Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Major Antique Fair Starts Tomorrow

More than 200 exhibitors are expected at the 89th International Brocante and Antiques Fair, running tomorrow through Sunday in splendid L'Isle sur la Sorgue. Arrive early to get parking, especially on Sunday when the village holds its regular weekly market as well.  

With hundreds of shops, stalls and vendors, L'Isle sur le Sorgue is considered the third most important antiques center in Europe, after Paris (Sant Ouen) and London. There are numerous antique dealers at the weekly Sunday market but many more with permanent spaces open at various times during the week. 

Having never been to this particular fair, I asked my pal Jill Mitchell--who leads antiquing trips in Provence and sells French vintage goods on Ebay--what she thinks. "The fair is very good," she reports. "It offers an amped up version of the regular Sunday market, with vendors often coming from around Europe. My two cents though, is that on any Sunday of the year, L’Isle is already so abundant with fantastic items (nearly to the point of overwhelm) that it's a great destination either way. In general, however, prices in L'Isle are much higher than you'll find in other city and village markets in Provence. The rule is, using the price for an item bought in Marseille as a base, add 35% for the same item for the L'Isle price and add another 35% to that for the Paris price."

If you miss the fair this weekend, another will be held at Easter. Get all the info by clicking here or calling 04-90-38-04-78. If you're looking for a lovely place to eat after the fair, consider the Michelin one-star Le Vivier--you can read my review here. I've also had very nice meals at Le Jardin du Quai, closer to the heart of the village. Both will be booked heavily this weekend so definitely call ahead.


  1. I go weak in the knees when I see the word, "brocante." This sounds wonderful. Wish I could just forget about work, pack up the car with Rosedog and head south...sigh.

  2. Have fun Julie! It is an event not to miss for sure!!!

  3. Oh I adore Isle sur la Sorgue...I'm sorry that I'm not taking a vacation in the south of France this summer.

  4. I agree totally with Jill...l'isle is great every Sunday, and her pricing guideline is spot on..oh! but to be there today would make my heart sing!

    But I'll be there in September/October!

    thanks for brilliant post as usual!

    a bientot


  5. It is a big event but it is not my favorite one . Have you ever been to Barjac ?