So, by now you will all have worked out that Engine room is a 'johnny foreigner' - the price we have had to pay for 'expert' help. But hey, not everyone can be perfect!
His musings on the New York Flea Market and a News item I heard earlier today (a strike by Belgian railways, meaning everyone had to get off Eurostar at Lille - are there enough people in Belgium to have a strike?) linked for me to reassert that a) we 'others' are avowed Europeans and b) from time to time diablog should give out some real information.
So, diablog reader, how's about this - the biggest flea market I have ever been to is...
the Lille Braderie. An absolute hoot. Essentially due to, I think, some Middle Ages Decree each citizen living within the boundaries of 'Greater Lille' (including those in flats and high rise etc) are granted 3 metres of pavement space once a year to 'clean out the loft' - for which read cellar, shop, garage and store place, to sell whatever they wish.
If you are looking for French decorative antiques (glasses, mirrors, candlesticks, pictures, train sets, and about anything else possible, spend a couple of days in September here. There is honestly everything and anything for sale! Even those who have 'nothing to sell' join in by offering tea, soft drinks, home made food and God knows what.
Sorry that this information is too late for 2010 - but give it a try in 2011! Blame the diablog - I looked too late!
The bonus is that (if you like Mussels - as in shell fish) each restaurant tips the empty eaten shells onto a pile by the door to try to win an award for the most eaten.
Talking of eating, try Brasserie Andre, all 1920's with waiters in floor to ceiling aprons, L'Alcide, just off the main square and with long refectory tables - you could find yourself next to me - or if you have quids to burn (still a smoker - join us!!!) you MUST go to L'Huitriere. All Louis 15, bonkers, behind a fish shop through which you must pass (all dressed up to the nines!) with wonderful mosaics on the walls. And, last time I went I loved it, for a hotel consider L'Alliance - a converted nunnery.