When people think of France, Paris is usually the first thing that pops to mind. But there are a lot of other lovely places. Lille, for example, a small but lively city in the north of France, near the border with Belgium. If you like shopping and eating delicious food, then this city is perfect for you.
We visited Lille in July and stayed at the Best Western Plus Up Hotel & Bar, a small four-star hotel in the centre of the city. To be honest, I didn’t really like staying there. For starters, I require a wheelchair accessible room and the one they had was quite small. We also had to wait forever for our room to be ready. And finally, the street where the hotel was located was kind of shady. I don’t like to sound judgemental, but we just didn’t always feel safe, especially in the evening. So, I would recommend staying somewhere else.
Other than that, I simply loved the city! On our first day, we had breakfast at Paul, where we ate delicious but super filling hot sandwiches with sausage, cheese and mustard. Afterwards, we did some shopping in the numerous stores. You can find everything there, from luxurious boutiques to simple and affordable shops.
In the evening, we had dinner at Il Ristorante, a lovely Italian restaurant where they serve the best Italian wines, like Chianti, Barolo and Barbaresco. The food there is really nice too, and I love how the restaurant looks pretty fancy, but is still very affordable.
The next day, we went to the Euralille shopping mall and basically spent the entire day there. There are 107 stores and 24 restaurants, so you definitely won’t be bored.
On our last day, we found a fantastic restaurant and tearoom with an adjacent chocolate store. Méert was established in 1761 and it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. We ordered a traditional French breakfast: a toast with butter and home-made jam, a delicious croissant, freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee. My sister took hot chocolate instead of coffee, and it was seriously the best hot chocolate I ever tasted. If you ever visit Lille, look that place up.