Mach here, reporting to you from cloudy Paris.
Last week-end, I had the chance to soak up on some sun in the north (yes, you read right) of France. It was my first time in this little gem of a city and honestly, I was amazed. Since I wasn’t sure of what to expect of Lille, I did what I usually do when this happens, I did not expect anything. So I just went there to relax, discover and enjoy my time off from work.
The reason I went there was my bf’s birthday, so we boarded the train first thing in the morning, and started our little weekend getaway all excited. The train ride was about an hour long, and it went by incredibly fast. Once we arrived in Lille, we started the quest to find our hotel, and since this whole thing was a surprise for my bf, I needed to find my way through without any help (very hard thing to do if you know how good my sense of orientation is). After a few dozens of minutes walking, we reached our hotel, the amazing Hôtel Barrière de Lille. We checked in, left our luggage, and immediately headed out to soak up on the sun and discover this city none of us has ever been in.
First thing we did, the zoo. A beautiful little zoo situated on the outskirts of town (which in Lille means like a 10 minutes walk from the city center), populated with a large variety of SUPER cute animals, and all of that for only 4 euros per person. As usual, I squeaked my way through the zoo, wishing I could adopt every single one of the species that were there, and to my complete amazement the animals were actually quite enjoying their time there (yes, I am usually a mixture of happy/mad when I visit a zoo because these poor animals are kept in captivity), but in Lille, they actually had space to move and have fun.
We then felt the hunger rise in our tummies, so we decided to head for lunch and eat something typically “Lillish”, we went for mussels and fries in the city center, it was getting really warm and I was (as usual) in an all black outfit, and therefore dying.
After lunch, we walked through the old city, which is sincerely one of the cutest things I have seen in my life. All of those little houses, glued to each other, and every single one constructed and thought of uniquely, amazed me. And walking through all of these little shops and cafés that make you want to buy every single thing you see, we stumbled upon a Dog Café, le WAF. Yes, a real dog café, where you pay a little sum of money and you get to play with not one, not two, but seven or eight dogs that you can also adopt (and trust me, after one or two hugs, you want to take them all home). So we couched up in this little cozy café for a while, drank some tea, and enjoyed playing with the dogs (well, I did at least) and just rested from our 15km walk of the day. After an hour or so, we decided to head to the hotel and rest for a while before heading out to dinner for my bf’s bday.
Around eight or so, we got ready and started our hunt for the perfect restaurant (because yes, silly me, I didn’t realise that on a Saturday night EVERY SINGLE RESTAURANT in Lille will be full). And after an hour of hopeless searching for a restaurant that would take us in, we found a table for two in the cute and delicious Fils à maman (which I have already tried in Paris, and was really happy with every aspect of their offer). So we enjoyed a wonderful dinner and the waiter even brought a candle and a huge jar of candy and the whole restaurant sang happy birthday. It made him blush, but it was a really cute and a nice touch which definitely made us end our dinner on a high note.
The next morning we woke up late, and craved a huge brunch. That is exactly what we got. We went to this cute little brunch place Be Yourself where every single brunch lover would dream to eat at. Affordable prices for a lot, and I really do mean A LOT of food.
So stuffed as we were, we rolled our way to a park and spent the evening sun bathing and walking around, it was just the perfect Sunday afternoon after a long day visiting.
We boarded the train back to Paris, tired to have walked over 30km in two days, happy to have lived this adventure and sad to be leaving this beautiful city.
If you ever have the chance to visit Lille, DO IT.