I’ve now been to flea markets in Geneva, Paris and Nyon. I love the Geneva market, was horribly disappointed in the Paris market (asking 45 euros for a simple wine opener) and found some interesting things in Nyon, a lakeside village about 20 minutes west of Lausanne. Point being, there are loads of flea markets in Europe (read: there will be many more posts on the subject).
But is that treasure really a deal? I decided to do some digging. I found these fabulous green vintage metal chairs (left) in Nyon. The seller was asking roughly $75 a piece. Seem pricey? The green retro chairs in the center are $135 if you live near Ruffs Dale, Pennsylvania; $635 anywhere else in the country. Or these rusty chairs (right) that need some serious TLC for $75 for one lucky New Jersey resident. Bottom line? My Nyon finds are priced fairly.
I adored this tea set (left). The orange-and-gold color combo felt so 70s chic. The Italian vendor wanted $194 for the 18-piece porcelain collection. This one on the right collected $250 at auction. My advice? When you’re looking at a vintage piece, go with your gut. If you love it, buy it (within reason). You may never see something like it again, and you don’t want to kick yourself years down the road. Technology allows you to check Ebay, Etsy and Craigslist pricing on the spot. If your find falls within the scope of prices you find on these second-hand sites, then I say, “Let the negotiating begin.”
Be an archeologist of style. Buy what fascinates and speaks to your design aesthetic or your nostalgia. Letterpress letters remind me of my journalism roots, even though these alphabet pieces came way before my time.
I love vintage because I like the pieces in my home to have a story, which is why I bought this set of carved wood pears in Nyon. The larger one is a box. I am completely intrigued by what might have been stashed inside. Jewelry? Love letters? Keys? The possibilities are endless and allow these ordinary objects to create interest in any room in the house.
Posted by Wendy
I love food. When I travel, I base destinations around my stomach. So when we arrived in Lausanne, fondue topped my cuisine wish list.
Scott and I found the local favorite in our small town, a nondescript restaurant in an arcade that’s been cooking up a meal of melted cheese since 1951. Cafe Romand did not disappoint. We dipped our white bread in cheesy deliciousness and sipped our small glasses of red wine. Final cost? About $53–kind of pricey for a pot of melted cheese and some bread, no?
Luckily, I found a traditional Swiss fondue pot–steel exterior with an enameled finish on the inside–at the Geneva flea market, which only set me back $5. Unlike the purists at Cafe Romand, I served my cheesy dip with chorizo, sliced chicken, pears, a baguette and potatoes.
I researched several recipes before coming up with my own version of traditional Swiss fondue.
1.5 cups shredded gruyere cheese (Note: Don’t go overboard with the gruyere. Too much gives the fondue a gritty texture. Stick to 1.5 cups)
1.5 cups shredded emmenthaler cheese
.5 cups shredded Appenzeller cheese
2.5 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 garlic glove
1 cup dry white wine
One teaspoon fresh lemon juice
A pinch nutmeg
Fresh-ground pepper to taste
Posted by Wendy
1. Rub the garlic over the inside of the fondue pot. Heat the white wine over medium heat. Don’t let it boil. Just get it hot.
2. Mix all cheeses and flour in a bowl.
3. When wine is hot, add lemon juice.
4. Put a handful of the cheese and flour mixture in the wine. Stir until the cheese is completely melted. Repeat until you’ve used all the cheese mixture. Lower heat and constantly stir, allowing the cheesy mixture to bubble slightly.
5. Stir in the nutmeg and pepper and serve.
**We don’t have a burner so we put our pot on a wooden cutting board and started dunking.**