Find antiques-shopping heaven across the Channel with our edit of France’s best brocantes
Inspired by our Gallic antiques special? If this issue has le! you dreaming of rustic con"t pots and vintage toile de Jouy, then perhaps what you need is an antiques-hunting trip to one of France’s treasure-"lled brocantes. Carolyn Boyd rounds up six of the best…
Considered by many as the brocante and antiques capital of France, this picturesque Provençale town is set along two branches of the River Sorgue, its wealth built on the production of silk and wool, aided by its many watermills. The town first hosted antiques fairs in the mid-1960s, and today’s treasure-hunters are drawn by the chance to find everything from pétanque sets to zinc-topped bars (should you be visiting with a lorry).
There are a number of antiques ‘villages’, where dealers and brocante sellers are clustered in purpose-built enclaves, the oldest of which is the Village des Antiquaires de la Gare – an old watermill where you’ll find more than 100 dealers. Sunday is the time to browse the flea markets along the river’s quaysides and soak up the buzzing atmosphere as locals and visitors barter for bargains. Stay at La Prévôté, a charming little five-room bed and breakfast with its own restaurant set on the central island, with the river flowing gently underneath. Double rooms cost from 145 (la-prevote.fr).
Antiques dealers set out their wares at open-air markets throughout the year.BELOW The pretty town of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is set along the banks of the river and its branches.