Our Lille handy guide
It is now time to close our blog series about our trip with our Lille handy guide. Here’s everything you need to know to prepare for your trip to Lille the best way possible! (N.B. Flag found here)
How to get to Lille?
As you can imagine, Lille is not really the next door destination when you live in the South of France. Nevertheless, it is a large European city that proves to be very well served in terms of transport and we were able to take a direct train from Avignon with the SNCF (the French train company) for a 5-hour ride! And it is in these moments that the laptop becomes a valuable ally to avoid losing it during this long journey! It was the perfect opportunity to watch the latest episode of our favorite TV show and work on photos from our trip to the Czech Republic, but we’ll tell you about it later. If you come to Lille from another European country, you should check out the Interrail website to come by train or the Eurolines website to come by bus. Also, you should know that the city has its own airport which is only twenty minutes away from Lille’s city center. If you plan to reach Lille by air, you can search for a cheap flight using Skyscanner, it’s pretty handy and will give you a good overview of the overall prices.
Going back to #Avignon! Thank you @SNCF for privatizing a whole car for us!! 😜😜😜 pic.twitter.com/zL2294VxeI
— Nath et Seb (@VoyageursSansFr) 27 Septembre 2015
As part of our attendance to the Renaissance event, we were invited to try out the superb Mercure Lille Centre Grand Place hotel and the least we can say is that we were not disappointed! First, the welcoming was just perfect. Once in our 5th floor room, we had the very pleasant surprise to find a welcome note written by the manager of the place accompanied by delicious vanilla waffles from Meert, an institution in Lille! The room was tastefully decorated and had a real character. We loved the predominance of red which gave a lot of energy to the set and the headboard representing the Shangri La Tulips, that were installed in Lille in 2004, was really original! We had the feeling that the building had a lot of history and the alliance with modernity was pretty nice. Another originality of the hotel is the cozy relaxation area where everything is done to make you feel at home. It is particularly true for the kitchen, which includes a fully stocked fridge and everyone serve themselves according to they cravings throughout the day whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or even a snack. It is a concept that we had never seen before and we were completely won over by it!
Where to eat in Lille?
We didn’t really have the opportunity to try out many addresses during our Lille weekend but we will first tell you about our favorite: L’Impertinente. It is a very charming tea room (and pony club!) that specializes in preparing delicious and gourmet “gâtals”. Yes, you read that right, here we do not talk about cake (“gâteau” in French) but “gâtals” and my God, they are good! The friendly owners, Alexandre and Marine, welcomed us with simplicity and good humor, on a Friday evening when the shop was specially reserved for us bloggers, and the least we can say is that we really enjoyed ourselves eating there! Maroilles cream, sardines rillettes, fresh salads with potatoes, green beans and asparagus, butternut soup and delicious “gâtals” to finish with style! Needless to say that our foodie souls have been amply satisfied! We like that they work with fresh products from local producers, we loved the cozy and funny decoration, we are fond of their humor and finally their shortbreads are just to die for. A place to consume without moderation! We also highly recommend you to go over to L’Alimentation, a restaurant that is located in the premises of La Condition Publique in Roubaix. We ate there after goofing around at the Home Movie Factory and it was a real treat in an absolutely beautiful scenery.
A few ideas of activities in Lille
– Le musée de la Piscine in Roubaix
– Check out a Lille Renaissance exhibition (until january 2016)
– Take a walk in the old city center
– Go up the city hall belfry and enjoy the view
– Go street art hunting
– An exhibition at la Condition Publique in Roubaix, the Tri Postal or at the Gare Saint-Sauveur[/one_third]
– Notre-Dame de Treille cathedral
– The Vieille Bourse
– The cosmopolitan Wazemmes market
– The Saint-Maurice church
– The maroilles cheese (yes, it stinks but it tastes better than it smells!)
– The fricadelle
– Vanilla waffles from Meert (very sweet, perfect with tea!)
This article was written as part of a partnership with the Lille Tourist Office and the Roubaix Tourist Office. Nevertheless, any opinion expressed here is our own and has not been subjected to any influence. Thank you very much to the Mercure Hotel staff, L’Impertinente owners, La Condition Publique staff and Audrey and Florence for your joyful and kind welcome!