One of the things we were really excited to do in Paris is visit the antique markets. We love pretty old stuff! We'd heard that the best antique market to visit was the Saint Ouen market; it is on on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays and so we popped in on Saturday in the morning. We followed Oh Happy Day's directions and were pretty glad we did. Firstly the area isn't that nice so we were really eager not to get lost. Secondly there is a sort of dummy market before you get to the main market which just sells cheap knock off stuff so had we not been warned we may well have thought this was the market. But we found it and it was glorious! It is sort of encased in a shell of cheap hoodies and trainers and hawkers yelling at you and so you have to break through that and then ANTIQUE HEAVEN!
There are quite a few markets that make up Saint Ouen, each specialising in different things. We only managed to go to three in the end; the Marche Vernaison (general stalls full or all sorts), Marche Biron (little shop set ups with really really high end stuff) and the Marche Dauphine which is a really big complex full of amazing old furniture, music, posters and art. We visited the Vernaison first. There was a lot of rubbish but also a lot of cool stuff to look at including this fab stall above with a tonne of materials and things organised neatly in rows. Sigh so much pleasure from multiple things organised neatly.
In Marche Biron I had two "Oh my god! Oh my god!" moments. I have always wanted to play the harp. When I was a kid I approached my parents with the proposal saying that I would like to play the harp and I realised it was expensive but I would more than make up the money in wedding performance fees. I thought that was a bloody good business mind for a 7 year old but they STILL said no. Sigh. Anyway we were just wondering through the market and there was this beautiful full sized harp. It was so stunning. I wanted to hug it and never let go. Another lifelong wish is to own a carousel horse. Ya know, just to have it in the corner of the room and to sit on sometimes. I want one so much but they are very very hard to find. But along the same road we found a whole shop selling only carousel animals! Amazing! I will be sure to return when I am full of riches.
The Marche Dauphine was by far our favourite. It was just crammed with the most amazing perfect antiques; chaise lounges as far as the eye could see, 8 foot gilded mirrors, giant French movie posters from the 50s. It really was amazing. I am dying to return their when we get our own place to get an amazing feature piece. Our favourite place was their immaculate shop which sold globes and other boyish treats. My favourite was this set of three globes; one of them was of the earth, one was of the moon and one was of the constellations. I really loved them but, as perfectly preserved antiques often are, they were rather expensive so I had to leave them there. I shall return lovely globes. And Paris, I shall return to Paris too.