Ever wondered where indestructible French antique furniture goes to die? Or where your granny’s collection of Ricard ashtrays and Martini soda siphons live on forever more?
Welcome to Emmaus06. This vast sprawl of warehouses and junk sheds is where battered homeware from Louis XV to Louis Vuitton can be purchased for pennies.
Furnishing your new apartment? There’s enough here to decorate the Elysée Palace.
Before I list the bargains I’ll give you Emmaus’s Oxfam-esque backstory. It all began when Friar Peter started selling donated odds and ends for charity from a tent in 1954. Two years later he moved the operation into the Saint André de la Roche chateau. This rundown castle sits in a bucolic corner in the far north of Nice.
Friar Peter’s charitable wares from grand pianos to second-hand sinks spread across the outbuildings. Prisoners were recruited to help man the stalls. Rehabilitation and charity continues today under the watchful eye of the brother monks. A British offshoot of the charity is presided over by the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles.
Ready for the bargains? Then brace yourself. We’re talking armchairs for €5, desks for €10 and an entire warehouse of church pews. Hand mirrors for €1, copper pans for €2 and marble sinks for a name-your-price tariff.
It takes 20 minutes to tour the furniture warehouse full of armoires, tea chests, occasional tables and butchers blocks. Then another 20 for the glassware, homeware, tableware and truly awful collection of donated art.
The final junk room is just that. Everything’s a Euro or two from vintage mustard jars to commemorative plates from the 1982 World Cup. Just what you always wanted, right?
Emmaus06 is now attracting in-the-know Italians keen to sell their vintage finds across the border so purchase your item quickly if you see a steal.
Also be aware that it’s only open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons. Plus Saturday mornings, when they sell 50c croissants along with bargain basement coffee for the same price.
Address: 158, chemin des Arnaud, Saint Andréde la Roche, Nice