|Me and mum|
It was my mum's 86th birthday last week and being more into giving and receiving experiences than giving and receiving stuff me and Lovejoy took her on a trip to Lille to celebrate.
Mum had never been on the Eurostar and it was on her bucket list. We were catching the 8.04 train from St Pancras so stayed over night in the Premier Inn on Euston Road which is pretty much directly opposite the station. What Premier Inn's lack in character they more than make up for in comfort, cleanliness and good value for money. One and a half hours later we were in Lille. It took us longer than that to get to Brighton a couple of weeks ago.
I'm very proud of my mum, she may not dress in garish colours and ostrich feathers but she's bloody marvellous and not just for 86, she gamely kept up with the two of us wandering all over Lille, eating and drinking and generally being bloody good fun. Advanced style eat your heart out.
|C&A in Lille what joy|
Lille is situated in North West France approximately ten miles from the Belgium border and is a lovely quirky medieval town full of the most wonderful boutiques, eateries, patisseries and architecture. We wandered round the gorgeous pedestrian streets of the old town which combines old style Flemish influence with modern shopping malls and everything in between. We even found a C&A much to my delight.
|Au Vieux de la Ville|
We discovered that the best places to eat in Lille are without doubt the Estaminets and the most well known in Lille is the Au Vieux de la Ville which we loved so much we went twice. These are frequented by local people and can get really busy however, we went early so had no trouble finding a table. Estaminet means small cafe and these were charming places full of character and quirky bits and bobs not to mention wonderful artisan food like Carbonade Flamande a wonderfully falling apart beef stew and Rabbit with prunes.
Apart from losing ourselves wandering through all the quirky streets leading off the Grande Place (main square) we visited Lille Cathedral, the Basilica of Notre Dame de la Treille, France's most recently completed Cathedral and a national monument. The Cathedral was completed with a modern facade in 2000 in time to celebrate the millennium.
|two sides of the same coin|
|Gorgeous stained glass window|
|Pillars of the Earth|