Friday, 17 August 2012

Vide Grenier

While we were in South of France we had the opportunity to join in the local Vide Grenier.  Sounds so much more exotic than "Garage Sale" or "Car Boot Sale" non? Grenier would have referred to the granary in old European houses where grain was once stored.  In modern times has become the attic or loft where most people end up storing their old stuff rather than wheat.

The local village car park was cleared for numerous stalls where people could sell their old unwanted goods all afternoon.  To help things along the locals set up a large barbecue and there were plenty of refreshments on sale - beer, wine and some very tasty pork sandwiches.  Several locals turned up hoping to exchange trash for cash, however there were also some professional vintage goods sellers with an eclectic selection of vintage goodies.

For such a small number of stalls there was an amazing variety of weird and wonderful bric a brac and quaint knicks and knacks that would no doubt have sent some of my vintage and car boot sale loving blogging friends into a feeding frenzy.  Happily for my wallet I was held back from a major shopping spree by Ryanair's measly fifteen kilo weight limit on our suitcase.

I was sorely tempted by these vintage steel shoe inserts nestled amongst the knives, clocks and teapots. The stall owner had also managed to collect an impressive array of antique lemonade bottles, old hand written love letters, antiquated mathematical instruments like slide rules and set squares, exquisite blue glass Hermes perfume bottles, old chemistry sets and those freaky doll heads which we used to style the hair and makeup on when we were kids. Does anyone remember those? I had a Barbie one!

Other things on offer included collectibles such as this adorable vintage toy car, an old metal coffee grinder, old bar stools and an original spinning wheel.

But it was in this rack of starched white vintage clothing that I found a couple of real beauties that did end up coming home with me.  Details in next post!


  1. Oh yes, V - I see some treasures for you in that rack of white cottons : > And yes, I remember the dolls with hair to style-up. She looks odd on the table there, a bit out of place! This street sale looks like a wonderful outing.

  2. Looks like a very fun day. I really like the 'wardrobe' photo with all of the pretty cottony whites...looks like a pair of old fashioned bloomers!

  3. That looks like heaven! you could always have done like we do in India and ship your purchases back, maybe next time! that rack of white cotton clothing looks like all your Xmases come at once, dying to see what you bought! x

  4. Oh, I love these antique stalls! The starched white linens and dresses always catch my eye too, as well as those antiquated instruments. My husband's family has kept so many of their own family memorabilia dating from the Civil War (letters handwritten in blood for there was no ink on the battlefield) or the family bible from the mid-1800s.

    Looks like you had a wonderful trip! -- J xxx

  5. I love going to places like this! Old perfume bottles, and Colonial shifts, and bloomers all sound like quite the treasures. I remember having a chemistry set ... haha, I loved it! :) Have a wonderful weekend.

  6. Oh, I love events like this (and have spent much of my vacation rummaging around in such places). Vide grenier sounds so classy...and can't wait to see what you bought.

  7. This sounds like a day in heaven. Can't wait to see your purchases.

  8. Anything sounds fancier in French! Love the teapots and clear glass bottle collection. From those photos looks like you had a perfect day!

    I came over here from Jill's Street Style London. Not sure why I had not followed you yet. Am now a follower :)

  9. Oh my God the little car!! So cute! This was a great vide-grenier, the ones in Paris are often not brilliant, you'd be lucky to find any such treasures!

    1. I know - the car was adorable. I wish now that I'd done what Vix advised above and just bought a few things and posted them back as there were quite a lot of gems.

  10. I love going to flea markets and other fairs when I'm in a foreign country...the only issue is that I want to buy everything and then I wonder how on earth I will get it back home. The markets in NY are amazing too.


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