Love The Place You Live: Vide Grenier (Community Yard Sale)

For this month’s Love the Place You Live column, we visited a Vide Grenier — which is basically a community wide rummage sale. But this one was in a tiny village called Avoines that neighbors our own tiny village, and though we didn’t know many people there, it felt much like an event in our own neighborhood. We had a great time and came home with a few silly trinkets.

My favorite purchase was a handful of ceramic feves, the little tokens that are baked into King Cake. I bought several of both the white and colorful versions. Only 10 centimes each! I though they would make a fun souvenir. Or be little good-luck tokens to keep in your pocket on special days — like a big test day.

The vide grenier was centered around the town’s Mairie office. Even the tiniest villages have their own Mayor here in France, though this village is so tiny it doesn’t have a store or school or bakery or post office. Outside the Mairie, there were tables and benches set up for picniking, and there was a booth selling hot sandwiches and frites. So yummy!

The variety of items offered is one of the best parts of a Vide Grenier. You never know what you’re going to find! I’m always drawn to ceramics and crockery. The kids always end up with little toys. It was a successful outing! Everyone went home happy, we felt like good, contributing members of the community, and we didn’t spend too much. : )

Friends, I hope Love The Place You Live is helping you get out there and explore your communities. I LOVE reading the reports about your adventures. It’s so fun to see the column grow!

The next Love the Place You Live post will be Monday, July 16th. I hope you’ll get the chance to do something local between now and then, because I’d love to read your writeup! I’ll try to remind everyone a few days before. : )

21 thoughts on “Love The Place You Live: Vide Grenier (Community Yard Sale)”

  1. Love the feves! My six year old daughter bought a few of these as souvenirs in Paris this past spring. I thought they were a bargain at 50 Euro cents a piece. Sounds like a little farther afield the price drops off to a real bargain. Unfortunately all three were lost at the playground later that afternoon. :-(

  2. We just had a “brocante” (a fleamarket) in our local area (we live in Brussels in Belgium) yesterday. Unfortunately it rained heavily the whole day so it was not as busy as it normally would be and I felt sorry for the people who stood there all day. However I had a quick stroll around with my youngest in the buggy and was lucky to find a nice piece of furniture – among many not so interesting things it really stood out! It’s kind of a cupboard with a display cabinet on top. I’m quite happy with it and I just need to find the right place for it in our appartment… I love fleamarkets but it’s hard to find good ones I find and often you have to be an early riser as they start really early in the morning which is definitely not my thing…

    I really enjoy reading your blog and I’m happy you extended your stay in France as we have a similar experience here in Belgium (I’m German and my husband is Irish) and our local area is rather French than Belgian.


  3. Does anyone ever accidently eat one of those feves? Or break a tooth on one? I’ve always wondered that. I love the whole tradition of the King Cake though. And that little Eiffel Tower is so sweet.

  4. love king cake! and the feves are adorable, i always wondered where people got those. having multiples could also make it nice to put in cupcakes when there are lots of little ones (“everybody wins”? is that too american of me? )

  5. I have 2 vintage shops on Etsy so this post makes me drool all over my keyboard! I think I would have bought the entire bin of feves! Right this moment, I can’t think of anything more fun than strolling through a French town snapping up vintage finds at bargain prices AND having a picnic table to nibble on snacks! Swoon…thanks for taking me along this morning :)

  6. Ooh…I love the info and the photos in this post Gabrielle. And I love the tradition (and the deliciousness) of the Galette du Roi. You and your family are learning so much about la vie francaise. Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us!

  7. What fun! This is my first time participating. I’ve been trying to get out and enjoy Scotland more and more. We’ve lived here for just over 4 yrs and we were starting to feel complacent about life abroad. These last few weeks have brought a breath of fresh air to us. We love being expat’s and sometimes we just need to be reminded we have this amazing opportunity.

  8. Ohhhhh the vide-greniers! I love them too! Around here (Oise area) they are pretty awesome as well. Today I started a column where I portray the people from my region, because I love discovering more about my community!

  9. I love reading ab0ut your life in France. The flea market looks like a lot of fun. I linked up with a post about a trip to a local garden nursery.

  10. What a lovely idea and I loved reading your brocante blog – doesn’t matter where you come from – the fever grips you after a while! I’ve been meaning to go to the BIG ONE in Lille – 2000 stall holders for 2 days – maybe this year…

  11. I love community events and even more than that I love little treasures. My grandma and I used to go to a second hand store for treasure shopping a lot when I was younger. Lovely post series.

  12. Hi everyone, I love this idea of sharing our experiences of places all over the world… There are so many nice places and you often don’t find them in a tourist guide…

    I just entered a link to one of my favorite places in Hamburg…. The problem with the first one was that I forgot that you don’t have ä, ü and ö…. So I posted a second one and now it works… but I don’t know how to delete the first one…

    I’m sorry for that… But we are just online for three days now and there are so many things we have to learn :-)


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