Pretty in Pink in Paris’ Marché aux Puces de Vanves.

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top: 2px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>While every client at The Antiques Diva™ European Shopping Tours is special, this summer I had the opportunity to travel with an extraordinary client – my 16 year old niece, Tessa! On her first European adventure I initiated her into The Antiques Diva™ Lifestyle by taking her to my favorite French flea market in Paris – Marché aux Puces de Vanves.

One of the things I love most about my job leading travelers around the flea markets of Europe is what my clients teach me as they introduce me to their passions and collections! Each client inevitably is unique – with a different interest, different hobby and different collections they’re looking to add to while out and about, shopping in the European flea markets. My 16 year old niece was no exception! With her pink head pulsing thru the market, vendors simply adored her, pointing out perfect Parisian pink treasures for her to take home. Ever the fashion plate, she picked up this gorgeous 1960’s French silk gown (above) shortly after we arrived at the flea market for a mere 36Euro. It fit as if it were made for her and a few days later she wore it to lunch at Café Marly nearby the Louvre!

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She also fell head over heels for these vintage French frames at 12 Euro and sported them around Europe for the next month!

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Of course, she was crazy for this Daisy Necklace picking it up for a friend as a souvenir de Paris for 6Euro!

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I’m not certain whether it was she or me who noticed the stuffed camel first – but we knew that it said exotic travel décor with a 20 E price tag!

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She decided against buying this Charlie Chaplin hat for 30E but was sorely tempted by it!

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In general, the French hats were of great interest and we spent a good 30 minutes digging thru this box where all the hats were marked 10E or less!

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But perhaps the catch that got away was the magnifying glass paperweight. We decided against purchasing it at 45E, but in retrospect perhaps we should have! Where else could she have been framed so perfectly in Paris?

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After all that hard work shopping, we were ready for a break. So we hit a local café to have a Diablo Fraise! A Diablo Fraise is a typical drink you’d order on a sunny day in Paris – it’s carbonated lemonade with strawberry syrup that just so happened to match Tessa’s perfectly pink hair!

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When the waiter noticed this, he decided that Tessa would make an ideal art installation on the Parisian streets! And he artfully arranged colored straws in her hair!

Tell me – where else but Paris would a waiter make you into street art?

From time to time I’ve had clients on Diva Tours tell me that their teenage sons and daughters wouldn’t be interested in antique shopping, preferring instead to antique/vintage shop solo. But I have to tell you, my 16 year old niece loved the Paris Flea Market! Tessa found nearly ever souvenir she purchased in Paris at the Porte de Vanves Flea Market – so for your next trip abroad, forget the typical souvenir t-shirts when shopping for a teenager in Paris, consider instead vintage fashion and fun French antique accessories!

Until next time, Bonne Shopping!

The Antiques Diva™
(seen right with The Little Diva – Tessa at the top of the Tour Eiffel)

Paris Travel Files!

Located in the 14eme arrondisment at the avenue Marc Sangnier and avenue Georges Lafenestre, “The Other Paris Flea Market” is located near the Porte de Vanves metro stop. to 10px; width: 297px; height: 299px; text-align: center;” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TMmeF3wx9TI/AAAAAAAAFMk/fi9G1RyBV9o/s400/Picture1.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”” />The market is open year round e
very Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 1pm – though experience tells me vendors aren’t really ready for customers until 9am, so take advantage of a “late start” and sleep an extra hour before shopping the fleas!

Bonne Shopping, Diva Style!

The Swiss Miss Goes Brocanting in Aarburg!

y friend, The Swiss Miss, just called today to tell me about a Sensational Swiss Brocante she’s going to this weekend the 24/25 of August! When The Swiss Miss calls, it’s sort of like EF Hutton – everybody listens! If there is one person whose advice The Antiques Diva ™ trusts on where to go antique shopping, it’s hers indeed.

She has managed to get her whole family involved in the obsession and even her cuddly 8-year-old daughter, The Little Swiss Miss, has started a miniature porcelain collection that will certainly be sold off at Sotheby’s someday.

Mister Swiss Miss, an avid collector himself, is to be credited (or blamed, depending on the perspective) for my husband’s addiction to Art Deco statues, antique fountains pens and deer antler chandeliers (note to the reader: it is only this last item which has caused me to point blame at the Mister). You can see in the photo how the whole Swiss Miss clan is conspiring with “mon marie” to convince me that those antlers would look great in our living room – but I didn’t buy it then and I don’t buy it now!

Aside from that one sore point, our travels together wandering antique shops and brocantes in foreign countries and exotic places have netted some of our best finds and more than once we’ve returned home after a visit “chez them” with our trunk stuffed full of newly acquired treasures.

I knew that if The Swiss Miss was telling me that the twice-annual brocante (held once at the end of April and again in August) in Aarburg, Switzerland was good, then I’d better take notes.

The Swiss Miss Family likes the Aarburg Brocante for a number of reasons, perhaps most importantly because it reminds them of the French flea markets they used to visit when they lived in the shadow of the Tour Eiffel in the City of Light. Of course, the French brocante feeling might have something to do with the fact that Aarburg is located in the French speaking part of central Switzerland, located a mere 20k away from the well-known city of Bern.

But The Swiss Miss says it is more than the French aspects that catches her fancy. “Aarburg has a small river and a covered bridge and some of the stalls are set up in the covered bridge… it gets a little crowded browsing on the bridge, but it’s worth it.”

“In some ways it’s typically Swiss,” she comments using
a tone of voice that indicates this isn’t necessarily a good thing. “The prices are typically Swiss. There were many items I would have bought (like a few more of those Art Deco bronzes we love), but the prices were too high. Then again, we purchased two reproduction commodes for the price we would have paid for one any place else. Plus, there are many restaurants (Italian, French and German food) and each time we go to the Aarburg Brocante a stop at the pastry and coffee shop is a must”.

As a mother, The Swiss Miss is also particularly impressed with the efforts of the brocante coordinators to make the Aarburg Brocante an outing for the whole family. In the center of the brocante you’ll find a special area for the “children’s puce” where Swiss children are actually out and about selling their own used items. Little Swiss Miss brings her spare Francs and buys some great (to an eight year old mind) bargains. Some rare finds last time were a special Harry Potter purse and some cat and dog figurines.

The Swiss Miss concludes her elegy to Aarburg’s brocante by saying, “I doubt if you have time to come visit this weekend, but you really must plan to come visit in the end of April so we can show you around. It’s only an hour and half from our home in Zurich and certainly worth the drive.”

Much Love and Happy Shopping,

The Antiques Diva
with a little help from her regional reporter, The Swiss Miss

Email me with your travel tips, photos, shopping stories and advice…. theantiquesdiva@yahoo.com