Antiques, Brocantes and Vide Greniers...
For me, there's nothing better to do on a Sunday morning than to drive to a local village for a wander, particularly in the summer when the Brocantes and Vide Greniers begin. This week we went to Belvès which is a beautiful hill top village about an hour's scenic drive away.
Street sales seem to be a bit of a thing here, with every village having at least one per year, and you'll see plenty of posters up advertising them for weeks in advance. They are always packed with people hunting for a bargain, and the atmosphere is very convivial, often there's food stalls and/ or music too to add to the ambiance.
I've noticed a kind of class structure in the 2nd hand goods market though, as as far as I can make out: the Antiques are at the top end, and normally you'll find a few antique stalls at a Sunday event. However, more often, antiques are sold from shop premises. You'll know the antiques, as they are generally more refined, and have a matching price tag!
Then you have the Brocante, again, these are often shops, but a bit more 'pile it high, sell it cheap'(ish). And Brocante is generally the word used to promote the Sunday events in the villages. Brocante is basically anything that you have in your house or garden, that can be sold to someone else. The items are generally pretty decent or collectable and often vintage/ retro in nature. The prices vary greatly depending on how cheeky the vendor is, or how desperate they are to sell!
Finally, you have the Vide Grenier, translated into english as Flea market, or garage sale, these are the everyman version of an antiques market, and quite fascinating! It never ceases to amaze me what some people will put out on a table or a tarpaulin and try to sell. In fact I've wondered several times whether someone may have come behind us at the local tip to collect the old rubbish that we've thrown away as I'm sure that I recognise some of the stuff!
However, sometimes there are great things too, one man's junk is another woman's treasure of course...just like these really cute sundae dishes I picked up for 15€ - Got to love a bargain!