Pigeon Tours developed from an existing business, Izzi & Popo, which specialised in brocante and second hand goods from Europe. The owners, Harry Silman and Bernadette Wyer, worked with lifelong friends travelling through Belgium and France to bring the best of European brocante to Melbourne, a business that they have run for over 12 years.
The name came about whilst travelling in Europe with a friend who had no map reading or navigational skills, and was always surprised by Bernadette’s inbuilt radar. Bernadette became known as the Pigeon. Bernadette came late to travelling for an Australian, but once she was off and wandering she discovered that every small town, big city or backyard had something to offer. Someone else’s shed or foreign supermarket always has something that is worth shipping home.
Pigeon Tours is for small groups who wish to follow a thematic tour such as the Paris flea markets. On this tour each day is spent in an organised flea market, or on the brocante street markets which take place almost every day somewhere in Paris.
Before Izzi & Popo and brocante became her passion, Bernadette worked in the fashion industry and developed a big love of textiles. Hence the textiles in Turkey tour, visiting textile stores in Istanbul and carpets specialists further afield.
Then there is food, everyone’s favourite. Two great countries for food and history, Italy and Israel. These tours will be developed with local cooks or chefs with produce from the region.
Bernadette Wyer, who organised all the buying and shipping from Europe with her buyers for Izzi & Popo, will accompany each tour. Pigeon Tours is offering to help ship any purchases back to your desired address.
Ask us about our tours for small groups that focus on brocante and textile buying.
“Bernadette’s itinerary included niche retail stores, food markets, historical buildings, smaller local Brocante markets, Brocante fairs and Clingnancourt. Her knowledge and navigation skills were awe inspiring! Touring around Paris as she guided us through the metro was stress free and fun.
My focus was to buy brocante stock for my Daylesford retail store. Bernadette helped me understand how the French operate professionally and mentored me in price negotiation, packing and completing relevant documentation.
Travelling with Bernadette was an amazing experience!”
“Pigeon tours created an individual experience that was not your typical touristy schedule, but a curious mix of things; shopping delights, interesting galleries, indulgent dining experiences, street and people watching and off the wall stuff that only the locals or diehards would know. Bernadette was organised, informative, and lots of fun. She knows her stuff, is street savvy, passionate about travel and curious about people and places.”
“I had the great pleasure and good luck of travelling on the first Pigeon Tours trip to Paris and Istanbul. Bernadette was incredibly patient, generous and above all ‘in the know’. She’s an energetic ‘do-er’ and does it with style.”
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