road trip

The long weekend in May saw us taking a road trip through the beautiful Normandy landscape. There were beaches to explore, restaurants, museums and chateaus galore. Me being me, I managed to squeeze in a brocante or two.

We discovered an Aladdin’s cave of a brocante/reclamation yard located right on a main road in L’Hotellerie. The large courtyard outside (no health and safety inspectors here!) was devoted to architectural and less refined pieces. Inside were the smaller, more refined pieces that I was most interested in. It seemed that the owner had made some attempt to group similar items together but the sheer volume of merchandise made it impossible for him to stick to any kind of plan or system.

This could be a selection of more rustic pieces or it could be stock waiting to be sorted and promoted to the displays indoors. Your guess is as good as mine…


This view towards the courtyard to the left of the main building hints mouthwateringly at the volume of organized chaos.

This is my favorite type of brocante, one where you have to linger at the displays because there’s too much to take in immediately. It was the typical French brocante fare but the beauty was in its sheer abundance. Each windowless room led on to another and the owner himself admitted that he’s been known to almost lock visitors inside the premises overnight when they’ve been hidden from his view in the cavernous depths.





Towards the very back of the maze was an area devoted to large wall mirrors, and marble topped sideboards. My only regret on this trip was that we only discovered the place on our way home and didn’t have the time to explore fully – I didn’t even make a purchase. Some baskets of vintage costume jewellery looked promising but would have meant stalling my grumpy companion (although, to give him his due, he was doing all of the driving).

I’ve put this one on my “return when I have plenty of time” list. I suspect that a morning spent rummaging will unearth a few treasures.


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I'm a British thirty-something who's found herself living in Paris. I have developed something of an obsession with brocantes. I spend far too much time trawling through these treasure troves and thought it was time I documented my discoveries.

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