Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Dirty Weekenders in France...

Thanks so much to Fiona of Made in A Muddle for tipping me off about this new Channel 4 series called Dirty Weekenders in France. I had no idea what it was all about. I hoped it might be about people with weekend homes in France who popped across the channel to demolish walls and rip out kitchens in their quest to create the perfect weekend escape.
No, it wasn't.
It was even better than that.



The programme is presented by Richard E Grant who apparently has spent the past twenty five years popping over to France to buy all manner of french junk. (Wouldn't you love to see inside his home?)
He says, ''I have an insatiable desire for beaten up old stuff. Distressed furniture, rusty light fittings, nostalgic paraphernalia...''

I had no idea men like this existed! Naturally I fell madly in love with him and set about googling in a new tab to see whether or not he was married so that I might abandon my husband and run off into the Provencal sunset with him.

Alas, it wasn't meant to be. Three minutes into the programme he walks straight from a courtyard into his hotel room, flings himself on the bed WITH HIS SHOES ON  despite there being an utterly gorgeous white quilted bedspread on the bed.

Uh. It was over between us before it began.


I was quickly distracted from my broken heart as he strolled around french flea markets  and brocantes full of french gorgeousness and it was clear he really was in his element. Old wooden chairs and rusty garden furniture filled the streets as Richard E made his merry way.

The programme also featured two other Brits who regularly channel hop on the lookout for architectural salvage, rustic country farmhouse homewares and honest, beaten up old furniture.

Stuart Paterson from London was looking for things to sell at an upcoming fair in Notting Hill. I loved his style. He sought out items to add to collections which he sold in large numbers. Like sixty five plates! He took it as a great compliment when someone described his pitch at the fair as 'pretty-ugly.' He explained that it was too easy to do 'pretty-romantic.' (I think he would love my ugly dresser.)

Matt Black, a furniture dealer from Hastings had to find a mind boggling three hundred 1930's leather club chairs in a two year period for an American client. He was lucky enough to find out about an old factory that was closing down with all of its fixtures and fittings up for grabs. He scored a stunning metal desk with chippy paintwork and some divine pigeon holes. The stuff that dreams are made of.

With a round trip to the south of France costing around £500 in petrol etc, it was fascinating to see what the dealers found, knowing what they could sell their items for in hopes of coming out with a profit.



I thoroughly recommend this series to those second hand shoppers out there who appreciate a bit of rust and patina. The only downside is that you'll be sorely tempted to channel hop with an articulated truck. Forget the van.

You can catch up on 4 od.


27 comments:

  1. You see if they had programmes like this on telly in nz i might actually buy a telly. Terry and i spent much of our honeymood junk shopping in France, god it was good. Now we have to make do with husbands friends shop-he spends 6 months in france in summer hunting rustic junk down, and then and 6 months in nz in summer selling it. Dream job!

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    1. Wow, you'd think that the cost involved in transporting it all would outweigh the potential profit! Dream job indeed though! Have you no telly then Max? xx

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  2. Wasn't it fab ? Glad you liked it, I thought it was so you. I can't wait to get over there now. Is it a series...I thought it was a one -off?

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    1. Loved it, thank you! I'm clearly confused, it says on 4 od it's series 1 but I can't find another episode so perhaps it's a one off after all.

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  3. Definitely going to have to watch this on catch up looks great x

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  4. I saw it too and am now even more desperate to get over to France! M x

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    1. Well I think we need a blogger weekend away, splitting the cost of the articulated lorry and the petrol! x

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  5. I know a couple of traders who have stalls on Chesterfield flea market who go to France regularly for their stock, and absolutely love it. They do find some lovely pieces too. I think this may be your calling, Emma Kate, you would have a great time! xxx

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    1. I would have a great time but not want to sell any of it! My husband would leave me. xxx

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  6. How have I missed this? Aaaaaargh - off to scroll through my on demand thingummyjiggetywhatsit x Jane ( Matt Black - is that a real name???)

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  7. Shoes on the bed don't bother me but the fact Richard E Grant doesn't drink - now that's a definite no-no!
    Yes, loved watching this. Reminded me of that shop in the Harry Enfield sketch - I saw You Coming. xxx

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    1. I only drink about three times a year. Perhaps we are MFEO after all? He seems so polite and well mannered, perhaps he could be trained out of his naughty shoes on the bed habit without one becoming Bitch Troll from Hell...xxx (I'd forgotten about that sketch!)

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  8. I watched it and loved it, and like you thought it was a series..., is it not then? I went to a few markets when in France a few years ago and only came home with one lone little ornament. No articulated lorry required!

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    1. Ah, maybe it is a series but they're having a week off for Easter? xx

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  9. I meant to watch this but forgot about it. I'm sorry but shoes on the bed is acceptable if you were in Withnail and I.

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    1. Do you know I've never seen that! Is it good then? x

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  10. I saw this program loved the idea of this being my job but not sure I could cope with the travelling. Loved how the things were styled in the market back home, but did anyone buy the horse cover thing? I hope there will be more.

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    1. I know, all those long straight french roads! I loved the horse cover thing but would have liked to see it used to upholster a chair. I hope it's back after Easter. No idea. x

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  11. EEEPPPP *cancels all plans and turns on 4od*. This programme sounds SO GOOD. I would love a dirty weekend in France with Richard E Grant*. I've been in love with him ever since watching Jack and Sarah.
    xxx
    * Looking for industrial furniture, obviously. Ahem.

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    1. Gosh I vaguely remember that I think. Did his wife die?
      He is very lovely isn't he? He only bought one tiny chocolate shoe mold though which was not very much spending, seeing as he'd gone all the way to France to shop. He clearly needs to try harder.
      xxx

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  12. In the Dallas (Texas) Morning News Easter Sunday, the travel section was all about flea marketing in France: Foire de Chatou Sept 26- Oct 5 this year. "What to Look For @ Paris Mkts": grain sacks, jam jars, torchons, monogramed table linens (like the wonderful one you "faked"), gravure prints, Medici vases, café au lait bowls, vintage English & French silverware, & enamel street signs. Also recommended was Porte de Vanves. Maybe this link will work:
    http://www.dallasnews.com/lifestyles/travel/international/20140418-fabulous-finds-at-the-foire-de-chatou-flea-market-outside-paris.ece or Google Fabulous Finds at the Foire de Chatou to read it. I love the title Dirty Weekenders !!

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    1. Wow, I guess it's less of a bargain if you're setting off from Dallas! Still, you could also do some sights of Paris while you're there. Just to kill the time.
      All those items are hot tickets at the moment. xx

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  13. Hi, does anybody know the name of the former Swedish model who lives in France, Richard E Grant visited her house on the series and it was absolutely stunning. I'd like to see photos of the interior of her house again and wondered if on the web but I don't even know her name, or what series that was on. Thank you in advance.

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    1. As Fiona says in the comments above, it wasn't a series but a one off. You can see it here... http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dirty-weekenders-in-france-richard-e-grant/on-demand/58214-001
      Are you sure you have the right show though? Could it have been The Auction House instead?
      Former swedish models; Helena Seger, Sofia Hellqvist and Hanna Bouvang. Any of them sound right?

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    2. Forgive me! You are right! Anna Karin from The Blue Eyed Sardines guest house.

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