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the secret junkyard

August 30, 2009

Bench.jpgSometimes I amaze myself at how little I get done in an average week in France, what with all the dog walking, dog grooming, driving 25km to buy organic vegetables (v. bad carbon footprint I know), keeping the plants in the courtyard alive and visiting friends. But this week, I discovered a new diversion. Hidden deep in the French countryside, I have found a depot vente/reclamation yard of the kind that sends bargain-hunters and lovers of old rustic French furniture into a frenzy of excitment.

When I first moved to the Poitou, I was very excited to find that the area was known for its bargain antiques. But with a few notable exceptions, all the depot ventes, vide greniers and brocantes that I have visited so far, have been disappointing, offering old childrens' toys and broken typewriters at one end of the spectrum and wildly over-priced, over-restored furniture at the other.

So when friends took me to this Aladdin's cave on Tuesday, I couldn't believe the booty to be had. My haul included an old chestnut writing desk for €15, a chestnut side table for €25 and two little benches (shown) for €5 each, which I figured at the very least could be used to display plants in the courtyard. On Friday, I went back and bought an old trunk, which will double as storage and a coffee table.

My little house is already stuffed to the rafters but I can always store things in the garage. So, despite the fact that I should be concentrating this week on my day job as a luxury goods journalist, already I'm counting down the minutes until the reclamation yard opens at 2pm on Tuesday ....

comments (3)

1. Posted by Ann de Bretange on August 30, 2009 4:50 PM

Congratulations on your bargin finds from the depot vente. , they sound wonderful. My expiditions, when I was in France, to various depot vente's and brocantes's was always dissapointing as I found the restored french furniture greatly overpriced. You should keep it a closely guarded secret!!!

2. Posted by aconfusedtakethatfan on August 30, 2009 6:54 PM

Cute bench for 5Euro. I feel excited for you!

3. Posted by lynne on September 21, 2009 6:22 PM

Hi, wonderful news about the depot vente. bit of a rush of adrenalin for me too just hearing what you bought there. do u want to share the name, exact location?

many thanks


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