Browsing for gifts at the Christmas market, kicking back at a five-star hotel and salivating over the menu at a restaurant whose chef trained under Alain Ducasse… all in Lille. What’s not to like? It feels as though Christmas has come early.
Damon and I fell in love with Lille back in the spring, when we were over for a friend’s birthday in Pas-de-Calais. We visited the city for a day – and vowed we’d come back to do our Christmas shopping here if it looked as though we couldn’t get down to Castillonnès for the festivities.
When my sister announced this year that she would be coming back to England for Christmas before emigrating to Australia, I knew we’d spend the big day en famille.
And in case there was any doubt in my mind, my mother rang me in the first week of June to tell me so.
I’ve really been looking forward to this weekend. We’re staying at the Clarance Hôtel, a five-star boutique-style hotel in the old centre of Lille. We decided to treat ourselves, so we’re in a ‘prestige’ room, which is large and beautifully decorated in a classic-meets-modern way (pictured).
Last night, we ate at the superb Quai 38 seafood restaurant and tonight we’re dining at Le Colysée, the restaurant of Laurent Cauchy, a protégé of celebrity chef Alain Ducasse. Oh, and tomorrow, we’ll slum it in the hotel’s own restaurant, run by Michelin-starred chef Nicolas Pourcheresse.
“I’ve really been looking forward to this weekend. We’re staying at the Clarance Hôtel, a five-star hotel in the old centre of Lille”
We’re heading off around the city today to catch the Christmas market. No doubt we’ll pop into the Euralille shopping centre too.
All in all, this is the perfect weekend.
Did I mention that we’ve also managed to squeeze in six days in Castillonnès over New Year too? Never mind the top-class meals, I’d call that having your cake and eating it.