Au revoir Lille: bonjour Belvès

This weekend is our last in Lille. On Monday, we leave this northern star and head for rural Dordogne – where we plan to open our cheese-and-wine bar and B&B in just five weeks’ time.

Belvès, here we come!

That’s where we’ll open Planches et Plonk. (Follow us on Instagram or Facebook if you’d like to see the last of the renovations and our grand opening.)

This afternoon, the removal company we’re using will drop off boxes and they’ll be back tomorrow to start packing up our flat.

What they don’t know – yet – is that we’ve been busy in recent weeks and months buying things to take with us. After all, when you live in a city such as Lille, everything is available within a short walk or, at most, a 20-minute drive.

In rural Dordogne, buying even the right tin of paint can be a day out. With a deadline like ours, we don’t have a moment to lose.

Farewell dinner, Lille

In between all that, we’ve been saying our farewells to this terrific city. On Thursday, I gate-crashed Damon’s leaving do (above) from his workplace.

My own leaving do from my job in London was lovely – my colleagues, including the Chief Executive, said some touching things about me – but it was all held virtually. Trust me, it’s not the same.

This afternoon, we’ll stop in at Les Frères Pinard, a delightful cheese and wine bar in the old town. It’s probably the closest model we’ve seen to our plans for Planches et Plonk.

Then tonight, we’re off to a couple of our regular haunts.

First, we’ll have dinner at cheese restaurant Le Broc on Place de Béthune. They treat us like long-lost friends every time we go in.

Le Broc, Lille

Afterwards we’ll head to Bar Braz for a nightcap. The treatment we received from its owner, Max, was one of things that convinced us moving to Lille was the right thing to do.

Leaving Lille brings both joy and sadness. We’ve loved living here and it has enabled us to escape the awfulness of Brexit and integrate into the French system.

But it was only ever a stepping stone. Now comes the part where we make our dream a reality.

Lille, thank you… et à bientôt.

Damon and Graham in Lille

This entry was published on Fri, 26 Jun 2020 at 22:07. It’s filed under Places and people and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

21 thoughts on “Au revoir Lille: bonjour Belvès

  1. Great post, as a globettroter myself have said goodbyes many times but all remain with you as wonderful memories and blog’s posts! Lille is nice but the Bélves will be too. I know coming from Versailles to Pluvigner is a huge change but all worth it, already 9 years in the area and the move was right. Enjoy your new home, best of luck , Cheers

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  2. Bon voyage ..et Bon courage … it will be amazing .. and I am so looking forward to seeing you fully ensconced …in the bosom of Belves ! With your recommendations in the cheesy… wine .. combos… take care and safe move!

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  3. Great post. It is the start of a new adventure and we will be one of your new customers. Looking forward to meeting you both.

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  4. Oh, Graham, I was so looking forward to surprising you in May with a visit. Or June. Or July. I checked you out in December in Belves and told all my friends about you, then returned to Australia in Feb and booked houses and tickets for another four months in Belves, May- Aug. Now, of course, we cannot get back to France for another year! I shall raise a glass of something wonderful to your imminent success from cold Melbourne. Gail Bradley of “Two Francies in France” blog. Good luck to you both.

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  5. Best of luck on the next exciting chapter in your lives. See you in a few weeks.

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  6. Exciting, but no doubt a little frightening too. Hope all goes to plan and you have great success.

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  7. How exciting! I wish you all the best in your new adventure and I’m already looking forward to reading future blog posts. Our return to France is still currently on hold but that is partly because we are awaiting a new addition to our family – of the 4 legged kind – if all goes to plan!

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  8. Congrats on your move and best of luck with the shop opening!

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  9. Best of luck with your move and the grand opening! I’m sure you will miss Lille, but there will be plenty of delights to discover in the Dordogne.

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  10. Belatedly catching up on your move, which I hope went well and that you’re settling in at Belves on your next step of the journey to opening day! Go well both of you. Not sure yet if we’ll venture as far as the Dordogne this year – we just keep reading the runes, noting where things are at and hoping we might make it in September.

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    • Thanks, Joyce. So far, so good in Belvès. We brought the high street to a standstill with our removal van. If we don’t see this year, we’ll look forward to seeing you next year.

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