So I’m visiting my girlfriend, Liv’s, home in Kent over Easter and we’ve had a great time going on country walks in this beautiful area. However, when we’re so close to France, I couldn’t not go and visit my second love! So, we booked the ferry over from Dover and decided to head to Lille. Sadly, the ferry takes about an hour and a half, plus driving and waiting meant around 3.5/4 hours travelling each way. It was a long day, but it was worth it!
Once we finally arrived in Lille, we were both starving and I was bursting for a wee, so we headed straight for a restaurant. We parked in Vieux Lille car park and headed in the busiest looking direction, which turned out to be the Grand Place. I was so desperate for a nice, long French meal with a glass of wine so we passed about 50 restaurants before I was finally happy with La Chicorée. It looked quite touristy considering it was just off the Grand Place, but I only heard French accents once we got our seats on the terrace and the food was great, so I wasn’t complaining.
After a couple of hours, we pulled ourselves off the terrace and off the wine (considering we had to drive in a few hours!) and headed for the Tourist Office. We got a map and decided we’d just do the old town in the time we had. We were strolling past the bikes when I realised they’re pretty much exactly the same as the ones they have in Bordeaux, so we paid our €1.60 and had the bikes for the next few hours. It was a great decision to grab the bikes and we got to see a lot more of Lille than we would have on foot in our short time.
We first headed towards the Citadelle, which neither of us knew even meant (yes, neither of us knew what a citadel is). It seemed to be a prison in the middle of a park so we enjoyed just cycling around, getting our heart rate up and being in the middle of nature.
After that, we headed to the old town. The old town of Lille is actually stunning. All the streets are cobbled and winding and just unreal. When you picture France, the old town of Lille is the image that comes to mind. I felt so lucky to be able to cycle around the little cobbled streets, and imagined myself in one of the apartments, opening my shutters to the hustle and bustle of Frenchies getting their baguettes (a memory which I cherish so much from Aix-en-Provence).
We eventually slowed down to have a coffee and a little snack. Now, brace yourselves, because there exists a thing in Lille that is the BEST invention of all time: mousse au speculoos!!! Anyone who knows me, knows that speculoos is my all time favourite thing and they make a mousse out of it! We were still full from lunch but I really couldn’t pass it up and it was just unreal!
Lille reminds me so much of Bordeaux that my heart ached to return to France. I’m having a little holiday in Paris and the North at the beginning of June so I know I’ll be back soon but I have plans to move further away than France later this year, eeeeek! However, I pray that over the next five years, I’ll get the chance to relive the beautiful French life for a few months, even maybe in Lille next time.
À bientôt !
P.s. it was an amazing way to spend our 6 month anniversary!