Brocante, Vide-Grenier And Braderie?

 Bonjour! Are you already planning your weekend? If you were living in France, chances are the weekend means a few things: food, time with family and friends and brocanting! That’s right - every weekend (Friday-Sunday) somewhere in France people are selling their previously enjoyed wares to others. 

Homeowners are seeking the perfect addition to decorate their abode and visitors spend hours rummaging through the endless stalls to find a little something of France to take home with them.  Sheer joy!

So what the heck is it? The brocante is like the Canadian garage sale, estate sale and flea market all rolled up into one glorious market.  On steroids.  Seriously, food and wine included in your experience.  Vintage enthusiasts hail! Brocanting, obviously, what we do, and the brocanteur, your beloved dealer. Most likely related to the phase “bric-a-brac”, or trinkets, gathering bits and pieces. Brocentes are also known as “Puces” (flea), a term going back to Paris in the 19th century.

 

However, there are other terms used to describe the beloved brocante. Vide-grenier literally means “attic emptier.” It’s a great opportunity to browse tucked away collections for hidden gems. Although vide-greniers can pop up anywhere, they are commonly found in rural nooks and smaller villages.

Another summertime event is the braderie - a flea market on steroids. Typically organized town by town, braderies combine flea market and antiques with food stands, live music and street theatre. This is a way to enjoy and experience the local culture of a town in one visit!  I don’t think you need to guess that these events are ALWAYS on my list of things to do while in France!