From veg to velos and beyond!

It’s cold, damp¬†and dreary here at home in the UK and with all sorts of horror taking place around the world, I felt like cheering myself up today with a blog.¬† We’ve just had Blue Monday (18th Jan) and I just about came away unscathed because I’ve been off work all week with a flu bug.¬† Do I need the jab? Anyway that’s another question!

So, having¬†seriously neglected the blogging scene, something of which I still¬†don’t really understand, and being still on my poorly sick bed, I began looking through some of the photos from our past¬†4 summers in France.¬† We have certainly done many things, been here and there, met with friends and family and had some fabulous times.¬† However, there is something, that although not¬†dominant, has taken up¬†a good deal of my time and that is the good old¬†vide grenier. The title says it all “From veg to velos and beyond”, it’s all there.

I’ve always been into old “TUT” and so a trip anywhere can quite often involve a trip to a charity shop, junk shop, car boot¬†sale, fleamarket,¬†you get the gist.¬†¬†For example, many moons ago (back in the 20th Century) when we passed through Paris briefly on the way home from our holiday in Bonnieux, South of France, I dragged hubby, not quite kicking and screaming, to have a look around it’s famous flea-market.¬† Clignancourt¬†(‚ÄúClee-nyahn-cour‚ÄĚ), also known as Le March√© aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, is just outside the 18th arrondissement.¬† I do recall how amazed I was at all the different stalls and range of different¬†things for sale.¬†¬†At the¬†time we had no money to spend having just had our holiday in the South, so we were¬†just window shopping.

Faire du lèche-vitrines


I love this French phrase, “licking the windows”.¬† And what a great passtime, it’s free!!!!!

 As we now have our little house in France, I decided, at the beginning of this year to try and be more focused with my visits to vide greniers and I decided to make a list of the things that I would be looking for.  Items for the house and garden.  Vintage decorative items that can be purchased from the likes of Maison du Monde but at a very inflated prices but that you can find local vides.

On my list is the vintage armoir and large mirror, together with a large sideboard.¬† I’m up for doing some painting and have already had a go with some Annie Sloan chalk paint.¬† Very easy to use and a little goes a long way if you’re looking for that distressed finish.¬† The bamboo mirror and demijohns were purchased last summer.

I also want a bottle dryer.¬† Don’t ask why?¬† I’ve seen one in a magazine covered head to toe in vintage glass bottles and it looked gorgeous, so I’m out to recreate something along those lines.¬† Loved the 1930’s head but didn’t much like the ‚ā¨250 price tag.

The enamel water/milk pitcher I purchased a couple of years ago for ‚ā¨8 and the three wooden coat peg rack was ‚ā¨2 (Deux Euro) this is my favourite price.

This was a lovely friendly shop that I visited in Castlejaloux last summer.


¬†imageI only came across this little yellow book last year towards the end of the summer but I could have done with it at Easter.¬† I spent several wasted journeys looking for vide greniers that had obviously been cancelled.¬† I wasn’t the only one either.¬† I met others, who¬†like me, ¬†were wandering around small French villages/towns looking for the vide that never was!


Brocante ‚Ästjunk/antique shop/fair – March√© aux Puces ‚Äď flea market.
Vide Grenier ‚Äď Sale of all sorts that take place in a village or town.¬†¬†Meaning “to empty the attic”.¬† You can buy¬†anything and everything, from veg to velos and beyond.¬†¬† Foire √† tout ‚Äď This is another term for a Vide Grenier.





7 thoughts on “From veg to velos and beyond!

  1. I love all things old, and everything in your photos.
    I am saving up for a chair from Maisonsdumonde, 699 euros- as the real antique version of what I want is at least ten times that.
    I am willing to climb donw form the genuinely old sometimes as I could buy a fridge for the kitchen for that kind of money!

    Funnily enough my bestest buys in France have been really, really cheap compared to the UK, like my farmhouse table


  2. No don’t be. You are right. I think you have to pick and choose with modern shops. E.g. IKEA and Maison du Monde both have some great pieces and as you say some are much cheaper than the antique version. I suppose you could be looking forever to find one at a brocante/vide. It’s not always possible to wait that longūüėÉ


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