BONJOUR ~HELLO ~ GOEIE DAG!
We are back from our visit to France and Belgium. I apologize for not keeping you up to date while travelling, but due to technical reasons, and being in remote villages where internet cafe's are unheard of, it had to wait until we were back home. It was a good thing .
Since there is no direct flight from Cape Town to Paris, we always fly via Dubai with a 2 hour stopover, just
long enough to freshen up, and have a cup of coffee at PAUL, the popular French patisserie at the airport.
Arriving in Paris we collect the rental and by the time we are on the A6 , the excitement is high as we head for our first stop - Mont Louis sur Loire.
Spring was in the air with trees and shrubs as far as you could see, covered with white blooms..
arriving at our first stop ~ our friend's Maison in Mont Louis sur Loire, familiar sounds, smells and garden still in winter mode.
A good nights rest, and we were off and on our way to the first appointment I had with one of my suppliers who had been sourcing for me since our last visit. Very exciting, and the first boxes of linen were packed and put aside for delivery to the shipping company to collect later.
I promise to share more detail of the linen with you once it arrives. We were unpacking and sorting outside, when all of a sudden a cloud burst and rain came pouring down. We had to rush to get all inside, and the choosing and deciding took most of a full day.
It was getting dark by the time we left here, and we still had a 3 hour drive back to where we were staying.
We stopped halfway in Chinon for dinner at a little Bistro, tired but pleased with my first day of shopping.
All monogrammed, old French and divine!
contents: 150 old French monogrammed sheets, 53 sets of napkins (sets include 6,8,10, 12 to 20 per set)
80 French dish cloths. all packed into banana boxes..I later discovered this to be the most used box for packing. At every Brocante, vide grenier or dealer, a banana box is hauled out to pack up. Once delivered at the shipping company, the pallets with boxes gets shrink wrapped and stored until packed into the container. Several of these trips with packed boxes were made to the depot from where it was collected for further handling. I prefer to pack straight after each market or dealer visit and deliver to the depot the next day. It makes it much less stressful than to leave it till the last few days.
found these two old religious tapestries at a brocante near Tours..dated 1895 and1912 - from different dealers, embroidered by different hands, yet I think the colors and theme match so well..
Images of some of the French linen and bibelots I found
old French linen, hemp and chanvre with monogrammes in white and red
on it's way
We visited Brocantes and markets in the French countryside as before, and then traveled north towards Belgium.We have never been to Belgium for buying, just as tourists, so I was eager to visit the markets there. The container I had shared space in, was leaving from Brussels so it made sense to travel there and see to the final admin from there..
This was a interesting sight..no relevance whatsoever, but en route..
We saw a lot of little private Chapels next to the road in the smaller villages of Belgium..I like that..
In Belgium one can literary visit a open market either indoors or outdoors somewhere every day! I am amazed at how many markets one can choose from, and when visiting a market here, there is always flyers being handed out on other markets and upcoming events.
I have been looking for a bakers rack with boards like this for a long time..
buttons sold by the "scoop"
1 euro per initial...3 euro if you take 5 initials..(works out on 35 -40 euro per roll! very expensive) I started to negotiate to take the complete box...but she would not budge...pretty picture though
a Lot of bisque and porcelain figurines to be found in Belgium
I did not find the linen that I was after in Belgium (perhaps I was just unlucky) but loads of other pretties.
There is a good selection of beautiful old handmade lace and loads of lovely old paintings, porcelain, old olive jars, zink, enamel ware and the "smalls" are still plenty around, with friendly dealers eager to negotiate.
I adore this wood element that is used as a table.
resting those tired little feet under a pink canopy..
if it had your name on it, of course you would photograph it...
interesting neck line..
taking a break from shopping
back to Paris via Champagne and Picardi
By now Dd was really homesick for her horse back home, and we stopped en route to hug this friendly carriage horse
Yellow Canola fields
Travelling back from Belgium towards Paris, we spent some time in Champagne~France
Avenue de Champagne
notice the creative "grapes" arrow on the road
Visited vineyards and followed the routes to more brocantes..GPS is so convenient these days..you merely pin the word brocante, and various options in all directions pops up!...
We stayed in a charming little hotel with only 8 rooms next to the canal. It is family run and the menu superb!
Breakfast with a selection of compote, fresh fruit,eggs, pastries and cheese included.
It is good to be back home, with fond memories of a lovely trip.
will share some more as we unpack and once the container arrives.
ps..I wonder if this gentleman with his dog saw this sign?...