Road Trip: Chatou
It was a beautiful day yesterday – clear skies, blazing sun – so I hopped in the car and drove ten minutes outside of Paris, to the little town of Chatou, where the big flea market had just kicked off two days before.
I found the place easy enough, right there on the Seine, and walked across the bridge to where I saw the buildings and rental trucks parked below. But the signs confused me: Foire a la Brocante et aux Jambons, they all said.
Junk fair and ham? Was ham a slang word for really good junk, I wondered?
Nah. They meant ham. Forget about the 800 vendors, and the history of this market that’s been around since the Middle Ages. People come for the pig meat.
I decided for something smallish and light — a crepe with sausage, onions, and cheese. It must have weighed 5 pounds.
I walked around and looked at the brocante (fancy-sounding French word for junk), with my crepe that required two hands, and a bottle of water tucked under one arm.
I found some great blue cannisters.
Vintage coffee bowls.
Some old madeleine pans, too.
How do you suppose this sign wound up here?
After checking a few prices – the coffee bowls were 35 euros apiece, which is really high — I didn’t buy anything, and didn’t see many deals being struck, either. But you should have seen the line at the rotisserie pig place.