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LILLE - recommendations for good restaurants and places to visit please

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If you have not done so already, I would book your hotel pronto for December. All month the Lille Christmas Fair is in full swing, and hotel rooms are at a premium right through the month.

I have stayed at the Mercure Opera, which is very central and just off the main square.

What sort of things do you like visiting/eating?

Lille city centre has lots to offer, including fine art, local history, and natural history museums, and also a house that is the birthplace of General de Gaulle.

There are loads of museums near the town, too. If you take the metro to Roubaix there is a factory shopping area, and you can also take in the lovely "Piscine" modern art museum there.

The old town, just off the main square, is very quaint and picturesque, full of restaurants, bars and cool or quirky shops. It's several years since I was last there, so I hesitate to offer restaurant advice apart from a couple of estaminet type places. But if you live in the Pas de Calais, you have probably had your fill of estaminet food.


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Thank you all very much.  Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  We live only an hour and a half from Lille but due to the fact that my hospital appointment, at Centre Oscar Lambret, is at 10.00 am we decided to make a couple of days of it beforehand.  We have booked the hotel and got a great deal on booking.com.


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Here is a link to the tourist board website for Lille http://www.lilletourism.com/index_gb.php. (Sorry, can't make this limk live on the iPad.)

It looks as if there will be some crazy street events going on from October through December, so you might catch some fun events or exhibitions.

You can download various brochures to help your planning.

There are loads of restaurants listed. I know that L'Huitriere is the most expensive, if that is the level you are aiming at! If not, i have eaten at the rather atmospheric Barbue d'Anvers, which was fine a few years back.

For snackier meals, Le Pain Quotidien is good. It also does a substantial brunch. In general, you would do better to take breakfast here, or somewhere like Paul, rather than pay 16 euros or more for an indifferent hotel breakfast.

The estaminet t'Rijsel is a quite basic but very local restaurant in the old town. You need to book. Also in the old town, the Meert tea room is an instituiton; you have to try their speciality waffles (small, sweet and vanilla flavoured, not the usual large hot sort). The brasserie de la Paix is a classic restaurant on one of the main squares.

But there are masses of places, from gastronomic to simple creperies. It depends on your taste and pocket.

If you notice Dagniaux ice cream on a menu, go for it! It's a Lille company, making the most delicious glaces. They have a shop if you need to chill out. Google "glaces dagniaux lille" for the address.

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