a french tradition: the gingerbread & ham antique fair


bonjour from paree~coming to you from a day of shopping on the outskirts of paris to visit a fair that happened to be happenning while we’re here. i’ve always wanted to check out the foire de chatou which is held on what’s affectionately known as ‘the island of the impressionists’ from a time when painters like monet and renoir created some of their most famous works here.


today chatou hosts a fair that’s been a tradtion since the middle ages, having moved around a lot and finally finding its home twice a year in this idyllic spot. it’s definitely worth a trip if you’re here at the right time of year.



how it became known as the fair of ham and gingerbread is another story and you can read all about it on the fair’s website linked above.


like all things in paris it’s taken on an air of a pleasant afternoon strolling through chic stands and trying to decide what to get when you want it all. well, almost all.


there was a mix of furniture, lighting and linens

chatou booth


with the displays full of smalls including glass, paintings and statuary



i guess i was a little obsessed with this vendor but there was so much creativity in his tiny space


i had an urge to leave with garden goodies, and maybe cause i just got a dog, fell in love with these.


but i had to be realistic about shipping this time, and sneaking these in with my carry-on was not gonna workIMG_5141

so instead we enjoyed the weather and ate like kings and queens


chatouchatou lunch

the food and desserts were gorgeous, but i was so busy eating that i didn’t get too many photos of the food


when we were fully nourished i vowed to stick with paper and ephemera starting with this old portable writing set, aka early laptop


these engravings were hand tinted, matted in gray and hung in coral frames


we found some of our own and decided to frame them at home


as both a book and handwriting lover i’m always looking for journals and ledgers. under a table was one from a boulangerie


and i couldn’t resist these artist sketchbooks from the 1800s


suffice it to say i wanted it all


puppet theater

French Books

i have a weakness for what the french call all things ‘gallant’, aka erotica to us, basically all things ‘boudoir’


even the silly postcardsIMG_5168

but as scarlet said, ‘tomorrow is another day’ and iit’s getting late. but before signing off, as promised, have hit the RaNdOm NuMbER Generator to give away the books from the last post. and the winners are Deborah McReynolds and Catherine. 

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 11.48.21 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 11.48.04 PM

if you can send me your addresses the books can go out next week when i get back. but if you didn’t win that one, we do have another, brought to you by richard nahem of i prefer paris. he’s a friend of mine living in paris and has started a monthly subscription of postcards featuring his beautiful shots around the city. the first month’s set is up for today’s giveaway so if you’re interested just say the word and we’ll do another drawing tomorrow. et alors, it’s time to shut it down, good night!



September 25, 2015. Tags: , , , , , . Antique Shopping, Chatou, Paris Flea Markets. 15 comments.

the paradox of passion

IMG_3043 bonjour mes amis, comment ça va? we’ve been enjoying the june sun and the bliss of  being able to stroll through the city without the worry of weather. i have just the slightest bit of guilt knowing i should be hitting the museums i’ve never seen and yet just can’t resist the lure of the markets, brocantes, street fairs and vide-greniers that take over so many neighborhoods this time of year. for me it’s as much fun as any tourist attraction and utterly irresistible so i won’t apologize for it, knowing that the museums will be there on some rainy day in the near future. in the meantime it feels good to to indulge this passion/obsession and enjoy every moment of it. today i wanted to share a little insight into finding these markets with those of you who share my petite addiction. IMG_3125 i’ve written about this before but wanted to post again because it is just so helpful when you’re in search of that perfect afternoon outing any day of the week. i was so grateful when my friend lorraine turned me onto this and i just love passing it on to my friends too. the very first thing i do upon arriving in paris is pick up a copy of ‘alladin’ magazine. there’s a pull-out section which lists each of the scheduled markets in paris and all over france. those numbered ’75’ are central paris. the number after paris is the arrondissement, or neighborhood.IMG_3011 it then tells the metro or the name of the event. sometimes you’ll find pamphlets in antique shops which are also good guides like this one put out by joel garcia and they have the schedule online: http://joel-garcia-organisation.fr. it helps to put the google translation bar on your search engine for even more description as to who what and when. i find it an invaluable tool: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/173424?hl=en IMG_3025 the first one we hit today was close to our apartment so we walked, but in general one of my favorite tools is an app for the metro designed by zuti. you enter your location and then the destination and it maps it out with directions and time, changes and stops. IMG_3121 if you’re on foot, google maps will work without wifi and you can do the same by entering your starting point and destination. not having to use wifi is great and it tracks your path if you have location settings turned on. IMG_3013 IMG_3018 it was an aMaZiNg experience to enjoy antiques, ephemera, vintage clothing,  jewlery, perfume bottles and powder boxes in the glorious setting by the saint sulpice church which is famous for everything from the da vinci code to catherine deneuve’s apartment overlooking the square. IMG_3023 IMG_3110 keni got into the vintage fashion and always has an eye out for pieces for his collection at the museum of fashion, like this delicious YSL two-piece number IMG_3104 and he waited so patiently when i got caught in a rain shower with one of my favorite diversions, a booth full of ephemera, and the lovely vendor allowed me to take pics of her collection. most of the stall was paper from the well known parisian printer, ‘stern’ and was a colorful collection of prototypes and images she ammased when they closed their doors recently. they had printed everything for anyone who was anyone from birth announcements to wedding invitations, menu templates, family crests and logos, foil stamps, engravings, gold and silver edged card and oh so much more…

(let me know if you’d like to contact her via email, i have it but don’t want to post it here)


anyway it’s getting late and there are a few i’d like to hit bright and early tomorrow so.. one last thing for you to bookmark, a couple great resources if you’re putting your own trip together: www.evous.fr/Brocantes-et-vide-greniers-a-Paris-1147829.html www.spam.fr/evenements.php?type=Brocante d’accord, my friends are tired of hearing me type and it’s 3am! c’est tout pour ce soir, bonne nuit!

June 19, 2015. Antique Shopping, Brocantes, Fleamarkets, Furniture, Marché aux Puces, Paris, Paris Trip, vide-greniers. 11 comments.

around the world 80 days


bonjour tout le monde, coming to you from gay paree! i spent the last few days at the flea market with clients from perth, australia who are buying for their antique business which will be set in a gorgeous church they’re converting into a store.


i promised to keep it hush hush for now and will be blogging more about it when it’s ready to go. but i couldn’t resist sharing a little of our time together. they asked me to help them find a lamp post to hang their shingle and i knew just where to go to look, but what we found surprised even me. next to an everyday light that had been removed from a paris street were three magnificent lamposts that had come directly from the Champs-Élysées!


hard to believe this magnificent piece of history was available for purchase but then again, that’s the beauty of the french flea market; it’s a place where you can take piece of history home with you, even if that means all the way around the world to australia.


the details were beautiful and on one hand i can’t understand how they could have been slated for removal after all these years, but on the other,  i’m grateful that they’re there for the taking for someone who truly appreciates them.


the plan is to get them to their new home within the next 80 days for the grand opening, so they’ll be packed up and shipped on monday.


i can’t wait to see them in their new home! we’re finishing up tomorrow, so  for now, it’s  lights out!

ps i’m in paris for the next couple weeks so if you’re interested in shopping the markets together email me at theparisapartment@gmail.com. bonne nuit! 


June 13, 2015. Antique Shopping, Clignancourt Flea Market, Clignancourt Market Paris, flea markets, Fleamarkets, France, Furniture, Lighting, Marché aux Puces, Paris, Paris Flea Markets, Paris Trip, Vernaison Market. 7 comments.

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