Offbeat Antibes #3 Cats, Champers, Cute Cars & the Haberdashery


As gestures towards Christmas decorations go – who wouldn’t want cats walking on their hind legs and bringing a pudding? There is so much to see here in Antibes. I have been here consistently since the end of October and have still not developed the urge to go elsewhere – to really settle and take in the small details of this place is more than enough.

We went to Cannes once. It was enough. We spent about 2 hours. In Cannes I was amused that the posters of a lost cat was  a very posh cat with a lot of hair – a large white Persian type of cat, that looked like it was smelling something so awful it was on the brink of puking its smoked salmon dinner into a gold plated spittoon, but the butler was delayed and it was resisting spewing. It was no ordinary cat – it was a posh cat. Similarly, the police drove casually down a street and reminded a weary looking hippy type, that he needn’t think he could stay sitting there and needn’t think he was going to get a chance to hustle – he could move along. Smartish. Now. The discarded wine bottle, chucked at the bottom of a large potted tree in a pedestrian area, was an empty bottle of Champagne. It was not Buckfast.

In Cannes, they still have winos, and lost cats. They still have hustling hippies, like other cities in Europe – it is the same… but different. It is rarefied and tacky in a tinsel-town way.

Antibes on the other hand, is a wonderful mix of the ancient and the modern, the hip, the chic, the tasteful and the trashy. It  also is homely. Antiboise are proud to be from here, of here and take little time, to mention this. It is perhaps easier also to connect to the real local people at this time of the year, when there are fewer tourists and visitors.

Remarkably, there are some businesses here which have all but disappeared from towns and cities at home. Take for example haberdashery. It’s hard to find a haberdashery shop in many towns and cities….. but there are a number here.

Madame Marchitto a third generation haberdasher, was unwilling to be photographed, but was happy enough that I could take some photos and that I would write about her shop.  It is a pity as she was very photogenic…..Her shop is at #9 Rue Fourmilliére.


It’s a wonderful shop – full of all manner of unexpected things. from ribbons to bias binding, motif badges, pom-poms, tassels, wool, fabric and such an abundance of buttons……. I was tempted to stand and ask a host of, ‘ Would you have a……….?’ questions. I expect that after a brief rummage. M. Marchitto might well produce it….. including rabbits and hats.

I intend to return to Rue Fourmelliére – it’s off the main drag to anywhere, but has a fantastic combination of businesses: hairdressers, barbers, restaurants, domestic houses…… a novelty shop about which, more another time….. and a (posh) burger bar called The Big Moustache.

Elsewhere in Antibes – these are for sale, and because Santa is watching, and just in case it’s possible, I want to let him know… I want one……………. please.


As for the mystery missing Posh Pussy of Cannes……… I’d say it was the Butler wot did it, and I’d say he nicked the bottle of Champers and swigged it in the street, before chucking the bottle away and telling the cops it was the Hippy wot had it in for the kitty….. (still with me?)

More later, mes amis……….daughter the older  is about to arrive for Le Weekend……

PS. Letter  100 was posted today.

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