopping.  I made one circuit through the market and all my bags were full.  My sweet husband said I could go back for more if I wanted to, but the kids were hungry and I felt satisfied with my finds for the day. DSC_0012 The season for brocantes and markets is starting back up and I am so excited to get out there as much as possible. I am always curious what YOU would look for if you could visit a French market?   Sharing at Coastal Charm; Show and Share, The Scoop, Vintage Inspiration Party, Ivy and Elephants, Treasure Hunt Thursday, and Feathered Nest Friday.

Bienvenue to Brocante Treasures!

Hello, My name is Amy.
Just over a year ago my family was waiting to find out where we would be making our next move.  I was 3 months pregnant and living in Oslo, Norway at the time.  We had a few ideas of where we might be going, but when my husband called and said our next home would be Paris I thought he was lying.  By July we were on a plane from Oslo to Paris and ready to settle our 3 children in and get ready to meet #4.

10614201_10152368916467705_4710479233183874145_n

Our first year in Paris was so much fun, we welcomed a new baby and traveled and settled in to our new home.  I have always loved vintage treasures.  When we lived in Texas I loved to collect old things and clean them up or repurpose them.  Living in France has taken my love of collecting to a new level.

The word brocante is a French word that refers to second hand trade.  When I see the word Brocante on a roadside sign I get so excited.  A brocante usually looks like a flea market, tables and boxes and piles of gorgeous old items.  There are other names like vide-grenier, foire a tout or march au puce.  Each of these events has a slightly different selection of old items, but they are all a good time.
DSC_0042

As I have spent more time visiting different brocantes I have amassed a collection of French vintage items.  I have started collections like I never thought I would be able to. My hope one day is to be able to share my treasures with others, people that are not able to get to France to wander the markets on their own.

I do most of my treasure hunting with my family in tow, that means my husband and 4 children in tow.  We see a lot of beautiful places in France and beyond and we have a lot of fun.

DSC_0387

 

 

I hope you have fun coming along on our adventures and enjoy sharing in my treasures.