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My Planning Tips for Brocantes In Provence

In the last few years, Saturdays would normally involve a trip across to the wonderful brocante market at Villeneuve-Les-Avignon, arriving early and spending the whole morning just fuddling around the stalls, finding new pieces for the house, or simply letting our imaginations run riot with what we may be able to create with other finds. We’d spend ages squirrelling through boxes, looking in cases and just seeing what we could find, always delighted when we came away with something wonderful. Continue reading here for the Vaucluse Dreamer’s photos.

My Favourite Brocantes

Brocante Markets Vaucluse

Antiques, Art & You Festival in L’Isle Sur La Sorgue
Two weekends a year (Easter and the August 15th long weekend) the streets are filled with temporary stands – antiques, art, prints, fabrics, vintage collectables and more.

Bergerie de Berdine in Saint-Martin-de-Castillon
Annual sale on the August 15th holiday
Note: The Bergerie is a social enterprise, an entire hamlet that welcomes people who struggle to function due to addiction problems and provides housing and support in return for them working in one of the various businesses.

This Puce-Brocante (flea market) takes place every Sunday 10h00 to 16h00
Location: the Parking des Platanes (Allées Jean Jaures)
There are 200 stallholders on peak days and many fewer in winter months
The brocante is one of several reasons to visit this city.

Village Des Antiquaires de la Gare
Is not a brocante, but rather a collection of antique dealers.
2 Avenue de l’Égalite, in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue
Summer Hours (April 1 – September 30): Thursday to Monday 10h00 to 19h00
Le Café du Village is on-site, serving regional cuisine, but it is best to reserve in advance.

Every Saturday all year
7h00 to 14h00

A Few Brocante Tips:

What is a brocante? Basically it’s an antique fair with a number of vendors. Some of the stalls are run by professionals, others are hobbyists.

How is a brocante it different from a vide grenier? “One person’s junk is another person’s treasure.” A vide grenier is a community garage sale, and where you will find anything and everything for sale.  Vide greniers are not as sophisticated as brocantes, but there are plenty of treasures. The phrase literally translates into “empty cellar”, in other words, a chance to rid your attic of used stuff. Now does that not make sense? In France, as in North America, the vide grenier season begins in April and runs well through October.  In some villages, there may even be more than one sale in a year.

Puces-Brocante (flea market) splits the difference between the two. The antiques for sale are often less valuable, and there are plenty of trinkets.

“The early bird gets the worm” applies to brocantes. Arriving early, you typically have a chance to see all the merchandise.

If you are looking for something in particular, arrive with a budget in mind.

Take measurements before you shop.

Ask permission before you take pictures.

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Julie Whitmarsh

Julie Whitmarsh

Julie and her husband Andy started visiting the Vaucluse area 25 years ago & over the years have increased the amount of time they spend there with their growing family. She has a deep affection for the area, finding it is a great place to visit, where the whole family can relax and enjoy time together.

She longs for the day when she can ‘up-sticks’ from her home on Dartmoor & relocate to the Luberon and spend her days cycling, walking, visiting markets & brocante fairs and of course enjoying the local food and drink.

Her blog VaucluseDreamer gives her a space to highlight some of her favourite things about the area from places to visit to particular activities that she and her family all enjoy.

She hopes one day it will be a place where she can share the process of renovating a house in France, but at the moment that will have to wait.

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