la Brocanteuse

Apr 17, 2011



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 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 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?...


The House That A-M Built said...

Oh Col, it looked like a fabulous trip... and look at your darling little "French Girl' with her beret and pretty dress. Oh how I adore France. I might meet you there next time. Would love to tag along! A-M xx

Acquired Objects said...

It all looks so beautiful, you must have had a wonderful time of it. Your daughter looks to be getting very tall and love her old fashion looking dress. I can't wait to read and see more of your trip.

Karena said...

Col many wonderful images from your travels and can't wait to see more!!

Art by Karena

Come and join my giveaway from The French Basketeer!

Burlap Luxe said...

Col, what a beautiful trip!
Oh my heart is in a place of stillness. Would have loved to have tagged along with you, all those beauties, little brocante treasured finds and the linens you picked up will delight all when you display them, and use them in your treasured creations!

I will love to see what use you made of them :)

Thank you for sharing and that little ones boots and dress is amazing, oh so euro chic!

Come for a visit check out my tattered use of old creating a vintage cage of shelter. I was able to find a piece of brocante not quite valuable not quite worthless and turned it in to a piece I could love!

see you soon

PS...J'ai eu une visite inspirante avec vous mon ami, continuer à créer la beauté de la brocante.


Anonymous said...

Oh my,
I am literally drooling over your photos of Paris and Belgium@!! I would love to visit some day!
I can't wait to see all of the treasures you bought!
Welcome home and have a great week!

Dianne said...

You have had the most wonderful trip and stayed in the most amazing places! I'm clicking back to the top to re-visit these lovely sites. Delightful!!

Sharon Lee Johnson said...

Welcome back! I loved looking at these beautiful pictures. For a moment I felt as though I was actually there. I am looking forward to seeing all your wonderful finds. x Sharon

sharon santoni at my french country home said...

Lovely pictures Colette, so glad that your trip was a success, and how lovely that your litle girl can tag along too, fun memories for her.
We look forward to the container arriving!

la fourchette said...

Bien venue! Welcome back to you (and your banana boxes filled with treasures!)...not to mention your darling daughter. That last shot with her face buried in a cup is precious. Looking forward to the unpacking as you find your way back into your home routine.

designchic said...

What a wonderful trip you and your darling companion must have had, and can't wait to see all of your goodies!! The yellow canola fields are spectacular ~

LaPouyette said...

Hello Colette,
nice to see you back.
Interesting photos, particularly of the stack of linen and the charming red monograms!
And it looks like you found a German grain sack in France!
Greetings - Karin

Trouvais said...

Fabulous tour, merci!!! Loved every photo. That one with your daughter and the horse is so endearing! What a cutie she is! Thank you for giving us a tour. When's that online shop opening up!? XO Trish

M-Anne said...

QueWhat great pictures, my country is very pretty, seen through your lens. And I envy your great finds!

renilde said...

Lovely photos and treasures, you were so close to where I live, funny to recognize places on your blog x

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

Bly julle is veilig tuis...met allerlei skatte. ek was nog nie by 'n Beligies mark nie, sal moet 'n draai maak, veral vir hulle kant. dit lytk of julle trippie lekker was?

henriquewilding said...

Transporting images. Feels like I went on your trip with you- could not wait to scroll down and see what is next. Thanks for sharing your passion and finds!!

henriquewilding said...

Transporting images. Feels like I was right there with you sharing in your excitement. Amazing seeing someone living their passion, and being so sharing.

Mary Ann Pickett said...

How great was this post and your sweet girl? I am a big brocante shopper and I hate that I got some weird stomach flu both times I was in Belgium. I always have good luck in Bourgogne and Champagne...even Paris when the exchange was better. Trés belle.

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Welcome home. Your trip sounds and looks so wonderful. Thank you for showing all the wonderful photos and telling us all about it...I feel like I have been on tour with you. Perfect!
I adore the picture of your dd with the horse. Your dd is beautiful and I can tell she has a beautiful heart and soul, just like you.
I am looking forward to seeing more.
Thank you, Colette.

Karen@PasGrand-Chose said...

How wonderful to be able to relive your trip via these gorgeous images - thanks for a lovely post! And thank you too for your kind comments on my blog. I'm having the same problem with posting in Cape Town that you had in France - I want to post loads of photos of our holiday here but finding it takes literally hours to upload photos. We are here for such a short time, sadly, but on the next trip I would love to visit and see your treasures! So glad I've discovered your beautiful blog that makes me homesick for the unique quality of life in SA ...

Shel said...

Beautiful images...looks like you had a wonderful trip. Just love your embroidered linens.

Tricia said...

Oh how I wish I could've joined you!! We are planning to spend a few days in Bruges during our trip to Europe this summer and I'm excited. Looking forward to seeing all of your goodies once the container arrives. Your little one is so precious. ;)
Hugs to you Colette-

maría cecilia said...

wow!! this was a fantastic trip!! All the beauties you found and..oh! a container, gosh!! you are my hero!!
I was looking a link to your shop but didn´t find it, then realized that perhaps all the treasures are just for yourself!!! wow!!!!!