Sunflowers, lavender, long lunches, delicious wine – there are so many heavenly things about life in the south of France.
And browsing for bargains at vide greniers (literally, empty attics) and brocantes is yet another. Every town is full of posters advertising flea markets, car boot sales and salvage yards and when you’re renovating an old farmhouse they are the perfect places to snap up old furniture.
Last week we went to a brocante in Valence and it proved to be a real treasure trove. The first item we spotted was one of those freestanding metal lockers, the sort you find in old schools. They sell for hundreds of pounds in Shoreditch but this one cost 30 euros, an absolute steal. Sadly someone else thought so too because the locker had a sticker saying vendu. The man running the brocante told us they always get snapped up in a trice.
But despite our disappointment there were still bargains galore to be had. We bought the distressed table above, a retro dining chair, a set of shelves and a huge kitchen table. Our only problem was how on earth to get it all home in an average-sized saloon car. Then the man in charge of the brocante stepped forward – and guess what, they delivered too.