Now, that title got your attention didn't it? I thought it would. And yet, I have to admit to a slight exaggeration, a bit of tricherie. Let me explain.
Yesterday found Remi and I, along with our faithful Golden, Ben, bumping over the cobble-stone streets of Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux...
...when the sight a giant octopus of a Murano chandelier stopped us in our tracks. We turned to look at each other with an eye-brow raising "Are you seeing what I am seeing?" expression as we are used to seeing rusty bedpans on offer for 500€, not such exquisite creatures as this.
My internal radar started beeping. It is the one that leads me to fine eats and good bargains. I love that radar, I can tell you and it makes my heart flutter.
As soon as we stepped in to À la Chine d'Antan, I knew that we had, as the name suggested, stepped into a store that was antiquing as it used to be. Upon spying several items that caught my interest with my first glance, I knew that it was time to put on my Poker Face. Especially when I saw the prices. I immediately started making imaginary purchases in my head. 22€ for a gold embossed Limoges porcelain perfect for a vanity table. 37€ and 28€ respectively for two very fine 18th-19th century prayer books (although one might have been in ivory, so nix that).
38€ for a gorgeous heavy gold-tassled Art Deco mirror. You can't even find Art Deco in the South!
Only 30€ for this miniscule brocade covered seat, not ancient but perfect for a coiffeuse. If I had absolutely any use or space for this, it would have come home with me.
This well-framed lithograph of a sneaky spy-looking fellow redhead caught my eye at 68€.
And this sweet lavender evening bag with its row of pearls for only 38€? Change that brass clasp for an upside down triangle and hello, Prada. N'est ce pas?
By now, I knew that I had to calm down as we weren't at all in the area to be shopping (we were there for one of Remi's photography projects) and that I had better hurry up for the same reason. Alas, it wasn't about me!
The space is gorgeous--all vaulted stone--and the owner, Samuel, clearly enjoys creating his vignettes. Incense wafted gently and jazz tooted. We struck up a good conversation and would have stayed much longer if only time had permitted.
I was a bit on overload. There is so much that I didn't even take in until I got home and saw the photos again. The perfect Napoleon III mirror and the Thonet style dressing glass, for example.
Remi and I both left with several items on our minds. I know that monsieur would have walked out with the fantastic maquette de bateau under his arm if only he could. And me? Thump thump thump (that is my ticker going again)...le lustre! Regarde...cet...lustre. Why oh, why is it that I always find exactly what I have been searching for (and many of you know how very long I have been looking for it) right when I can't afford it? Le Sigh Douloureux.
Time to fess up. Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux is not exactly in wine country, per se. But at an easy as can be, under an hour drive from Chateauneuf-du-Pape (and only a half hour from Cairanne), it is as the over-used saying goes, worth the detour. Not to mention the surrounding countryside is sublime. More about that another day.
And as for the lustre? Hmm...shh...I am still dreaming so please don't wake me! And you will notice, I did not mention the price. That, my friends, is a secret that I am keeping to myself.
À la Chine d'Antan
Rue de l'Esplan
Unfortunately, they do not ship, internationally or within France, but I did ask...
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend full of moments that make your heart beat happily!