Copper is a hallmark of French cooking and baking. The soft red-orange metal is as signature to France’s romantic culinary identity as farm-fresh eggs or thick wedges of melty Brie. If you know where to look, you can score antique copper pans in brocantes across France. Below we’ve listed some of our favorite brocantes and marché aux puces (literally, “flea markets”) to find copper bakeware, but there are so many more to see. Go online to brocabrac.fr or vide-greniers.org to find brocantes that span the entire country. Once you’ve found your copper, pick up a copy of our March/April 2019 issue for three epic copper pan recipes!
Brocante d’Honfleur, Honfleur
Home of one of the finest Brocantes in Normandy, Honfleur hosts its monthly brocantes on the Place Sainte Catherine, a town square lined with 16th- to 18th-century buildings. Brocante-browsing doesn’t get much more scenic than this. During our trip to France, we tagged along with Cat and Alain Bude of Rabbit Hill French Lifestyle as they explored the brocante in search of copper bakeware. We picked a few choice pieces of our own along the way!
When to go: The first Sunday of every month
Marché aux Puces de Vanves, Paris
Though not as famous as the flea market in Saint-Ouen, this brocante is a more manageable and less traversed collection of vendors.
When to Visit: Saturdays and Sundays, year-round
Isle-sur-la-Sorgue Marche, Isle-sur-la-Sorgue
The small village of Isle-sur-la-Sorgue in Provence offers a fabulous brocante for one specific reason: It has one of the highest densities of antiques dealers in the world. Every Sunday, the town transforms into a brocante-lover’s dream, with hundreds of vendors all offering up choice secondhand wares.
When to Visit: Sundays, year-round
Braderie de Lille, Lille
The grand braderie in Lille is one of the largest flea markets in the world. With over 500 vendors and close to 2 million tourists arriving for this once-a-year event, it can be an overwhelming experience crowd-surfing for antiques, but this is the place you’ll find the can’t-miss rarities.
When to Visit: First Sunday of September
Marché aux Puces, Annecy
If you fancy shopping at the base of picturesque mountains and topaz blue canals, this monthly market at Annecy in the Haute-Savoie region is for you. At this “Venice of the Alps” locale, you’ll find the usual suspects plus the bonus of vintage ski equipment from the bygone jet-set days.
When to Visit: Last Saturday of the month, year-round