Every Spring, a lot of “vide-greniers” and “brocantes” are organised in many villages and towns in France. Some markets or car boot sales are really disappointing, as they only consist of stalls full of rubbish. And sometimes you find a very nice market, such as the “Foire Brocante” in Pézenas. This antique fair isn’t disappointing at all. In fact, it is “superbe”!
Vide-greniers versus brocante
After ten years in France, I finally understand the difference between a “vide-greniers” and a “brocante”. The markets in the villages are mostly “vide-greniers” (plural that is). Vide-greniers- literally emptying your attic- are a French way of life. You might compare it with a car boot or garage sale. Each little village organises a vide-greniers each year. Or two. Or even more. Everybody can sign up and sell all the stuff they want to get rid of. Brocantes, on the other hand, mainly host professional sellers. You can clearly see this in the quality of the items that are on offer. And also price wise…
At first, our children were not very thrilled whenever I suggested we go to another brocante or vide-greniers. But ever since I explained to them that in fact, we are on a treasure hunt, all three of them jump up and down to go. They too are chasing “trésors” at every market we visit, mainly consisting of sports cups, dinosaurs, cars and old coins. At the Foire à la Brocante in Pézenas, there isn’t much paraphernalia for the kids, but I love it. Here you will mainly find real professional sellers, whose merchandise doesn’t really interest the kids. Apart from the collectable cars at 20 euros each…
The Foire à la Brocante in Pézenas is held twice a year: the first Sunday in May and the second Sunday in October. Normally, we arrive at about ten o’clock in the morning to find the streets already packed with people. However, if you walk with the flow, you don’t notice the bustle. We leisurely stroll through the market, with enough time for a chat now and then. Starting at the Office de Tourisme is a good place for us to begin: we almost always buy something at nearly every stall on this side! Making Chéri run back and fore to the car to put away all of our new treasures. To get more energy for roaming the market, we have a delicious lunch at a bar-au-vin, with the appropriate name “Le Vintage“. So, if you’re into vintage and flea markets, this Foire à la Brocante in Pézenas is a must-visit if you ask me!