Nothing excites me as much as antique shopping,  well, except for a few things, including my family – {most days.}

We just returned from a 10-day combination vacation/buying trip to Europe, and I wish you could all have gone with me! {some of you tried, and how much fun would that have been?!}



The only thing that makes me want to get up very early, dash through hundreds of wholesale showrooms, French brocantes, and European antique markets is the promise of rare, old, quirky and beautiful antique pieces to bring back to you.



I know you are curious to see what I’ve been up to for the last week and a half on our Fall #FrenchGardenHouseShopsEurope adventure. Today I’m sharing some details about our European antiques buying trip and the Castle Vaeshartelt.


So many of you who followed along on my instagram {you do follow me there, right?} asked for more details about one of the hotels we stayed in, so I’m sharing a few photos and details about this old castle.




We stayed for 8 nights in the 17th century Castle, Vaeshartelt, in Maastricht, The Netherlands.  It was magical!


The gates lead down a long path lined with trees before you reach the front of the hotel.



The 17th century Vaeshartelt Kasteel {castle} is steeped in royal history. It was the site of the ‘Harburgum’ fortress, reported to be the place where Charlemagne’s grandsons divided up his empire between them.


In the 18th century it was owned by King William II of the Netherlands, who used it for his royal hunting lodge – you can still see his initials W II on the keystone along with the year he died, 1841.



The beautifully restored interior has the original frescoes, stucco and marble in the larger meeting and dining rooms.



I chose this hotel for all these obvious reasons, but mainly for their grounds.


From our window we could see the beautiful grass lawns, but also the small woods that is part of the grounds.  The grounds are open to the public for walking.  There is also a vineyard, a kitchen garden, a forest with a “star” patterned center point {each little path is a point of the star and leads to something else}, bee hives and a flower meadow.



Proud of their green credentials, the kitchen only uses organic produce, preferably from their own garden.  Their is a small bar/bistro and also a larger restaurant there.


The rooms are more modern inside.  The furniture is made from long lasting “eco” materials, and it’s pretty streamlined.  But very comfortable!  And the price point is very, very reasonable for the surroundings, the ambience of the hotel and the free parking.  {Most hotels in Maastricht don’t offer parking, you have to try to find parking in the city somewhere and walk to the hotel…or it’s about 25 Euros a day. Free parking on site is a huge bonus!}



This hotel was our base for all our antique buying adventures –  early morning trips to flea markets, visits to French, Dutch and Belgian antique dealer friends, and some excursions driving down scary 3-inch streets {I closed my eyes! No, I wasn’t driving!!} in old town Antwerp and Maastricht in search of treasure.


Here are a few shots I quickly took with my cell phone…I’ll admit that when I’m shopping for all of us, I’m not great about taking photos. I’m always in a hurry to snap up the best pieces to take home to FrenchGardenHouse!






I hope you enjoyed this post, I’ll be sharing more about our trip over the next few posts.

You can visit the Kasteel Vaeshartelt site here>


And for all of you who have texted, called and emailed, I promise I am unpacking and adding the latest French, English and other European Antiques from this trip as quickly as I can!!  




à bientôt


If you want to romance your Home and Garden with antique and vintage treasures to make you smile each time you come home, visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.

5 thoughts on “EUROPEAN ANTIQUES BUYING TRIP | Notes from the Road”

  1. What a great place to stay, Lidy. I’m not on IG so I would’ve missed this. Thanks for sharing! I share that feeling you have about antiquing. Oh, to shop the fleas of Europe! Can’t wait to see your new treasures.

  2. Rita, I’d go back today if I could! The grounds are so beautiful, and at heart I’m a forest girl although we live near the ocean. Thanks for stopping by, it’s always so nice seeing you here.

  3. Hi Lidy, I am so glad that you shared more of this beautiful castle. Because many of my ancestors came from the Nordic area I just eat this stuff up. Just walking around the grounds and going to unusual out of the way places is what would intrigue me. What an awesome job you have! Thank you for taking us along.
    xoxo Jo

  4. Oh that castle looks so amazing…cannot believe that you had 8 glorious days enjoying the glorious gardens and the incredible meals!….Yes, surprised at the modern accommodations…but sounds like you did not spend much time in the room!….I cannot wait to see all of the treasures you brought back with you!!

  5. Sharon CrigSt

    Oh, Lidy! It is so beautiful inside and out. Thanks for sharing it with us. It must have been hard to leave…

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