Monday, 16 May 2016

Advanced fabulousness, my mum and a trip to Lille



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
Carbonade Flamande
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.
medieval entrance to the cathedral
modern facade 
two sides of the same coin

Just beautiful


Gorgeous stained glass window

Pillars of the Earth
Lille is a charming quirky medieval French town and we all loved it but the most memorable part of the trip for me was spending some quality time with my mum.

24 comments:

  1. I'm impressed! I hope someone takes me somewhere when I'm 86.

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  2. Oh bless your mom! that's how i want to be-20-30 years from retirement and keeping up with my kids, who enjoy my company. Wish her the very happiest of birthdays! I;ve been to Paris, and lot;s of southern French town and cities and near the sea, but Lille sounds like my kind of place.

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    1. Yep when I'm 86 I hope my kids and grandkids drag me all over the place I don't ever want to spend hours sitting in a chair lol

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  3. Thank you for visiting my blog earlier. I have just had a glimpse at yours and can't believe how much we have in common? May I ask how you found me? Because - funnily enough, I have lived in High Wycombe and miss it soooo much. If you ever want to take another trip across the channel, Aachen (and Maastricht) is not far from me. ;)

    In any case, so pleased you commented on my blog and that we met this way.

    Have a great day,
    Marianne from
    Let's Read

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    1. Hi Marianne nice to meet you. I found your blog through MacQue At the little house in the swamp. High Wycombe is probably very different now to when you lived here. I'm originally from Stoke-On-Trent but have lived in Wycombe since 1986 and had all my children here so it's home lol. I'm living your blog.

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  4. Your mum looks radiant, lovely that you both enjoyed exploring everything on your trip together. Betty

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    1. Thanks Betty I'll tell her. We did have a fab time and such a laugh too.

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  5. Tell Mum Happy Birthday!!! And she looks fab!!! There are some great genes in your family!!

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  6. Ah thank you I'll tell her. I hope I'm as fit as she is at 86 though lol

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  7. Your mum sounds great. I seem to have had news of several friends and relatives having health problems lately, sometimes at a relatively young age, its great to read of someone enjoying and making the most of life in her 80s.

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    1. I think doing lots of walking is the key, she walks most days and has an exercise bike which she also uses along with a little stretching routine. She's great she puts me to shame.

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  8. Lille looks like a beautiful place and I hope your Mum had a wonderful time. I didn't think C&A existed anymore how wonderful to find one. We use Premier Inns as they are always clean and comfortable and all that is needed when out and about exploring:)

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  9. We all had a great time thank you. I was thrilled to find a C&A used to shop in them all the time as a teenager. I thought they no longer existed too. I agree Premier Inns are great aren't they?

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  10. We like Lille - and have an estaminet (somewhere!) that we love. Haven't been for a long time though. My mum is the same age as yours and just as feisty and fit, it seems! We hope she'll come over and visit this year, maybe via Eurostar as there's direct London-Lyon trains.

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    1. The estaminets were fab we all loved them, best food and great value for money. I couldn't believe how quick it was to get to Lille you could actually go for the day. Ive never been to Lyon will have to give it a go later in the year I think.

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  11. What a lovely trip for you and your mum - it must have been great fun. Lille looks beautiful and sounds so easy to get to. It makes me want to visit there too. The estaminets sound heaven, and how funny to find a C&A - haven't seen one of those in years!
    Cathy x

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  12. What a lovely trip for you and your mum - it must have been great fun. Lille looks beautiful and sounds so easy to get to. It makes me want to visit there too. The estaminets sound heaven, and how funny to find a C&A - haven't seen one of those in years!
    Cathy x

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  13. That sounds like a brilliant birthday trip for your mum, and lovely to be able to tick of a bucket list item for her!

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    1. She says she wants to go to New York next lol

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  14. What a great idea! It looks like a great place to spend a few days. My Mom is the same, up for anything.

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  15. It was really quirky and so quick to get to by Eurostar. It takes me longer to drive to Stoke-On-Trent from home to visit her.

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  16. Hi Wendy, such a lovely place you have here! I was so excited to read this post. This past fall, we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary with a first time trip to London and then Paris via the Eurostar. We had the most perfect time. Happy birthday wishes to your sweet mum!
    Kindly, Lorraine

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