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Experiencing Amiens: La Grande Réderie

Experiencing Amiens: La Grande Réderie

When I first learned I would be living in Amiens, I really didn’t know what to expect. I spent hours researching ma future ville sure that while I hadn’t heard of the French city before applying to TAPIF, it would have many charms to discover. I was absolutely right. Today’s post is my first of several to come in a series called Experiencing Amiens. My hope is to give you a glimpse of a city in France you may not have thought to visit before!

La Grande Réderie was one of the first Amiens traditions I experienced. You’ve probably heard people refer to French flea markets as brocantesRéderie is a term specific to Picardie (now part of Hauts-de-France), the region of northern France where I live. To be at this flea market is to understand why they call it grande. Vendors from all over the region fill more than a dozen streets in centre ville, the heart of Amiens. There are odds and ends galore, and people come from all over in hopes of finding that perfect unique item (or items…). I heard one father tell his son they were on a chasse au trésor, a treasure hunt. I can’t think of a better way to describe it. I arrived close to the 7:00am start to be sure I would have my pick of the treasures. I felt a bit like a child on Christmas morning. My first French flea market! 

I went in with some specific items in mind. My mom had requested a blue enamel French water pitcher (rust and chips preferred) and we both wanted one of those charming royal blue and white French house numbers. I am pleased to report that I left three for three with an overwhelming feeling of success. I even found house numbers with meaning - an 89 to represent the year my parents moved into their house, and a 19 to mark the year Tony and I will be married. While I enjoyed making purchases, I loved the opportunity to simply take in the sights and sounds just as much. There were so many beautiful groupings of objects that caught my eye, and I had a lot of fun capturing the scenes of the day. Through these images, I invite you to take a walk with me through La Grande Réderie d’Amiens. Allons-y! Let’s go! 

 From buckets to pitchers to signs to shoes

From buckets to pitchers to signs to shoes

 Brightly colored tins in many shapes and sizes

Brightly colored tins in many shapes and sizes

 Boxes full of odds and ends

Boxes full of odds and ends

 Mustard jars with pretty patterns

Mustard jars with pretty patterns

 Spools of thread in muted tones

Spools of thread in muted tones

 Antique coffee grinders (I love the top left)

Antique coffee grinders (I love the top left)

 Crystal bottle toppers

Crystal bottle toppers

 Just look at that copper diving helmet

Just look at that copper diving helmet

 Charming old rusted keys

Charming old rusted keys

There is always one Grande Réderie d’Amiens in the fall (this year it was Sunday, Ocotber 7) and another in the spring (Sunday, April 14, 2019). If you happen to be visiting Paris, it’s easy to get to Amiens. Simply hop on a train at Gare du Nord and in just over an hour you’ll arrive in my charming little ville (not so little, but little compared to Paris bien sûr). I can confidently say it would be worth the day (or half day) trip! 

Warm wishes from me in France to you, wherever you are in the world. Merci beaucoup for stopping by, reading, and following along. 

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A Recipe for Chicken & Dumplings in France

And so my French adventure begins...

And so my French adventure begins...