Vide Grenier literally means empty attic. I always find it hard to explain what they are to people who haven’t experienced one; like a car boot sale but with dealers, like a neighbourhood garage sale, like a flea market but with nicer stuff. Most are held on Sunday but sometimes they are on a Saturday and often on bank holidays.
Usually they’re sponsored by a village or neighbourhood group or organization that raises money by charging for a table and also runs a food concession. As well as dealers, villagers and locals have tables. They’re the ones cleaning out the attic.
They start in the spring and run through the autumn and in the summer there can be as many as 10 or 12 to choose from on any given Sunday. You can search the Vide Grenier site to find a list or just remember the signs you see as you drive around during the week.
Definitely the places to start if you’re equipping a house on a shoestring budget. Terrific for antique linens, lace curtains, dished, cutlery, you name it. You can usually find small pieces of furniture as well. Heaven for renovators because you can find bits and pieces of old hardware that you’ll never find anywhere else.
Some things you see over and over again. There’s a stuffed squirrel posed in attack mode on a piece of wood that I’ve seen 4 or 5 times. I might buy it next time. Why would anyone stuff a squirrel? My daughter thinks that it must have been a taxidermy school project, that you had to stuff something really small to pass the course.
It’s a nice way to spend a Sunday. Vide grenier in the morning, then Sunday lunch somewhere, then a walk.