Just a small selection of brocante shops that have been very successful for us, where we have found wonderful chairs, lovely linens, rare militaria and delightful vintage surprises.
Rue des Antiquaires
Address: 108 La Petite Forge, La Haute-Chapelle, Orne (on the D976)
Just south of Domfront, open afternoons.
Rue des Antiquaires is in a huge shed with plenty of parking outside, and has a number of sellers under the one roof, which always makes for a good value visit.
Thanks to this brocante emporium we now know eight dining chairs can fit into the back of our car. Which is odd as before our visit we had no idea we even wanted eight chairs.
We had just enjoyed a visit to a rather good calvados cellar just up the road, were one of us tested some very fine cider. And Calvados. And a bit of Pommeau. The other of us was just in a good mood.
Initially we saw four wonderfully carved chairs in perfect condition, placed around a dining table. Assuming the price was per chair, we tried a little bargaining. The seller was quiet for a moment then explained the price was for all of the chairs. He then pointed to four more in the set, hung high up on the wall. The price each worked out about the same as Ikea’s cheapest ‘Stephan’ dining chair.
All the seats (cane is expensive to replace) were perfect, but some of the carved backs were damaged and the seller was not keen to split them up. We were assured a heap of carved pieces in a drawer were all that was missing. This proved to be absolutely true as of course we bought them.
We are now regulars but visit the calvados cellar afterwards. We really do not have room for any more chairs!
Passionnément Déco, L’Atelier de la Chineuse
Address: 19 rue de Mousseaux, Saint-André-de-l’Eure
Open daily from 2pm, closed Wednesdays
A rambling building bursting with treasures. The main space is general brocante, with further rooms selling a fine selection of linens, also some new hand crafted items and interior decoration treats. Have a look for yourself with this rather fancy online tour.
La Boutique du Holdy
Address: 18 place de l’église , Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, Manche
6.6km from Utah Beach in the centre of Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, overlooking the church. Open daily 10am-7pm, closed Sunday mornings in winter.
Move inland from the D-Day beaches and the story continues to be told. Early in the morning of 6 June 1944 many of the 101st Airborne’s parachutes were dropped away from their designated drop zones to land in, and around, Sainte-Marie-du-Mont. The ensuing battles were bitter with the village still celebrating its liberation You can read more about WW2 bravery seen in this quite village, here.
Recommended for anyone interested in D-Day and military history, the Holdy has museum quality equipment and clothing alongside affordable heritage, quality replicas, books and present day souvenirs.
The owners and staff are enthusiasts and experts who can also sell militaria on your behalf (% fee). The team have more than 40 years of experience and provide a (paid) authentication and valuation service. Lots of stock also online.
La Boutique du Holdy
Address: Vierge Cotteley, off the D900 north of La Haye-du-Puits, Manche – Best to check it out first on this map link.
Open daily 8.30am – 6pm except Sunday mornings.
First rule of brocante bargain hunting? Don’t be in a rush! It is tempting when you have little time to spare to try and fit in lots of brocante shops, but you are in danger of missing half the fun. Printimeubles is a fine example. Down a country lane off the D900 between La Haye-du-Puits and Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte, this is one brocante that fully deserves the title ‘emporium’.
In through a pretty, crazy garden past a waterfall wall of watering cans, Printimeubles is an indoor outdoor experience. Vintage items jostle with gorgeously renovated and new pieces. You will find all sorts from the grandest 18th century carved armoire, to a perfect replacement glass for your Pidgeon lamp. Behind the main (large) rooms are garden with a pond to walk around, and a barn with the biggest collection of zinc garden items we have ever seen.
Furniture restoration is done in their workshops on-site, have a chat if you need something put back together. Get a glimpse of what is in store via their website.
Address: 10 Route de Vire, Villedieu-les-Poêles, Manche
Open 2pm – 7pm most days, from 3pm Sunday, closed Mondays. Broc’30 is just south of the town centre on the D975.
Broc’50 has been in businesses since 1993, so likely to still be in business when you go, unlike a few brocante shops we have tried to revisit… With parking outside, this brocante takes up two large barns and is full of fantastic finds. From clocks, chandeliers, stuffed animals, enamelled plates, books, militaria, magazines, household appliances and tools… items are loosely grouped and frequently changing.
A relaxed place for rummage with many loyal customers, this is the perfect place to find a piece of old Normandy to take home.
Mentioned in dispatches
Libellule (dragonfly) brocante, 26 Rue de Louviers, 27490 La Croix-Saint-Leufroy. This beautifully presented feminine shop is full of pretty vintage things nicely displayed. A joy.
Dieppe Débarras, Rue Louis de Bures, off Avenue Sussex in Dieppe, Seine Maritime. Lots of furniture, some knick-knacks even the occasional Solex bike. Open Monday afternoon then Tuesday to Saturday 9.30am-12pm 2pm-6pm. Closed Sundays.
In Honfleur? Don’t miss Rue Haute, a delightful mix of antique, vintage, art and gift shops.
NOTE: While shops do give opening hours, they can be a little flexible. Opening at 10am? It is unlikely to be on the dot so be prepared to be a little patient, it will be worth it!