What is Bordeaux known for? Wine? Culture? I recently came back from a 3 day break in Bordeaux, and was pleasantly surprised to discover it’s fast becoming a paradise for vintage lovers of a different kind.
Here’s a short guide to the best spots for vintage lovers and bargain hunters as well as some of the treasures I found along the way
Flea Market St-Michael
One of the better flea markets, is in the St-Michel district; a cool, bohemian area with a lively student vibe.
The flea market was one of my highlights, but there is an element of car boot sale to it. Yet, instead of your local playing field, it’s situated around a gothic church in a picturesque market square, surrounded by brasseries, where chic French women sit, cig in hand and sunglasses poised.
Search and you will find those gems. I managed to bag Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours for 8 Euros and four fringed vintage lace curtains for 6 Euros. They will make THE perfect finishing touch to the long window in our flat once washed, covering the modern metal blind a treat!
Where: Place Duburg
When: Every day, from 7 am to 4 pm, except Saturdays and Mondays
Le passage St-Michael
Next up is real Aladdin’s cave of treasures and bri- a – brac, housed in an old banana warehouse. Here, you can find anything from mirrors, dresses and old record players to 6ft framed music posters. Many vendors do shipping now so you don’t have to worry if you find something you like. I was rather taken by this fur stole… but could never bring myself to wear real fur, so the little fella stayed put and we settled for a rather more ethical 20s, painted mirror.
Where: 14 place Canteloup
When: Open daily, noon-6pm or later
Steack and Fripes
Tucked away down one of the side streets is this little gem. And just like the vintage shops in the UK, retro lovers can discover rows upon rows of genuine 60s, 70s and 80s clothing, all at affordable prices. I found a floral shirt. It’s long enough to wear as a jacket and I think it clashed with my psychedelic print scarf fabulously.
Where: 62 Rue du Mirail, 33800 Bordeaux
Le Centre Ville
Don’t be fooled by this shop front masquerading as a small newsagent -inside it’s something else. Upon setting inside you will feel like you are in vintage Narnia; turquoise and silver antique jewellery, coats, hats bags and scarves are stacked high and hanging low. I found this amazing scarf. But be warned, unlike the markets this is not the place for bartering, the owner, was having none of my advances. But this peach was too good to pass so I parted with cash happily. Sometimes you just have to give in!
Where 26 rue du Parlement Sainte Catherine, Bordeaux
The best of the rest
France is of course not short of good cafes. With its bamboo bar, and the most delicious chai lattes, Le Tchai Bar is ideal for when you want to escape for 20 minutes. As well as chai they serve a selection of hot drinks from around the world including Mexican hot milk and Lassi and yummy healthy snacks. Stick around long enough and you may be lucky to see some live music.
Where: 49 Rue du Mirail, 33000 Bordeaux
Photo courtesy of Tchai Bar Facebook, Jérôme Victoire
One of the best things about Bordeaux is still very heavily influenced by Moroccan and African culture. You can find bright colours and ethnic threads down many a street. We popped into Cabane Indigo where they sold imported ethnic home-wears, I bought a couple of bracelets including some Mali bracelet from made from recycled flip flops!
For more questions answered as you travel, get in touch with @visitbordeaux on twitter.