Monday, 12 September 2011

Lovely Lille

Two weekends ago it was La Braderie in Lille. My absolute favourite flea market fix. Mr E and I headed down to France early Friday morning. We began just meandering through the streets of the old town where we came across a window installation of taxidermy birds that were quite amazing. They're owned by the shop's owner, who was just lovely. He told us that the birds all die of natural causes, and in order to get the more rare breeds he's had to wait up to seven years. But he likes that they're preserved, and so do I. He mentioned that in actual fact, he has a whole menagerie in his converted warehouse apartment and that with encouragement from friends he's going make it a little museum open to the public. So we've something amazing to look forward to in Lille next year already.
We told him we were in town for La Braderie, of course and he told us it'd already begun along the rivers edge. So from then on we made our way to check out our bonus afternoon for treasure hunting. More on that tomorrow.
Les Manufactures Catry: 96 Rue Esquermoise, 59800Vieux-Lille.
Dead opposite our man with the birds was a man with balls. Lots of them. In every colour imaginable. Idea being you go in, select a number and colour scheme you like and string them up with fairy lights in them. Beautiful and very reasonably priced. You you order online from the link below.
La case de cousin paul.
Before hitting the market, we needed to fuel up. Trying desperately to avoid the tourist traps, and not yet ready for mussels and fries, we were drawn down a little alley way to this delightful oasis. Packed with locals it seemed like a good choice.
And we were right. The food was sublime, the service staff happy and helpful, and all in an enchanting setting. We were thoroughly impressed. So much so that we again dodged the places that were heaving with tourists (and only serving mussels and fries, which I love, to a point...) and had dinner here again Saturday night. The menu was reduced to cope with the Braderie numbers, but it was still great. But if you can, go on a regular day for the full choice.
Les Compagnons de la Grappe: 26 Rue Lepelletier, 5900 Lille. Tel: 03 20 21 02 79.

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