The romantic idea of owning a piece of French history meant that hunting for vintage and antique items was a no-brainer for Stephanie’s and my first visit to Paris together. Because French antiques. Paris has a plethora of options for those seeking new pieces to fall in love with. Large established antique markets, vintage shops, flea-market open-air markets – to name a few – each with its own focus, whether it be furniture, trinkets, kitchenware, antique toys or clothing. Some are large and busy, while others can be slowly discovered at your own pace.
We ended up choosing the brocante in Village St. Paul. There isn’t a lot of information to be found online, but the impression we got was that we’d be able to find items more in our price range (cough, cheap, cough) – and we’d enjoy the much smaller scale of this market.
Village St. Paul turned out to be exactly what we were looking for: a peaceful network of pedestrian-only cobbled alleys and courtyards right in the centre of busy Paris, without the city’s often manic pace or exhausting crowds.
Brocantes are open-air markets, with vendors selling a range of items with a range of price tags. Think “flea market”. Village St. Paul offered a good selection, with everything from old clothing to glassware to costume jewelry to furniture being sold. Some of it is junk but if you have the patience to look, you’re sure to find your new favourite possession. The best deals are apparently in the boxes left for shoppers to dig through.
Our visit was on a Sunday, which meant that the little stores surrounding the brocante were closed. Simply peeking through the windows got Stephanie’s heart racing, so next time we’re in Paris she hopes to visit during the week.
What did we walk away with? Stephanie bought some silver serving pieces, which I still kick myself for not buying a set of for myself.
I bought this adorable little silver piece that I believe, based on the stamp on the bottom, is actually an English piece from the 19th century.
Just imagine how many people owned this before me. I adore it, even though polishing it makes me want to pull my hair out.
Have you been to any of the markets in Paris? Which is your favourite?
PS. I still have more Trip Things post ideas, so check back for those.