Ohhh la la…we’re just back from our Huff Harrington Paris buying trip and our heads are spinning with Louis, Louis and more Louis. We walked countless miles, inspected hundreds of pieces of furniture and accessories and made friends with loads of smiling and knowledgeable vendors. We soaked up some rare March sun, bundled up when the temps dropped…and, oh by the way, managed to fit in plenty of utterly delicious meals and wine galore.
What a great time we had. We had nine lovely clients with us including three designers and a couple of their clients…and the wish lists were long and varied.
Our ladies had done their homework and were well-prepared – and we were there to give second opinions, talk to the vendors, negotiate pricing and handle the very crucial paperwork which ensures that gorgeous pieces ends up with us and not in Houston or San Francisco.
We were looking for crusty and crunchy tables for three fabulous outdoor porches at the beach; a crystal chandelier or two; a console destined for a beach house entrance and buffets galore. Along the way, we found all that – plus well-worn and well-loved antique silver cutlery, deco sconces, a Suzani rug and a spectacular late 18th century black painted commode that had us all swooning.
Our ladies arrived and wasted no time settling into their two Paris apartments and hitting the ground running with a perfectly timed visit to the Eiffel Tower. After a fabulous dinner and lots of delish wine, we all settled in for a good night’s sleep in preparation for the next day.
We were up and at ‘em for an early arrival at Chatou, an antiques fair that’s held at what was once the spot to buy and sell pigs many centuries ago. It sits on a little island surrounded by the Seine and we quickly showed our ladies the lay of the land. There are several hundred vendors selling wares from odd collectibles to gorgeous and perfectly patina-ed 18th century furniture, glorious mirrors with their original glass and mid-century cane and bamboo outdoor chairs and tables. We were in hog heaven.
One morning, we stopped by another little market that we love in Paris and picked up all kinds of goodies that pretty much fit in the suitcase. The warm weather had created a little smog in Paris, so the nice mayor insisted that everyone leave their cars at home and use public transportation. It was free for the weekend, so we obliged like good little Parisiennes.
Then it was onto Les Puces, a delightful maze of antiques, curiosities and all kinds of this, that and the other. We adore Les Puces and have realized it really takes at least two days to work your way through it. Luckily, we’ve spend enough time there to make some friends and figure out exactly where we like to shop.
The last two days we let our ladies loose to do damage at the retail stores and they obliged. We were most impressed with a lovely client who only had 45 minutes before she left for the airport. She came home with a vintage Yves St. Laurent velvet coat and Chanel handbag as well as a gorgeous cashmere sweater. Now that’s some shopping.
Our last night was spent biking around Paris at night with the wonderful Fat Tire Bike Tour. It’s absolutely magical and so much fun – we highly recommend it for anyone visiting Paris.
As always, there’s nothing like the magic of Paris and the thrill of the chase to help forge new and lifelong friendships. In the meantime, we’re back home at Huff Harrington and already impatiently awaiting the arrival of our container which is now filled to the brim with treasures galore.