A couple of weeks back Alex and I set off on a little trip across the channel to Lille and Amsterdam. We went with coach company iDBUS, which I was reviewing for work. They offer trips all over Europe for crazy cheap prices. Our first leg of the trip was London > Lille, which we decided to do overnight. Here was our little set up for the journey - Luther, snacks and blankets! What more could you need, I ask you?!
Surprisingly we did manage to get some sleep! The day time coach to Lille is only about 5 hours on coach, but I actually recommend doing the longer overnight trips, as you get more time at the destination and it can be a strategic way to dodge paying for more hotel nights than you have to!
We arrived at Lille VERY early and after ditching our bags at the hotel, headed straight out to explore. And drink a shitload of coffee. Here's Lille's Place Rihour - a lovely big square featuring the amazing Sephora, Europe's biggest bookshop Furet Du Nord and a monument or something...
We wandered up to Lille old town, which was like a maze of lovely cobbled streets and pretty houses. Loads of fancy designer shops and quirky vintage places, too. I didn't realise there was so much to see in Lille - how wrong I was...
We found a place called Funny Vintage - it's a vintage shop up the back and a furniture shop/café up the front! Super cute.
We dined at a lovely burger place in the old town called Bun's Bazaar, and of course had our signature drink of Diabolo Grenadine - a drink an old french friend from work taught me about. Bought a massive bottle of Grenadine home so I can keep the french vibe going - is it totes french-chic for your teeth to fall out from sugar overdose? Cos that's where I'm heading...
Chilling by the fountain in the main square by night - it was freakishly mild for the time of year!
The next day we wandered round a lovely local food market. Mainly for the Instagram photo opp - #healthy #colourful #ohnature #foodiwontactuallybuy
So, Lille's zoo is FREE (take note, world!) so we had a lovely day mooching around there and getting this cringey but brill photo taken by two people we returned the favour for...
We had a DIY picnic lunch featuring all of France's major food groups - meat, cheese and bread. This was Alex's absolute meatfest - it was obscene! Although this is the guy that once got a footlong Italian BMT in Subway with double meat and double cheese. How does he fit in his skinnies?!
Then we wandered the streets and I met an uber friendly local cat. I Instagrammed a great shot of her.
PROPER hot chocolate at a local brasserie all the cool kids seemed to flock around.
Who let these uncool kids in?
Pretty view from our table.
The fleur shop:
We dined at La Creperie - a highly rated and (more importantly...) highly affordable little local place. They had tons of savoury crepes (or 'galettes' as they're known) which were lovely and of course loads of sweet options for pud too. Here's Alex's salted caramel crepe! It was sooooo perfect.
Had to get a photo of this for obvious reasons.
Then it was one last wander around the surprisingly buzzing streets of little ol' Lille and it was back to the hotel to pack for Amsterdam the next morning - More on that in my next post!
We had so many lolles in Lille (see what I did there?) and are looking forward to going back ASAP!
Have you been on any cool city breaks lately? Do share! Have got the city break bug now...