1. Porte de Vanves Markets
An all time favourite, is spending a Saturday and/or Sunday morning in Paris is at the Porte de Vanves Flea Markets in the South of Paris -the BEST locals market for antiques for the best 'local' prices. Leave thefamously overpriced st Ouen flea market in the North near Clignancourt (where Ipurchased a 2 cup/2 plate tea set for 200euro, uuugggh!! Granted I do love theset but... uuuggggh) and follow the Parisian collectors to Vanves. It's a hugestrip of street-side dealers selling antiques, furniture, bric-a-brac andcollectables. Anyone who has been there needs no further explanation. But forthose who have not, and love pretty antiquities for la maison, put it on your'to do' list immediately.
Starting with a flaky croissant purchased from the Patiserrie atthe cafe around the corner or sipping on Vin Chaud I spend the entire morningslowly sifting through the masses of gorgeous items. While there are some exquisite pieces that area tad expensive, such as chaise lounges and other decadent furniture, I'venever spend more than say $40 Euro per visit and come away with some realworld-class treasures. Linens, photo frames, candelabras, jewellery, curtains,books, rare toys etc..
These markets were started in the late 19thcentury and today you are likely to find anything from trinkets to treasures aswell as vintage designer clothing, agate cigarette holders, swanky barware, ancient archaeological treasures, even the occasional world-class find - monet,cocteau paints and more.
Where is it? The market stretches for blocks along Avenue Marc Sangie and around the corner on Avenue Georges Lafenestre onthe southern border of Paris. MAP
How to get there? Metro station Porte Vanves, line 13. Walking directions from station to markets HERE
Petite B&B Market tips:
1. ARRIVE EARLY - it opens at 7am and dealers start to pack up atnoon. Closes by 1pm
2. Don't worry if a seller wont budge on price, more often than notthey counter offered before I got too far. If they don't go back at 1pm when they arepacking up and try again.
3. Pace yourself.
4. Look for the bargain tables: Toute a 1E cette table - everythings1 euro.
5. Bring a bag. Vendors do not have any.
6. It's cash only. Try to have smallnotes and change.
Favourite purchases: livre de lettres d'amour (a miniature volume of love letters in french from the 18thC - I cantunderstand it but one day I will and it looks divine on my shelf - a perfectitem for the knowledgeless fan of beautiful art and antique ... stuff). Myvintage Celine silk blue red and white polka dot shirt for 20Euro and my 15Euroring which I wear eveyday, yet to be appraised. It has a secret compartment which I will always remember the girl telling me in broken English "goodto keep drugs to kill boyfriend"...