Have you heard of “That Travel Guy” Andy Hayes?

Dear Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>I might have been away on vacation in Italy, but while La Reine, The Contessa and Lady Lotus were guest blogging on my site, I was guest blogging on another site… that of Andy Hayes’ Sharing Experiences. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you meet the nicest people on the internet and Andy is one of those friends I’ve made in cyber space. Andy is known as “That Travel Guy” and with good reason, for I think he’s traveled the globe with a pen (er, make that laptop) in hand. His posts are always informative and fun to read, chock-full of tips and tidbits. Plus, he’s just plain charming in his correspondence.

A few of his articles I’ve referenced when planning outings or past trips include:
  • 24 Hours in The Dutch Kitchen – Your 24.com
  • Best Capital Boutiques (Edinburgh) – Planet Eye
  • Out and About Day Trips Near London – Europe Up Close
Based in Scotland’s fashionable capital Edinburgh, you see him and his work everywhere. He is passionate about travel and does a lot of writing for major magazines, blogs, as well as a few print books. He’s also the man behind the blog, Sharing Experiences, a site where he interacts with other travel writers and shares travel tips with his wide range of contacts. Not only does Andy write about travel, but he also helps companies in tourism and travel-related businesses take advantage of the myriad of social media’s available and embrace online technologies, ensuring their content, both print and online, matches their business needs and their brand. Make sure to check out his services to launch your business into First Class!

Last week Andy featured me, The Antiques Diva™, on his blog. Leading into my article, Andy writes:

“Today’s guest post features some European highlights from my friend Toma Haines. Toma is one fabulous lady who is guaranteed to make you laugh and give you some great tips! I’d dare say there are more shopping suggestions below than any other blog post on the planet! She offers really unique tours and I’m jealous to say I haven’t been on one of them yet, but hope to do so in the near future – just chatting away with Toma is convincing enough. Anyway, I’ll stop spoiling the fun and will hand it over to Toma….”

With an introduction like that, all I can say is Thank You Andy for sharing Diva Tips with your readers! And Dear Diva Readers don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten you either… You too can read the full article to Euro-Fabulous Shopping with the Antiques Diva” href=”http://andyhayes.com/euro-fabulous-shopping-with-the-antiques-diva/”>Euro-Fabulous Shopping with the Antiques Diva on Andy’s site!

Until Next Time, Happy Reading,

The Antiques Diva™

P.S. Now that I’ve returned home from Italy I’m gearing up for a series of great posts on La Dolce Vita! Stay Tuned for more!
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Author: Toma Clark Haines

Toma Clark Haines is a Global Tastemaker, Speaker, Writer & Entrepreneur; and founder and CEO The Antiques Diva® & Co, Europe, Asia and America's largest Antiques Sourcing & Touring Company.

  • This is very less time happens when we get a good blog having a useful information for us. I got good tips here for travelling.I will also recommend you LMT site as here you will get hotel ticket at very good rate which will be surely useful for ur tour and travel. 🙂

  • Dear Anon,
    If only it were the first weekend in September – now that is the BEST time to head to Lille when their town wide braderie (basically garage sale) is going on! But indeed linens are the things to buy in Lille – they are a good value there – but they are not cheap! Two points, not to be confused!

    To buy linens in Lille, you actually have to leave Lille and go to Roubaix – the former heart of the French textiles industry and now the centre of mail-order shopping. Roubaix used to be known as the 'city of 1,000 chimneys' and the old factories still stand. Visit the factory outlet called L’Usine – an outlet mall with three floors selling 200 brands of discounts of up to 60 per cent off.

    228, Avenue Alfred Motte
    59100 Roubaix, France

    Check out Tex affaires, the Deschamps outlet store and keep your eye open for Cristian Lacroix, Pierre Frey, Yves Delorme all at discounted prices. Sadly I think the Eurodif store went out of business but keep your eyes open to see if you see a shop by this name – it use to be junky but had great finds amidst the rubble.

    Now, the real reason for buying linen in Lille is the Porthault outlet.
    Address: 19 Rue Robespierre, Rieux-en-Cambresis (near Lille).

    The real expert on French linen is Born to Shop expert – Suzy Gersham in C’est La Vie. In C’est la Vie she writes explaining how to buy 1000E sheet sets for 100E:

    “Porthault (pronounced port-ho) is the most famous brand name in luxury bedding in France. The sheets retail for about 1000 dollars each depending on size, fabric and amount of work involved. While traditionally the firm has been known for a very specific print – florals on bright white background – they have also modernized the line to include embroidered borders, jacquard solids and all sorts of extension products from bathrobes to children’s needs. There is also a hotel line and industrial line. The Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris is famous for its custom made Porthault tablecloths – red geranium splashed on a white background – which are placed on the tables in the courtyard each May 15 at a party to celebrate the arrival of fine weather and fine linens. Most of the world’s top hotels have Porthault robes. The Porthault factory outlet sells both commercial lines as well as consumer lines, both are deluxe brands released at a small fraction of the regular retail price. A one thousand dollar sheet costs about ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS at the outlet. The Porthault outlet store is located right within the factory and the factory is so far in the middle of nowhere that locals and taxi drivers get lost getting there. “
    If you have any money left after the outlet shopping, then go back to Lille and hit Rue Basse – an elegant street with antique shops, art galleries and chic boutiques in 18th-century mansions
    By the way, the Lille art museum PALAIS DES BEAUX-ARTS Place de la Republique is the 2nd largest in France after the Louvre. I consider that a “must see”.

    Happy Shopping!! Do me a favor and send pics of your outing and write letting me know what you scored… I’d love a reader review as it’s been a few years since I’ve hit the outlets!

    The Antiques Diva™

  • Diva,
    I need your help fast. I am going to Lille tomorrow and I love antiques….any suggestions? I also heard that there are great deals on French linens. Is this true? Thank you … you are ALWAYS so helpful!

  • Can't WAIT for the La Dolce Vita posts! Glad you're back.
    Thanks for the sweet comment on my blog 🙂 One of my favorite things about blogging is all the great new friends I've made! There are so many delightfully creative people out there – why let a little thing like living in completely different cities – or countries – get in the way?! Looking forward to reading more of your wonderful ideas.