La Braderie: the day I died and went to vintage heaven

6 Sep

My friend and I had a fantastic weekend hunting for treasure at La Braderie in Lille – Europe’s biggest flea market! There was so much to see, so much to buy and we came away with some great goodies. Photos of what I bought will have to wait until this weekend (it’s too dark for photos when I get home from work now, sob). In the meantime here’s a selection of photographic loveliness to set the scene.

I love how the seemingly random assortment of junk creates the most intriguing combinations!


These gorgeous enamel jars were very tempting. I think I like the mottled blue and white ones best.

I was so charmed by this toy big wheel that I hadn’t noticed the advertising sign in the background until I edited my pictures!

I did manage to tear my eyes away from the brocante once or twice to admire Lille’s beautiful architecture, like this disused pharmaceutical college. We also spent quite some time spotting apartments we’d like to buy / rent. I thought that the one above this antique shop would suit me just fine.

There’s only one thing I find more pleasing than a row of Tolix chairs. And that’s a row of Tolix chairs with a heap of retro typography in front of it.

I went a bit gooey over this shapely 1930s blush pink tea set. Impossible to carry back safely on the Eurostar unfortunately. I hope another nice vintage lover got to take it home for their table.

Lots of the stalls belong to locals who set up a table of household cast-offs outside their garage, some are entrepreneurial kids looking to make a few euros selling home-baked cakes and old toys, others are dealers selling a specialist selection of items. But what brings someone to become a specialist in rickety prams or freaky bits of dolls I can’t imagine!

{all Decorator’s Notebook}

If you could have picked one thing in these photos, what would you have chosen?

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5 Responses to “La Braderie: the day I died and went to vintage heaven”

  1. Tom August 8, 2013 at 10:05 #

    Hi there,

    We went there last year and I think we hit the wrong part of the market as all we saw were shoddy cheap goods and no genuine 2nd hand loveliness. Where were the best stalls situated?

  2. Rachel @ Fresh Design September 22, 2011 at 19:06 #

    It looks fabulous!

    (BTW do you have an RSS feed? Would like to subscribe to your posts, but can’t see one).

    • Decorator's Notebook September 22, 2011 at 21:58 #

      Hi Rachel
      It is such an amazing place – all other flea markets pale into insignificance. You should be able to subscribe using the ‘Don’t miss a post’ button in the sidebar. Let me know if it doesn’t work!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Mini makeover: bedroom nook | Decorator's Notebook blog - November 25, 2013

    […] French grammar poster was a find from La Braderie a few years ago and I ran up the envelope cushion using a scrap of Laura Ashley fabric I had left […]

  2. Vintage shopping in Bologna « - January 2, 2012

    [...] square outside the church of Santo Stefano. Mum taught me pretty much everything I know about buying vintage tat, so the pair of us hot-footed it there straight after [...]

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