July 11, 2019

Shopping in France

The Hunt for French Country Decor in Provence

To say that our trip to France was a lifelong dream trip is an understatement!  This was a bucket list checker for sure! As long as the two of us have known each other, we have shared a love for French country décor and antiques! We have joked about going to France to shop the markets ourselves. When the opportunity came up to do a trip with the talented Maria, Dreamy Whites Lifestyle and Tracy, French Larkspur we were all over it! We had such an amazing adventure and learned so much along the way so we wanted to share some of that with you.

french country decor apt france

We had planned this trip almost a year in advance and had been saving and preparing for months! Not only were we excited about heading over for the shopping, but we were also SO excited about the pictures and photoshoots that we were going to take while we were there!! The tour group was very small consisting of only four people. All of us were Canadian so that was fun! Molly and Marji were a mother daughter duo and a total bundle of fun! We laughed until we cried multiple times on the trip! Lifelong friendships were made with all the ladies for sure!! 

Shopping decor in Provence

la madone apt france french country decor

The week began in Apt, our home base for the week. We had a lovely apartment that we were staying in with the most beautiful French Country décor. The owner of the hotel  also owns a broconte shop in a neighbouring village, so our room was chalk full of the types of décor pieces we were on the hunt for! Even the laundry room was jaw dropping! We spent almost every dinner in the garden with the ladies eating our favourite cheeses, yummy heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil and baguette. 

laundry room

Off to the Markets

menerbes france shop

Our first morning, we headed to Lourmarin, to hit the largest food market in the area. In France, they are all about the market shopping instead of going to the grocery store. The streets of the village were lined with vendors of all kinds, fresh fruit, yummy meats and cheeses, beautiful linens and handmade soaps could all be found there.

After a lovely lunch at a local restaurant , we headed to the neighbouring town of Bonnieux, to shop at our first true brocante shop!  There were so many amazing items there and a chandelier that had all of us trying to figure out how we could ship it home! We picked up some of our amazing French soap that we just listed in the Shop at this market.  French Soap on a Rope and handmade Marseille Block Soap.

large antique chandelier and french country decor broconte shop

French Country Decor at the Flea Markets

The second day, we headed to our first flea market in Villeneuve-Les-Avignon! We both bolted to the shops like a pair of kids to a candy shop!! Deb loved this market because she found an antique French wire chandelier that she had hoped to find! This was something she had told her husband years before that she wanted to get for her house someday so that was a great bucket list item checked off!

There was also so much beautiful ironstone and some cute café chairs that both girls picked up! Britt got a gorgeous tien bowl there and we found our French canning jars that will soon be listed in the Shop there as well. 

The next morning, we were back at it again, this time it was off to the biggest market of the week in Carpentras! Britt loved this market as she found the beautiful white café chairs that she had on her list. We found a few more chandeliers, antique coat racks and French pitchers! French Country Décor HEAVEN!

In total, we shipped back 10 café chairs but if we could have, we would have brought back them all!

Some of these items now listed in the Shop. It was so much fun to barter with the vendors. Even with the language barrier, it was still a great memory! We would use a pen and paper if the communication got really difficult, but overall it worked out just fine! The French were extremely pleasant and willing to try to communicate with us even with the small amount of French language that we knew. 

We stuffed all our finds and ourselves into the van and headed on to L’Isle sur la Sorgues for another market that was going on! This village had the most beautiful brocante shops that we visited!

 If we could have afforded it, we would have filled a container here!

Britt found her light fixture here and Deb found a washboard she is using for her bath tub caddy as well as the antique dough bowl​. Check out the Vintage items available  in the Shop. There was also the most beautiful river in this village and we ate lunch while listening to live French music on the waterfront. 

Enjoying the French Country Side

On Monday we headed to Oppéde Le Vieux ! This village was one of the prettiest that we saw. It is extremely small and very remote. In fact we had to park down below on the mountain and walk up from below.

The restaurant there had unbelievably good food with the most stunning setting! After we finished eating, we headed up to the highest point of the village where the church is! The photos taken at this village were some of our favourites. 

The next morning we were off to yet another beautiful hillside village called Ménerbes. It had some of the most gorgeous cobble stone streets and was a favorite for both of us! All of these towns were unique in their own way. This town even had a truffle restaurant at the very highest lookout point.

One thing that so many of the villages had in common, was the stunning cobble stone streets, stone houses with coloured shutters and amazing vegetation climbing the buildings! 

The jasmine growing on the walls made the streets smell so good!

There were so many places we stopped to take pictures at! Everywhere you looked the setting was perfect, we may have even borrowed a few private patio’s to use for shots of our product! 

Check Out our Photography tips

On our way back to the hotel that day, we made an unscheduled stop at the university town of Lacoste.

This was one of our favourites stops of the whole trip! The museum was open and we were able to see what the inside of a home would have looked like in the 18th century. It was amazing to see how they lived and that the livestock lived with them in the home.  

Gordes was the village the following day! It was built up the side of a mountain and was SO beautiful!

We ate the local fresh fruits and meats while listening to live music at the market. It was such a lovely town and had the best price for the linen clothing by far.

You can check out some of the gorgeous linens our sweet friend Maria, Dreamy Whites Lifestyle brought back for her shop here!! 

Lavender Improves Sleep and is a Natural Remedy for Pain

We also made our way to a lavender distillery this day as well. There were so many different varieties of lavender at the shop, each having its own unique scent. The grosse lavender is the most fragrant so we purchased some to bring back to make items for the shop with! It smells so good!

The debate is still on about what we should make with the lavender so feel free to send us any suggestions!

We sent all of our items back with a shipping company so in the evening we all packed boxes and wrapped all of our breakables as well as we could! It was like putting a jigsaw puzzle together, trying to get everything to fit in the boxes. Almost all of our items, except 1 large tien bowl and a small pot, arrived back in excellent condition.

Our final day, we went to the village of Sault in the high alpines of Provence. There were so many amazing lavender shops in this village.  Maria bought 75 lbs of lavender petals for items in her shop.

We stopped at a few lavender fields on our way back from this village! In the end, we decided to do an unscheduled photo shoot at a lavender field in Saignon that evening. The weather was 108 F or 38 C so it was just too hot to be outside taking pictures in the afternoon.

The sunset over the lavender field was amazing to photograph so we were so glad we went back that night. 
Vintage Society Co.
Vintage Society

The next morning, we were heading back to Canada and our families. It was truly the most amazing trip filled with all the things we love! Antiques, photography, beautiful scenery, amazing food and friends we will have forever! We hope you enjoyed our lil’ recap of the trip and our hunt for French Country Décor! Make sure to  check out the new Shop items!

 We would love to hear from you if you have any questions for us about the décor we picked up in the French countryside! Just send us an email or write below in the comments.  

Vintage Society in France

As you know, we love photography and this trip was full of perfect places to take pictures. You can grab our seasonal Lightroom Presets HERE!

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  • The house you stayed looks so pretty. What village is it please?

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    the VINTAGE SOCIETY CO. team

    What started out as a duo of Brittany and Deborah has now expanded into a TEAM! 

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    Deborah McDOnald


    AKA @bvintagestyle

    Small town girl living in a 1903 Heritage home she dreamed of as a child.

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    Brittany Hislop


    AKA @white.farmhouse

    Living a simple life in a rural Alberta town and painting her house white as she goes!

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