Our first guest has come and gone. Lille shared with us its delights – from the street markets to the Grand’ Place – and our visitor left suitably impressed.
Our friend Keeley was keen to be the first person to come and stay with us. We were happy to see her. We have spent so much time at her home in Castillonnès, in Lot-et-Garonne, that it was good to be able to return her hospitality.
She arrived on Friday lunchtime and we took her to one of our favourite places here, a wine bar called La Part des Anges. The afternoon was warm and we sat outside in the sun and shared platters of cheese and charcuterie and enjoyed a glass of wine or two.
We spent Saturday shopping in the boutiques of Vieux Lille.
Keeley’s a foodie, so we had chosen our restaurant for the Saturday night with care. She is borderline pescatarian, so we opted for the very stylish Jour de Pêche (pictured) in the centre of town.
The restaurant is listed in the Michelin guide. As its name suggests, fish takes centre stage. The menu was reassuringly short – that way, you know that it’s all fresh.
Damon and I opted for the ‘menu balade’. “Let yourself be carried away by the inspiration of the chef and take a surprising walk through the gastronomy of seafood,” the menu said. We were sold – and we added the wine pairing to our order.
Yes, we are the kind of people who keep marketing men in their Jean-Paul Gaultier suits and Yves Saint Laurent shoes.
What came was beautifully cooked but I must admit I had a touch of food envy at Keeley’s à la carte choices. There was more variety and more ingenuity in her dishes. We enjoyed our evening all the same.
“We sat outside in the sun and shared platters of cheese and charcuterie and enjoyed a glass of wine or two”
A trip to the market in the neighbouring district of Wazemmes on Sunday allowed us to buy all that we needed for a delicious fruits-de-mer dinner at home that evening. We tucked into crab’s claws, langoustines, clams, king prawns…
Good food – and Keeley – have been a constant over the past few days too. We’re in Palermo, in Sicily, this weekend for her birthday. On Thursday, her actual birthday, we went on a guided food and wine tour of the city. It was all as delicious as you might imagine.
Tomorrow we head back to Lille, where our next guest is due in less than 2 weeks…
Photo © Office de Tourisme de Lille