“It’s been a while – good to see you again.” That was how we were greeted when we went into a wine bar we know in Lille on Saturday. I think it struck just the note of reassurance Damon needed on our first day in Lille.
He was having a bit of a wobble. Quite understandable really – after all, he’s the one who’s quit his job, his friends, his country and his language for a new life in Lille.
We’d had a busy day.
Damon’s work has put him up in an apartment-hotel right by the Euralille shopping centre and Lille Flandres railway station for his first month. So we made our way there and unpacked the couple of suitcases he took with him.
Then we headed out to enjoy a lunch sat outside a brasserie in the centre ville.
We picked up some basics – salted butter, cheese, pâté – in the afternoon. Then we stopped in at the rather lovely wine shop we remembered from our last visit called Les Vins Gourmands. We came away with a Fleurie and a Chinon to enjoy back at the apartment.
So far, so good. But I knew that Damon was also stressing about his new job on Monday too and unsure of his language skills.
“We honestly didn’t expect the bar owner to recognise us after so long, but he did”
After dinner, we decided to head out for a wander to help us properly get our bearings. After all, it’s been 18 months since we were last in Lille.
Somehow, our walk managed to take in a stop at Bar Braz (pictured) on Rue Doudin in Vieux Ville. We went there a couple of times on our last visit and have jokingly referred to it since as ‘our regular’ in Lille.
We honestly didn’t expect the bar owner to recognise us after so long, but he did. They say the people in Lille are known to be friendly, and it’s true.
His warm welcome helped Damon feel a bit more at home in Lille, his new hometown.