June 30 2011
As a Scandinavian design junkie with a flat full of midcentury modern, I didn’t expect to return from a weekend in Copenhagen with souvenirs from France. But of all the intriguing independent shops tucked away behind the Strøget, it was Beau Marché (pictured) that captured my heart. A mix of modern and vintage homeware, much of the stock was found in French flea markets by four Danish siblings, Julie, Elisabeth, Danielle and Christian Lee Dann, who all look as if they’ve just stepped out of a photo-shoot.
Everything is beautifully laid out – miniature Tolix stools for tots, Poitoux café chairs, industrial lamps, vintage champagne crates and contemporary treasures such as David Hodkinson’s Colourful Fifties lacquered acacia coffee tables. But I couldn’t resist the adorable bowls, hand made at the faïencerie de Niderviller, a ceramics factory in Lunéville that’s been around since 1735. It was almost impossible to choose from the lovely range of pastel shades and stencilled patterns. I settled for a set decorated with blue birds, which brighten up my breakfast cereal and are pretty enough for storing bits and bobs on my Danish sideboard.
While my bowls were being wrapped, I slipped round to the Café à Vins in the secret courtyard behind the shop for a croque monsieur and a glass of Ardèche syrah. Soaking up the sun, I couldn’t help feeling smug. At DKr168 (£20) a pop, my new bowls were five times cheaper than the (admittedly rather lovely) blue fluted porcelain on sale at tourist-infested Royal Copenhagen down the road.