Every Monday morning - throughout the year - Covent Garden in London, is a bustling antiques market. Thankfully, its undercover too!
A variety of stall holders appear from goodness knows where, empty their cars and spread their wares across tables for us all to gaze upon with delight. You will find all sorts here - glassware, silverware, ceramics, furniture, collectables of every kind, vintage clothing, paintings, leather luggage - its all here!
Being a central London market, prices are not the cheapest, but there is always a bargain to be had and most dealers are very friendly and prepared to haggle to a fair price. Get there early!
Its easy peasy to get to - Covent Garden tube station is a stones throw and every time I go, I always manage to find a parking space for the car either in Tavistock St. or neighbouring roads.
Covent Garden itself is home to an abundance of cafes and bistro's so you won't go wanting in the nourishment department either!
So, well worth a look if you are in London on a Monday morning - or to be honest, its worth travelling to anyway. Some real characters and always lots of fresh stock to view. And... with the atractions of London on its doorstep, what are you waiting for?!
The city of Orleans is a delight and so is its flea market.
Held every Saturday morning in a car park on the busy Boulevard Alexandre Martin, its only a stones throw (well, a couple of hundred yards) from the city's amazing and impressive cathedral and vibrant array of shops and attractions.
The 80-120 or so vendors who appear early in the morning, display their wares in boxes or heaped on blankets and table tops. Their goodies will appeal to bargain hunters and collectors of all pockets. Rustic items, linked to the agricultural and fishing heritage of the surrounding region, are very much in evidence – tools, buckets, jugs, wine-making implements, planters, baskets, fishing rods, glass domes (used to protect young plants), etc. You will also see finer ceramics and porcelain, and good-quality linens, alongside crates of kitchenware and utensils.
I have always found prices to be generally reasonable and vendors are keen to sell. One great thing about this market is that even if you attend each week, there is plenty of new and fresh stock to scour through.
There is plenty of parking available - its generally free on a Saturday around the market but check with the meters before parking. Orleans is well placed and accessible from Paris and with the fabulous TGV, it is easily accessible as a day trip from Paris - you can be back in time for a lovely supper by the Seine!
Lastly, just across the road from the market is the fabulous Cafe Vincent - perfect for a morning croissant and espresso. Mmmnnn....!
Nice Flea Market is one of the finest places on earth - sun, sea, great food and a buzzing, vibrant weekly antiques market - what more could you want!?
Every Monday, come rain or shine, from early morning to mid-afternoon, Nice's old town thats dripping in character is filled with around 300 flea market vendors selling their wares. Situated in the Cours Saleya, this is a moderately high-quality market; however, bargain hunters can also hunt for a cracking find, particularly in the adjacent place Pierre Gauthier, where odds and ends are piled on the ground and goods are more of a 'flea market' or house clearance nature.
A large variety of collectables is on offer from silver, glassware, paintings, vintage clothing, posters, travel items, ceramics, local paintings, toys, rustic wooden items, jewellery, etc. Some sellers pile their wares on the floor - some on smarter tables. The more expensive items are often priced and the cheaper items generally are not - expect some brisk haggling as this is a market where people come to buy!
One of the highlights of this market for the general visitor, is its fabulous location. The Cours Saleya itself is surrounded by cafes and restaurants to suit all budgets and tastes. The glistening blue sea beckons you just 50 metres from the market - surely a place where all senses can be titillated!
Parking is easy and a huge underground car park rests right underneath the market itself. My advice - get there before 10am as it tends to fill up after mid morning. The rest of Nice lays a few hundred yards behind the market and a superb day is guaranteed for one and all!