My sisters were in Paris for a week and wanted to do a day trip. Instead of the classic Chateau or little town surrounding Paris I opted to take them to a town a little future away. My thought was travel is travel. With a chateau you walk around for a bit and of course see something neat but end up being just as tired because of the to and fro. So why not maximize the to and fro bit and go see a whole other city, explore, and experience a bit more of France in that way.
Well knowing me it had to include food in some manner of speaking. The first thought was heading to a 30 minute cooking class which covered lunch, a lesson, and wine all at a very small price. We weren’t too impressed by the menu of the day though. We said no to the treasure hunt and beer tasting too, even though that sounded pretty darn awesome, and went in favor of a food tour that my friend has recently taken. All was decided on! woo! What was left was for me to purchase the train tickets and the food tour tickets.
Again- this won’t surprise anyone that knows me but in a moment of madness or we could say distraction, I booked the train tickets on the day when they were not holding the English food tour. oops. Which lead to four hours of exasperation and complaining to my coworker, who thought it was pretty darn hilarious. :-p A quick email to the tour company and we got a response that said we could absolutely join the Franco-English tour, that another British couple was signed up, and not to worry they would throw in some English for us. phew! all set then!
The trip into Lille was so easy- one hour by train and then a 15 minute walk to the meeting point of the tour which was down a little alley way in front of the cutest restaurant complete with a fab terrace. Standing out front was the British couple who were so sweet and thankfully had done pretty much the same thing we did. Double oops. The tour guide showed up and we met up with another French couple that would be on the tour. What then happened was the greatest- most entertaining tour I’ve been on. In both French and English, which they don’t regularly do (thank you so much Sarah for accommodating) we walked around Lille visiting 5 different hand picked places and sampling what the region had to offer.
The tour started out with a beer- let’s get this party started! Really delicious shrimp croquettes where followed by oh my goodness the most fabulous steak, stewed in beer (la carbonade flamande) and a side of frites (aka French fries)!
We saw the interesting Cathedral which was left unfinished for hundreds of years before finally being made complete in 1999. The finished front of the cathedral is made out of marble that is only an inch thick so the light filters through into the transept. It’s beautiful from the inside, but I wasn’t a huge fan of how it looked from the outside as a very intricate support system is necessary to hold the marble up. I’ll let you be the judge of it yourselves.
We finished the tour at my absolute favorite stop- Meert! A pastry shop dating back to 1839! Our sample here was a thin gauffre filled with Madagascar vanilla creme. ouf! yum!
The guide was fantastic and it was the perfect way to see the city- through it’s food. We explored some wonderful areas and even got to see the smallest house in Lille while learning more about the history of the city. I would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting the city.
We did a little walk around and shopping and then hopped back on the train to Paris. Easy peasy and such a great idea for a day trip from Paris!
UPDATE 2019: The company has sadly gone out of buisness.
Savor Lille Food Tour – www.SavorLille.com
This was not a sponsored post- all the views are completely mine 🙂 I just loved the company!