Bonjour mes amis! I had a flying visit to Lille a couple of weeks ago to celebrate my mama’s birthday and I’ve been meaning to blog about it since. It was a quick but lovely 48 hours and definitely got me in the festive swing for Christmas!
What to do?
At this time of year, the Christmas market is in full swing. It was smaller than some I’ve visited before (Paris, Lincoln) but it had some of the best stalls that I’ve seen. There was more than enough alcohol to keep you suitably tipsy – fully recommend the mulled wine with a shot of amaretto! If that doesn’t warm you up, nothing will. The stalls were varied with handmade jewellery, snow globes, clothing, build your own nativity sets, intricate baubles and Christmas decorations, food, cheese. There’s nothing better than a Christmas market (and a mulled wine) to get that festive feeling.
|Hello mulled wine
Then there’s Eurolille, a massive shopping mall (which happened to be right next to our hotel. Can you imagine how happy I was?!) There were plenty of well-known shops from Zara to Pull and Bear, to independent French brands. Also, this is literally the quietest shopping centre I’ve ever been to. You know how UK shopping malls are pure hell by 11am…well this one wasn’t in the slightest. Shopping. Heaven.
Where to eat?
FRENCH CAFES. I love authentic French food, not the chain restaurants you see along every street, but the independent, slightly shabby cafes with proper homemade food. It was 2 degrees and raining, so naturally we chose to sit outside. As you do. I love the street cafes in France, with their big canopies, patio heaters and blankets on every chair! So snuggly and you can sit and watch the world pass by.
Where to stay?
We stayed in the Suite Novotel Eurolille which was UH-MAZING. I tweeted some pics
a while back. The rooms were bloomin’ massive with a big bed, lounge area, full kitchenette, bathroom with a bath AND shower (winning). It was so quiet considering it was right opposite the Eurostar station and Eurollile shopping centre. It was also a 5-10 minute walk to the centre so we planned it pretty well. It was the perfect location for a city break in Lille and I could not recommend this hotel enough. The rooms were more than generous and the transport links were impressive – ideal for business and leisure alike.
Have you ever been to Lille/recommend anywhere for a Christmassy weekend break?