Monday, 30 March 2009

Paris in the Spring

Well, I've just spent the last hour writing a post that vanished in thin air. So much for the autosave feature. A warning to other guest bloggers: if you are previewing your post, do NOT hit the back button as this erases your draft.
so where was I...

I arrived in Paris on March 21st with my mother, sister, and 13 month old nephew in tow. None of them had ever been to Paris before and I was finally able to convince my mother to get on a plane that crossed over the ocean.
My sister's college roommate is from Montpelier in the south and now lives in Paris with her family. TaTa Trisha (french familiar form of aunt) was a bit naive regarding the complexities of traveling with an infant but all in all we had a great time.
Though the calendar indicated it was spring, no one told the weather as it has been cold and blustery. Paris is still waiting for March to go out like a lamb.
My mother enjoyed tea at Laduree and the lovely breakfst pastries and little Ethan enjoyed the playground at the Luxembourg gardens all bundled up against the cold. I enjoyed having my family finally get to see the city I love so much.
As for faience, Paris really is not the best place to shop but lets be honest, we come to Paris for the food and the fashion.
The Puces des Paris are located at opposite ends of the city and occur every weekend. The Puces St. Ouen are actually just outside Paris proper in the north and are made up of a number of permanent markets.
Most of the faience is found at the Marche Paul Bert/Serpette and the Marche Vernaison. There is a great little cafe in the outside poriton of Paul Bert that serves a wonderful hot chocolate with a generous bowl of whipped cream a la Angelina's without the price and the wait. It is a great consolation if you don't find any Quimper and a little celebration if you do.
Most of what you will find though is Malicorne and Desvres, some HR and the occasional piece of HB and Porquier Beau. Much of the Quimper is of recent vintage and just not that attractive or attractively priced.
At the opposite end of the city is the weekend puce set up on the sidewalks outside of the Porte de Vanves metro station. Here again you will find mostly Desvres and Malicorne with lots of other really fun things for your house.
This weekend, I found a set of 8 cute animal knife rests from Geo Martel and Fourmaintroux Corquin, some unmarked Malicorne plates, and a large panier form Fourmaintroux Freres. I also saw a painting with a large Quimper pitcher on the breakfast table and other Breton things.
From there, it was off to the Square de Batignolles in the 17th arr. for a week-long fair that is held annually. These are the types of fairs I like the most in Paris as the quality of the dealers is usually quite good and they have the best fair food I've ever encountered. One of the best is the twice yearly Brocante and Foire de Jambon held at Chatou just outside of Paris. This is one Ben loves to go too as he gets to gnaw on some gigantic piece of pork while I shop.
Le Chineur magazine has a small cover article this month on Quimper and is a good source for the brocante calendar.
are other good sources for brocantes and such all over France.
If you love Paris, macaroons, and pastries in general, Carol Gillot's blog "Paris Breakfasts" is a lot of fun. She is a watercolor artist who paints out her obsession with Paris and pastries.
A bientot


  1. Oh Trisha, You made my eyes water! HOW I love the brocantes and flea markets..and how jealous I am to be there too. Loved hearing about your family being able to share your (our) city..and your adventures. Your photos were lovely too!MERCI for today's French "fix".

  2. Well done Trisha in overcoming some trials & tribulations as this months guest blogger.
    I have loved reading your posts and was with you every step of the way as you wandered around the Paris markets, I want to go back there, now!.

  3. Porte de Vanves is my favorite regular flea market in Paris - I always find something, although not necessarily Quimper! (Half my table linens have come from Vanves ... )

  4. I am with you Maggie, ready to go now !!!
    I too always have a yen for the delicious food at Chatou and of course looking for treasures.

    Trisha, some of the food places are not familiar to me so that will lead me to some research or perhaps an email direct to you before the next trip. Thanks for the trip thru you photos. Enjoyed all your hard work.
    Diane Robinson