Kick-start the new year by freshening up your home and your mind - vintage hunting in far-off cities.

The year 2020 was a year with a focus on the possibilities and the renewed desire to be outdoors, no matter the weather. This has inspired us to spend time in parks, stroll along tree-lined avenues and give our interiors a breath of fresh air. Add it all up and it translates into a new found love of treasure hunting at flea markets, higher-end vintage and antique markets and thrift shops. It’s been a (re)discovery that has not only resulted in unique finds, but giving cast-offs a new lease on life is synonymous with sustainable shopping behaviour. There’s no getting around the beauty of old things, the charm that gentle wear and tear gives an item. Summum is not only going outdoors in this issue, but going abroad – to three destinations perfect for treasure hunting.

France, Paris
Where do you sleep?
For classic chic, but of the very highest quality, book your room at the Hôtel Particulier Montmartre. The hotel is located in an elegant residential area in the shadow of the Sacré-Cœur, a neighbourhood not often seen by tourists and where you can imagine yourself a genuine Parisienne. That same feeling is also found in the hotel itself, where it doesn’t take much imagination to picture a pair of ladies with an attitude of je-ne-sais-quoi and chic nonchalance sitting in comfortable deep red velvet chairs on a black-and-white checked marble floor among the plants in the conservatory. Montmartre has always been and will always be one of the most picturesque districts in the City of Lights.

Where do you shop?
For those with a panache for treasure hunting, Montmartre – and, let’s be honest, all of Paris – has the best, least touristy vintage shops off the main drag. Dive into the dark side streets and you’ll be amazed at what you’ll find. Want a guaranteed amazing pre-loved find? Then you must – yes, must – make your way to the flea market in the 18th arrondissement close to the Porte de Clignancourt metro stop on Saturday or Sunday. The official name of the market is Les Puces de Saint-Ouen, but the Parisians simply call it Les Puces (the fleas). The flea market is enormous (seven hectares) and a cultural landmark, where you’ll find collectibles, antiques and vintage everything, in addition to North African maroquinerie (leather goods). Treasures as far as the eye can see.

United States, San Francisco
Where do you sleep?
Nights should be spent at the Palihotel San Francisco, a boutique hotel in a typical Victorian building close to Chinatown and Union Square – the heart of the city, with that adorable, famous old wooden cable car that pulls you over the hills of SF nearby. The rooms have that cheerful, summery California vibe, with shades of honey and sunny accents, classic elements like painted brick walls and Thonet-like bentwood furniture. Not to mention a soothing walk-in shower with good water pressure – not always the standard in hilly Frisco. The hotel restaurant and bar are like a time machine, with wood panelling on the walls, Gobelin tapestry on the booth seats and curtains tied back with luxurious twisted ropes. Oddly enough, you won’t find yourself in just one decade; a good look around reveals elements of all eras and fresh twists that give the hotel an unexpectedly modern feel.
Oh, and you absolutely must take a ride on the wooden trolley. Tip: Watch how the trolley is manually rotated on the turnaround at the start and end point, but don’t wait at either end to step on – it’ll take hours. About two stops further, you can hop on right away. You pay with your Clipper Card, similar to the Dutch public transport chipcard.

Where do you shop?
Those on a vintage hunt in America should make a beeline for San Francisco. When it comes to second-hand clothing, the choices here are especially finger-licking good, whether you’re looking for a vintage Gucci bag, an evening gown from the 80s, nostalgic Levi’s, baseball jacket from the 60s or fabulous Western wear, from rhinestone cowboy (Dolly Parton) to classic. Truly unique. Go to the Haight Ashbury or Mission districts for the best stores. We love Held Over (1543 Haight Street, classics from the past century categorised by the decade) and Wasteland (1660 Haight Street, vintage designer stuff).

Belgium, Antwerp
Where do you sleep?

One of the now virtually classic Antwerp accommodations is the B&B Boulevard Leopold. And that’s no small feat, as this B&B has been around for years, yet still seems more contemporary and fresh than many an overnight accommodation that has opened its doors in the Belgian city more recently. Of course, that may very well be due to a renewed passion for vintage: the old mansion on Belgiëlei close to the Sint-Vincentius Hospital is full of old trinkets and baubles and has an enchanting 19th century bourgeoisie feel, as if you’ve been catapulted back in time, yet with one foot firmly planted on a Pinterest page with an Instagram filter. Each room has its own unique charm and colour palette. Whether you’ve moved into the rooftop suite or are staying in the room at the front, you can’t help but be inspired by the decor. You immediately feel a sense of nostalgia and desire for those inviting, deeply padded Chesterfields, antlers on the wall, animals skins and herringbone parquet on the floor, crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, taxidermied animals and fossils under glass bell jars scattered about, a clawfoot bathtub and a dark wood secretary desk for writing all those long love letters you intend to send. Fortunately, the beds and sanitary facilities offer modern comfort – no 19th century abstinence here. B&B Boulevard Leopold pampers you with a breakfast of fruit, croissants, fresh orange juice and aromatic coffee or tea served in the green orangery,with a staff eager to provide tips on the best restaurants and shopping spots in town. At any rate, let the decor inspire you for your treasure hunt for fabulous second-hand finds.

Where do you shop?
Make sure you’re in Antwerp on a Sunday: Boulevard Leopold is only a short bike ride from Kloosterstraat, which is packed with fantastic vintage interior shops that are also open on Sundays. Make your way to the Grote Markt square or Zurenborg for the an array of vintage treasures. The flea markets at these two locations are held on different days of the week and you’ll find dozens of stands selling copper, silver, tin canisters, Scheurich ceramic vases, tableware and more. Those interested in stunning crystal tableware have come to the right place. With a variety of vintage shops and flea markets around town, you’re sure to find just what you’re looking for – and more. If you’re driving to the Netherlands afterwards, make sure to stop at Het Katshuis in Kats in Zeeland, a stately manor house with a stunning clock gable where they organise quality antique markets and vintage fairs with delightful treasures on a regular basis ( Fun fact: Summum shot the pictures for the Spring 2021 collection here.

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