InspireJulie WhitmarshShopping & Gifts

Exploring the Villeneuve-Lès-Avignon Brocante for Silver and an antique Musket

Last weekend we decided to potter off to enjoy a couple of brocante markets and vide grenier events being held in the area.

Brocante Silver Villeneuve-Lès-Avignon

The last time we’d gone to one we’d found a wonderful French Military History chart for our youngest, Tom, who’s passionate about history, so he too thought it sounded like a reasonable way to pass a few hours and was willing to be woken early to come with us.

…Continue reading here for Julie’s photos and description of their morning at the brocante in Villeneuve-Lès-Avignon where she found some beautiful antique silver for her jewellery crafting.

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.

Read more about the brocantes of Provence here.

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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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