La Foire de Chatou

There is an island in the Seine River not far from my home, called L’Ile des Impressionistes. Each Spring and Autumn the Foire de Chatou is held on the island. It’s an eclectic mix of flea market junk, real antiques, fine art, regional and pork products.

The Foire began in the Middle Ages and was first set up around the Notre Dame cathedral. It lasted for three days during the week before Easter Sunday. French pig farmers came from the all over the country to sell their hams and other pork products that at the time were reserved for special occasions.

Over the years the fair grew in size and was moved to different parts of the city. In the mid 1800s other dealers set up near by selling secondhand items, antiques and scrap metal to take advantage of the crowds of potential customers.

It was moved out of the city in 1970 to Chatou a suburb in the west of Paris and a short ride out of the city on the RER trains.

This stall was by far the most attractively styled, with each corner a small evocative scene. It was run by Flo from La Bruyère, Objet Inattendus (The Heather, Unexpected Things).

Florence not only sells her finds, but also hires them out to create enchanting scenes for commercial and private events such as weddings.

Another stand that caught my attention was the Depot Vente of Alain Prigent, with enamel pots and old glass bottles that are in all the interior decor magazines at the moment. 

I ran out of cash and couldn’t buy one, but luckily for me the shop is near my home.

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