LE PERCHE, Nor­mandy

Homes and Antiques Magazine - - TRAVEL -

This lit­tle-known area of Nor­mandy is a hot­bed of bro­cante bou­tiques and ware­houses and, be­ing just a cou­ple of hours from the northern ferry ports, makes a great des­ti­na­tion to visit by car (or van if you have big pur­chases in mind). A favourite week­end bolt­hole of chic Parisians, this is where many of them search out in­ter­est­ing ob­jets to deck out their apart­ments or fam­ily chateaux.

Start your trip in Bel­lême, a town so ded­i­cated to trea­sured ob­jects it even pub­lishes a guide to its many an­tiques and bric-a-brac shops. Each of­fers some­thing dif­fer­ent to the oth­ers, from 1950s light­ing to clas­sic, French ar­moires. Mean­while, Mortagne-au-Perche of­fers fur­ther an­tiques shops, and the nearby vil­lage of La Per­rière has a real treat in the shape of La Mai­son d’Horbé (lamaisond­horbe. com), a restau­rant set within an an­tiques shop. The sum­mer is a good time to come for the many flea mar­kets (or vide-gre­niers, at­tic clear­ance sales) that take over sleepy vil­lage greens and squares. Stay at Chateau de Saint Paterne (chateau-saint­pa­terne.com) a fam­ily-owned bou­tique ho­tel just out­side Alençon. It is beau­ti­fully styled with in­trigu­ing paint­ings and heirloom fur­ni­ture and has rooms from 145 a night. en.nor­mandie-tourisme.fr

Bel­lême’s pretty streets are home to a wide range of vin­tage and an­tiques deal­ers.

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