the brocante fair at chatou – my new video

by Sharon Santoni

antique french mirrors

I am so excited to bring you this new video, shot last week in my very favourite antiques and brocante fair, that takes place twice a year in Chatou, on the west side of Paris.

Chatou is actually the largest professional brocante fair in France, and – to make things even more perfect – each edition lasts for ten days.   I always time my September brocante tour to coincide with the fair at Chatou, and with my guests we spend a day at the fair.

my-french-country-home-chatou-brocante-fair.15jpg

It’s a big fair, you’d be hard-pushed to really see the whole thing in one day.   Some of the stands are tented, and open out on to the sand and gravel alleys, while others are inside the large covered halls.

Dealers come from all over the country to sell at the fair, and you can tell that it’s one of their favourites too.   When they are lucky with the weather, as is the case this year, they spend a lot of time chatting, eating lunch together, and each stand seems to hold unlimited quantities of food and drink that all add to the festive atmosphere.

art for sale at an antique fair

Chatou was originally called the Ham and Antique fair, and today there is still a whole alley just for food.  Whether you want to drink champagne or  coffee , eat cheese or a full meal, there are plenty of places to sit down and renew your energy levels before doing more shopping.

I hope you enjoy the video, and remember that if you want to be kept up to date with any new MFCH, the best thing is to subscribe to the  YouTube channel.  And if you feel the urge to share the video, please don’t resist! Share without moderation.

PS . A couple of people have difficulties with the sound on the video below, if that is the case for you , you are welcome to see a different versions HERE

For all the details on the Chatou fair click HERE

70 comments

Taste of France March 15, 2016 - 11:15 am

Oh my goodness! So much concentrated fabulousness! You are so right that it takes time to go through a brocante. Not the occasion to hurry.
Thank you for these videos. Even though I’ve lived in France, and before that in Belgium, for a long time, they make me see the culture with fresh eyes and appreciate it all the more.

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Nathalie March 15, 2016 - 12:09 pm

Your movie is absolutely magnific Sharon, you managed to get the exact atmosphere of this wonderful place. I never miss this fair either. That’s true, it’s a place where we take our time to browse but also speak. Each time, I meet very nice people, women often 🙂 that I’m happy to see again the next times.

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Karen Abel March 15, 2016 - 12:19 pm

Love the video and tour. Watched it many times, it was a thrill. Gives the great feeling of being there among all the beautiful treasures. We have a very popular big antique fair here in the states, in Brimfield Massachusetts. Great finds but not the same charm as Chatou and they don’t serve champagne! Thank you for the treat of the video.

Karen A~

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Dianne Harris March 15, 2016 - 12:21 pm

Thank you again Sharon for doing a beautiful elegant video( that includes You too) and I Do truly hope to bump into you one day

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Lesley March 15, 2016 - 12:27 pm

I’m promising myself that I will be there this time next year!

Thank you for the tempting video!

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Patricia Arlott March 15, 2016 - 12:27 pm

Yes, this brocante fair is excellent. I lived in Chatou for eight years and your readers may like to know that just yards along from the Brocante fair, on the Ile des Impressionistes in the Seine, is the Maison Fournaise. It’s a lovely restaurant best enjoyed in summer on the first floor verandah. It’s where Renoir painted his family and friends around the table in his famous painting ‘Le Dejeuner des Canotiers’, and if you order the right table you can well imagine yourself right there in the painting, although the view to the other side of the Seine has changed a bit in recent years!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maison_Fournaise

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Vicky from Athens March 15, 2016 - 12:39 pm

Sharon, that was a fabulous way to start my morning! Thanks so much for taking me along . . . I could almost feel the excitement of being there with you. And I could almost taste the champagne.
Hope you found some wonderful tresors for your online shop!
Thanks!
Vicky

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Our French Oasis March 15, 2016 - 12:56 pm

Beautiful atmospheric video that so captured the feeling. Only this morning I passed signs for a big outdoor Brocante in Crazannes on Easter Monday and made a mental note that we had to visit, I was really happy, but now having seen your video I am even more excited, I cannot wait for brocante season to get underway, not that I need anything in particular, but they are always very social and great fun for young and old alike.

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Susan Gabriel March 15, 2016 - 1:02 pm

Bravo Sharon. Soft beautiful video which I played again just to see the dogs! Loved the ambience of sharing wine and laughter. You look great ! Very casually elegant as always. Yes, yes, more like these. Merci bien, Susan Gabriel, GabrielPapers

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Lisa March 15, 2016 - 1:25 pm

Love the video! I wish I were there!

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[email protected] March 15, 2016 - 1:27 pm

So lovely! I, too have had a fear of being “on camera” but you have done a marvelous job. You have totally captured the soft spirit of the brocante fair- inspired to travel and visit one day.

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Karen T. March 15, 2016 - 1:41 pm

Wonderful Things! Like antiques heaven!

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Patricia Fletcher March 15, 2016 - 2:21 pm

Beautiful! Thank you for the escape to the fair! A little vacation and I never left my kitchen table! Loved it!

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dottie monta March 15, 2016 - 2:26 pm

No one does display like the French! The china (moss!), the paintings, the color (or lack of it, blessedly), the sparkle.
The shot of you in the mirror is brilliant.
Your video is a definite shot in the arm to those of us here in eastern, not-quite-Spring United States. Thank you, Sharon, for another beautiful peek at the hidden treasures of France.
Every good wish,
Dottie

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Mary Starnes March 15, 2016 - 2:30 pm

You speak so softly and slow. You are very hard to understand. I love your blog
But may have forgo your videos

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Sharon Santoni March 17, 2016 - 10:56 am

HI Mary

So sorry you had trouble viewing the video, it seems that there may be an issue on some computers but not others.

You are welcome to view an alternative version here, with increased volume on the voice:

best

Sharon

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Cathy C. March 15, 2016 - 2:32 pm

Sharon,
Another beautiful video. Well done.
Chatou has a special place in my heart…a little family reunion was celebrated there in 2011 and it was a most memorable event for me. Now I have a new reason to return.
Looking forward to the next MFCH video.
Cathy

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Bev Cook March 15, 2016 - 2:58 pm

As always a wonderful video. It gives a glimpse into life in France! Loved it.

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Marty March 15, 2016 - 3:13 pm

Loved the video. LOVED YOUR HAIR!!!! Disappointed that there was no speech and just music. It was lovely music, but I love to hear your voice. Marty

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Sharon Santoni March 17, 2016 - 10:57 am

Hi Marty

So sorry you had trouble viewing the video, it seems that there may be an issue on some computers but not others.

You are welcome to view an alternative version here, with increased volume on the voice:

best

Sharon

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Ann March 15, 2016 - 3:34 pm

You captured the lovely spirit of the antique fair and I enjoyed everything about it. Thank you so much for bringing me along this morning.

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erika March 15, 2016 - 3:43 pm

those huge gold mirrors… oh what i wouldn’t give to have one!!

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LA CONTESSA March 15, 2016 - 3:52 pm

BEEN THERE!DONE THAT WITH YOU!!!!!!!!!!!
Came away with SMALLS…………..JEWELRY actually AMERICAN MADE of all things but TOTALLY FABULOUS!I too remember YOUR Very COURAGES driving skills parking there!
YOUR VOICE IS BEAUTIFUL!I UNDERSTOOD YOU PERFECTLY!
LOVED the VIDEO………….XX

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Ellen March 15, 2016 - 4:04 pm

It’s a lovely video but only a few words were intelligible, just music. Yes, I’m old, but not that old! Honestly I’d love to hear you, please work on the audio. Then it will be perfect. You look great! Nice job!

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Lili March 15, 2016 - 10:25 pm

Agree, lovely video with tons of atmosphere, but unfortunately the music, although nice, drowns out your lovely soft voice, so that much of what you say is unintelligible on my computer, even after turning up the volume – which only increases the volume of the music! Whoever mixes your sound needs to work on that!

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Sharon Santoni March 17, 2016 - 10:58 am

HI Lili, hi Ellen

HI Mary

There is now an alternative version here, with increased volume on the voice:

best

Sharon

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Sharon Santoni March 16, 2016 - 6:59 am

Hi Ellen, thank you for your input. It appears that the sound is causing problems on some computers and not others. I shall shortly publish a revised version of the video and let you know once it is visible

best
Sharon

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Stephanie March 15, 2016 - 4:28 pm

Magnificent Sharon…! Thank you for brightening my day…❤️Quick question…Do you take a group to the fair by chance…?

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Sharon Santoni March 16, 2016 - 7:01 am

Hi Sophie

Yes, every September I take my brocante tour group to the Chatou fair, we generally visit on the opening day. A happy day and lots of treasure to bring home!

best

Sharon

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Stephanie March 17, 2016 - 3:16 pm

Thank you Sharon. I can’t this September but will keep it on my wish list for next year. I already have a trip planned early October.

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maude ciardi March 15, 2016 - 4:40 pm

Thank you !! Just perfect

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Nancy Tirk March 15, 2016 - 4:44 pm

Thank so very much for sharing this amazing fair! Your video is superb, don’t change a thing, unless its to make it longer! The mirrors! The frames, the fabrics! I fairly itch to get at them all. And to address your last blog, you look amazing, we need to own our winkles, although you don’t look like you have many yet. Check out a site ‘Advanced Style’ a New York photographer presenting photos of stylish women that decline to age in a most wonderful way.
Thanks again wonderful video, your voice and music was perfect!

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Nancy Tirk March 15, 2016 - 4:45 pm

Thank so very much for sharing this amazing fair! Your video is superb, don’t change a thing, unless its to make it longer! The mirrors! The frames, the fabrics! I fairly itch to get at them all. And to address your last blog, you look amazing, we need to own our wrinkles, although you don’t look like you have many yet. Check out a site ‘Advanced Style’ a New York photographer presenting photos of stylish women that decline to age in a most wonderful way.
Thanks again wonderful video, your voice and music was perfect!

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[email protected] March 15, 2016 - 4:48 pm

Loved every moment of it. Thank you for sharing a part of your experience. I have Pinned it to my Country French board so I can visit it again!

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Leslie Haws March 15, 2016 - 5:06 pm

Just wonderful! I don’t know if it is me or the video but either the music is too loud….or your voice is too low. Just a comment…

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Colleen Taylor March 15, 2016 - 5:18 pm

Sharon, I adore your videos. This was so charming as they all are. It makes one wonder why anyone would give up all those old precious photos to sell and those priceless books. Of course the blue and white dinnerware was rather mind blowing; I could go on & on. I left a comment but I must say once again that this puts a smile on my face first thing in the morning.

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Annelois March 15, 2016 - 5:33 pm

Sharon,
I’ve been enjoying your blogs and videos for about a year now. I love how you capture the french lifestyle and the simple enjoyment of life. What a wonderful video of the brocante fair at chatou…I enjoyed the stroll :-). I loved the fabrics, the furniture, the mirrors…(gorgeous clip of you in the mirror!) And of course, the relaxing champagne break. Thanks for giving me a taste of France this morning! I live in the US, but have several friends who live in France and have visited many times. I love visiting antique shops in the US and hope to visit this fair sometime. Thanks so much for your charming and inspirational blog and videos.

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Ellen de Man March 15, 2016 - 5:36 pm

Totally wonderful video felt like I was there and lovely things to find oh just the hunt is the best could spend hours there. One day I will meet you.
Ellen in Vancouver

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Angela Muller March 15, 2016 - 6:15 pm

Sharon, I never miss your posts, now your videos. You are lovely and so talented. The music was lovely and went nicely with the theme, however, as lovely as your voice is, it is so soft, it is difficult and sometimes impossible to hear above the music. I viewed the video three times, trying to concentrate on what you were saying and still missed parts of a sentence. Anyway, everything you represent is lovely and a joy to be a part of. Thank you!

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Sharon Santoni March 17, 2016 - 10:59 am

HI Angela

So sorry you had trouble viewing the video, it seems that there may be an issue on some computers but not others.

You are welcome to view an alternative version here, with increased volume on the voice:

best

Sharon

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Debbie Spence March 15, 2016 - 6:54 pm

What a lovely voice, and YOU are lovely too. Silly girl, you had no reason to fret. I did want to mention that at times the music drowned out your voice, and I very much wanted to hear every word. Thanks for taking us along, especially me who still just dreams of all you share from the Midwest of the US.

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Angela March 15, 2016 - 7:23 pm

Another beautiful and informative video Sharon, thank you. I am left drooling over each and every piece you showed. The dealers display their wares perfectly and so unusually and to see how civilised it is, that the sit together eating and drinking and brining their dogs along too, perfect.

Again, many thanks Sharon and I can’t wait for the next one.

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Nancy March 15, 2016 - 7:27 pm

I’ve been to Paris, but only for a weekend. I loved every minute of it.
The video is beautiful. And your voice is so relaxing and sweet sounding. Loved watching. Is everything there quite expensive though?

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Janie March 15, 2016 - 7:41 pm

I loved this. Having read many stories of the Impressionists I have longed to know more about Chatou. Now I do. What a wonderful fair and your video was perfect. Thank you

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April March 15, 2016 - 7:57 pm

Love the videos of France. Must get back. What a marvelous Fair. Couldn’t be better.
Thank you for all the work put into this adventure. Appreciated. AFN

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Elizabeth (Eiffel Tells) March 15, 2016 - 9:06 pm

Sensory overload! I could do a lot of damage to my wallet in Chatou! Amicalement

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Delaine March 15, 2016 - 9:12 pm

This video is amazing as usual and so professionally done. I love the ambience of this fair. I felt like I was there with you… maybe one day I actually can be! Merci for bringing us along to experience your beautiful part of the world!

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Jenny Elliott March 15, 2016 - 9:14 pm

Perfect Sharon. What a treat – felt like I was back in France for a moment. Loved this

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Sandy Cochrane March 15, 2016 - 10:23 pm

Oh to be there. On my bucket list. I truly enjoy all the lovely blogs.

Thank you,

Sandy

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Winona Stewart March 15, 2016 - 10:34 pm

Wonderful! I loved it….. Thank you so much.
Looking forward to more videos from you. ♥️
BTW, You looked beautiful!

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Madeleine March 15, 2016 - 11:08 pm

Hi Sharon,

lovely, lovely, lovely! Oh, that made my heart beat faster, so much beauty! Like others I adored seeing the dogs, and seeing the stall holders eating together was a wonderful reminder – friends and taking time to enjoy life are so important.

Audio was perfect for me here in Australia.

Madeleine.x

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stacey snacks March 15, 2016 - 11:19 pm

A feast for the eyes and ears!

Thank you for taking us along with you.

xo

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Linda in California March 16, 2016 - 12:24 am

I stream the videos to my TV so there’s no problem hearing or seeing all the gorgeous details. This is not a clip to watch on your phone…it’s more like a trailer for a movie. Loved it! My favorites are the boutique hotel visit, and the class at the florist. They are stunning! Thank you!

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Sharon Santoni March 16, 2016 - 7:03 am

Thank you for your input Linda. Apparently the audio problem does indeed depend on the support that the video is being watched on.

I shall soon publish a revised version of the video, but your idea of watching on your tv is great!

best

Sharon

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Avril March 16, 2016 - 12:26 am

Wonderful! I loved it…..your voice is lovely and clear….don’t change a thing!
I’m also in Australia.

Avril x

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Marilyn March 16, 2016 - 12:32 am

How lovely to walk there with you in this video. Once upon a time I did walk those lanes. How fascinating it was to me to see friends sitting and sharing food and drink in different booths. I just loved it. What fond remembrances.

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DarcyLea March 16, 2016 - 1:34 am

beautiful…… simply, beautiful

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Dianne B March 16, 2016 - 2:53 am

Perfection! Your voice, the subject, the film. Everything. My only complaint….I want more videos, more often!

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Louise March 16, 2016 - 2:58 am

Fabulous Sharon, thanks so very much for sharing!

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pamela March 16, 2016 - 5:38 am

Thank you for sharing, Looks like so much fun. I so enjoyed the video. I still thinking on the last post. I so could relate to all of the ladies.
Take care of you. Be Blessed

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Darina March 16, 2016 - 9:02 pm

I love to watch this video! What a great place to look for treasures, I really love doing that! Thank you for sharing!

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Pat Crowder March 16, 2016 - 10:48 pm

So delightful Sharon – just loving these videos. It’s the next best thing to being at the fair.

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Phyllis March 16, 2016 - 11:53 pm

While I am not in France, this video makes me feel as though I am with you at the fair. Thank you for making my day wonderful!

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Carol March 17, 2016 - 6:22 am

Hi Sharon,
Love the video, but I also love hearing you, the music was too loud, you have a lovely speaking voice but it is quite soft and I would love to hear more from you. All in all it was a fantastic video, you look casually elegant, just right!
Please do more.

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Janet Small March 17, 2016 - 3:58 pm

Sharon,

Loved the video. Each booth was beautiful and the selection breath taking. The video was a visual feast, despite all the teasers you’ve given your readers on how wonderful this is I wasn’t fully prepared for the amazing finds and the relaxing atmosphere.

Thank you for your blog and book! My children are all adults and while I have a busy career, you invite me to step out of my day-to-day life and remember the inspiration beautiful things can bring to our lives. Always encouraging.

Janet

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marcie March 18, 2016 - 2:26 pm

I’m glad there isn’t a limit on how many times I can watch your video! So lovely. I am a fan of Normandy and Paris and love the feel of this video. I cannot wait to return to France and maybe I can add this brocante fair to my list of favorite French experiences. I have been reading your blog since almost the beginning and it just keeps getting better!!

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Ginger March 18, 2016 - 2:41 pm

Enjoyed the video very much! Hope to join you someday…

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Christine March 28, 2016 - 4:20 am

Excellant video! Thank you so much for such beauty.

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Weekend Notes #45 - Darina Nykl | Where the writer's pen will travel to... April 5, 2016 - 7:16 pm

[…] you. So, take a cup of tea or coffee and let you inspire!I love vintage and brocante very much. This video, which you can find on the blog My French Country Home, took me to the brocante market in Chatou, […]

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Teresa August 6, 2016 - 6:43 pm

Oooh. Those beautiful gold mirrors are so beautiful! Wish I could find one in the UK ❤

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