Paris Flea Market - Les Puces de Saint Ouen

One of the best things to do on a Sunday afternoon in Paris is have a mosey round the flea markets at Saint Ouen. Take the metro to Clignancourt and battle your way through the street sellers flogging fake Louis Vuitton and those thrusting counterfeit watches in your face, go past the stalls selling synthetic sportswear, get momentarily distracted by cheap converse trainers, and then turn left onto rue des Rosiers. Keep your eyes peeled and slip into one of the little passages such as the one labelled "Marché Vernaison". And all at once you will find yourself in an oasis of calm, surrounded by treasures from yesteryear...60s lamps, antique silver ware, old oak wardrobes, plastic beaded necklaces...

The market is the biggest antiques market in the world and the flea market is densely packed; follow your nose, lose yourself in the labyrinthine alleys and you will stumble across all kinds of gems. Or, I heart Paris can impart on you a bit of insider knowledge and direct you to possibly the best shop in the world ever. Or at least the best in the flea market at any event. Head towards the Place Patrick Duprez in the covered market called Marché Dauphine, and you will arrive at shop stuffed to the rafters full of buttons, brooches, ribbons, pins, feathers and all kinds of accoutrements to customise your clothes. Don't be scared to ask any of the very helpful sales team - I heart Paris asked to look at embroidered coats of arms and was presented with four boxes packed full of exquisitely embroidered badges all around the 20 euro mark. There are selections arranged by theme in a kind of record shop type set up where you can find sheets with, for example, various types of birds in plastic, bakelite or metal to pin on to your threads. In front of the shop are cheaper bits and pieces with the little bows in the photo above selling for 6 euros. This is the best haberdashers in Paris by a long shot - truly original and inspirational. I heart this shop.

Les Puces de Saint Ouen. Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Metro Porte de Clignancourt (line 4)