Lille

Happy New Year to you all! I hope you had a wonderful time welcoming in 2015… I can’t believe where time has gone but I’m looking forward to what this year has in store. Although, it has to be said, my 2014 spent learning new languages, moving to new cities and changing career is going to be a bit difficult to top!
It has been a while since I sat down to write a post… Job hunting took priority leaving me with little time for my extra personal work, but better late than never. So now, I’m writing to share some photos with you from my trip last month to the beautiful city of Lille!

It was that time of year. The time when frost covers the ground, when twinkling lights add sparkle to our streets and when we celebrate the wonderful occasion of Christmas. It was my first time back in Europe for the holiday season after a long time, and there really is nothing better. As the days became shorter, decorations made their way up the trees and the air was filled with the sweet aroma of gluhwein. What nicer moment is there than strolling up glistening roads admiring the magical festive shop windows, before heading off to one of your many Christmas events?
It was on my list for a while to visit some of the beautiful Christmas markets you find all over Europe, so I decided this year would be the chance. We planned a trip across the channel to see the beautiful Marches de Noel in Lille and Bruges – rumoured to boast some of the most enchanting markets around!
Leaving on a Saturday morning, our first destination was France. Instead of the Eurostar we opted for a good old roadtrip, and what a great call that was. We had no worries about lugging bags around or running after trains (we only had to run after a very large boat!!) and once we made it across the water, we were home free! It’s such a lovely feeling to drive along country roads in a place you have never visited before, and fortunately for us it was a gloriously sun winter’s day.
Arriving in Lille, we were met with streets upon streets of the typically beautiful architecture found in northern France. Gorgeous colours terraced apartments, cafe’s sprawling onto the streets and of course, beautiful Renaissance monuments dotted everywhere you turn. The city also has a great student feel and is ideal for walking around, with everything in such close proximity.
By the time we arrived at our little pied-a-terre, thanks to Airbnb, we realised we were completely starving, but of course being in France the kitchens close by 2:30 pm! So making a swift move out of the house we found the closest restaurant on Trip Advisor, which turned out to be a real gem. One of those that appears empty from the outside, but when you open the doors you face a buzzing room of delicious food and bubbly conversation. I would highly recommend this excellent find – it had a menu of traditional northern French delights, and we didn’t have a clue what we were ordering but ended up with a delicious steak tartare and something similar to a plate of raclette with ham – UH-mazing!
You can find the restaurant here:

Next stop was the markets!! This is where our weekend properly began… Think twinkling Ferris wheels spinning against the sunset, sparkling Christmas trees lining the cobbled streets and shoppers frantically  around the rows and rows of beautiful festive stalls. I will let the photos tell you the rest of the story… 😉 Watch this space for Bruges photos coming up soon!!

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