Joyeux Noël and Bonnes Fêtes mes amis!  Let’s hope that Père Noël will deliver a bit of sunshine for Christmas.

Our shipment is late this year courtesy of an over-zealous french fumigation official.  However it will arrive in time for Christmas and we will spread it around in our upstairs gallery for those who want to rummage for something special for themselves or their nearest and dearest. Just phone before you come - 304 8760.

We still have space available for couples or singles for our September brocante tour. If our tours are on your bucket list – as so many of you have told me they are – you need to act, because 2019 will be the last year we will be escorting groups in the Loire. We have a wealth of knowledge and contacts in this region, and continue to enjoy the thrill of the hunt, but the tours involve a huge amount of planning and organisation - both of which the average French dealer in antiquities tends to resist. Besides, the Loire is a very long way away from our boat…

According to guests who have joined us three times now, this year’s tour was the best ever in terms of buying opportunities. Next year, our last, will be even better - we will open our little black book wide and take our guests to visit all our french friends, brocanteurs, hoarders and dealers in the region - so take this opportunity and come with us for one last brocante blast.

For those who can’t join us, we are in the process of publishing a book - Une Bonne Affaire – Striking a bargain with France – which describes our brocante-hunting adventures and misadventures, spills a few French beans and more importantly, contains all you need to know to do it on your own. We have noted that the many articles, websites and books on the subject are long on enticing imagery but very short on practical details.

And while it is time for us to move on from the Loire, it is not quite yet time to say goodbye to the business of hosting small groups in France. We have an idea, the practicalities of which we will check out this coming season – it involves painting en plein air, brocante, bikes and canal boats. All going well, it promises to be different to anything else on offer.

To those who want to visit us and poke around in a pile of fresh brocante – you’ll be very welcome.

To the rest of you, Bonne Année and may the sun shine on you.