Here it is at last! My little story of a weekend spent in Lille. It's been a long time coming and I've been very strict with myself selecting photos for this post. Here they are by theme, in more or less random order.
Let's start with food, and more specifically the inside of the restaurants, or "Estaminets" we went to. These places are only found in the north of France and are usually packed full of old objects. Paintings, little statues, crockery, you name it.
The food was cheesy and yummy. Maroilles (a strong local cheese) tart was enjoyed several times
Even the coffee is served in a vintage pot and looks terribly inviting. So inviting that I drank two cups and spent all afternoon sweating and trembling.
This yummy estaminet had a courtyard terrace full of string lights and greenery.
I was told to try out this bakery/tea house, the best in town. I was stuffed after most meals, so on sunday afternoon before catching the train back to Paris, I dragged Boyfriend to the old town one last time for tea.
So much choice!
We went for something simple. Speculoos waffle and red fruit cake. And one last beer for Boyfriend of course.
The setting was lovely. In Paris you would expect to pay a fortune (and probably queue for 20 mins) just to be allowed to sit down an breathe the air in this kind of place. Here the staff was extremely friendly, we didn't have to listen to our neighbours' conversations, and the prices were very reasonable.
Check out those legs.
Ok, on to our next theme: shops! I didn't buy anything but I did plenty of oogling and drooling. Specially in this place.
They have a shop in Paris which I'm going to have to visit, but this one is bigger and full of really original pieces. Oh if only I had bags of money and a big house.
This is my dream chair. Reduced to €1,000. Not bad really. Not that I have that kind of cash to be spending on furniture.
The building itself was beautiful to start with. Add a wall of pink chairs and headboards and what do you expect? I almost moved in. I seriously almost bought a pink silk cushion until I came to my sense (or may have been dragged back to my senses by guess who) and realised €47 is a lot of money for a cushion.
Coffee table with integrated plant pot. Genius.
This clothes shop was one of my favourites. Mainly because of their wallpaper and clothes hangers. I don't even remember the clothes themselves.
Behold: the biggest (and prettiest) paint shop entrance ever:
This was a coffee shop but I just had to post it. Such a cute name!
"Choppe" in French is a beer glass. Bad play on words. Very bad. I guess this is where the boys go while the girls are shopping.
Now it's time for some random architecture and street photos.
I pinched this photo of the Porte de Paris from here. I only got a night time picture from the ground and this one really does the building justice.
To sum it up: great food, great people, great shops and beautiful buildings. AND good weather! Can you see the bunny hiding in the clouds?