After deciding to postpone the visit to Meert (the home of all things delicious in Lille), we figured we might as well carry on our trek around the city of Lille!
From a distance (even further than pictured below), I spotted this spire and figured it was worth going to see what it was all about!
At this point, it’s worth reminding you that I made absolutely no plans when it came to sights to see in Lille! This entire trip was without agenda or purpose and was down to being a little more spontaneous and opening ourselves up for surprises… well that and the fact that I really wanted a bit of downtime from constantly planning travel!
Before we started blogging, asides from setting aside a few key sites I wanted to see (there are always some essentials you just can’t miss when you visit a place), the rest was of our trip was pretty much just winged so it felt really good and refreshing to go back to basics.
Needless to say, Lille did not disappoint! This church for instance is nowhere you’d expect it to be, parked within a residential neighbourhood with no other famous or grand ‘neighhours’ next to it.
It’s even a bit of a trek from the city centre so it’s safe to say it’s one of those places you’d be forgiven for overlooking when you visit the city…(albeit, wrongly so!).
Chances are that you’ll probably even have the place all to yourself…
Absolutely stunning isn’t it?
…and a re-affirmation of why it’s sometime good to throw your plans out of the window for a little while and just go with the flow!
Making my way back to the apartment, I figured this evening would not be the one for Meert. To be fair, it was almost closing time and I had no intention of rushing through the delicious that was promised!
Instead, we decided to go for a coffee and some pastries in a little cafe to stave off hunger till dinner time (which we managed to make last minute reservations for).
The next day, and our final in Lille, we figured we might as well head in the opposite part of the city – away from the ‘bright lights’ (I use that term loosely) and head over to the park…
…all the while exploring even newer side streets with vibes that felt more village-like than city! (Another consistently good part of Lille’s charm! It’s definitely a rustic and more intimate city break.)
I’d heard there was a Citadel was seeing so that was the plan – searching for said Citadel!
Except the streets in Lille are paved with distractions…
Case in point? See below…
The details and intricacy in these churches are absolutely fantastic!
Plus this is one of the more (if not most) colourful churches I’ve been in, in France.
A 10 minute walk away from this (at which stage I decided to consult Google maps), laid the park and the Citadel.
The Citadel’s pretty enough and worth popping by to see though I’m glad I didn’t spend ages looking for it. There are a lot more charming sights to see in Lille (plus you can’t actually go into the proper thing anyway – turns out its a military office or something like that).
This is as far as you’re allowed to go.
Next to it though, there’s a park which is worth a visit if only for the cotton candy and hopping on a ride or two…
By this point however, I had one thing on my mind – Meert and with that, we hot-footed it straight to the cafe adamant on trying a selection of their cakes!
Luckily, despite the queue, we were seated almost immediately! I’d like to pretend this was due to something as amazing as being some sort of French VIP or something equally ambiguous yet ‘douchebag-gy’ but it was down to the fact that everyone else on the queue had a big party with them and as it was just two of us, it was so much easier to find us a space.
We wasted no time in tucking into the sugary treats, complete with cups of hot chocolate and bespoke teas!
It’s worth noting that the menu here is in French and my elementary knowledge of the language does not go as far as being able to translate the meaning of the delicious confectionary. Thankfully the waiters here are pretty helpful and I just describe the kind of stuff I like and went with their recommendations.
Meert by the way is totally over-priced for treats (as most historic French confectionary houses probably are) but is totally worth the visit! The cakes were so good (apologies for not having much better photos of them) but they definitely lived up to the hype. Unlike the way I am about macarons, this is definitely a French treat I’d recommend having over and over again!
Once we were done with Meert, it was time to pick up our bags from the apartment and head for the station to catch the Eurostar back to London, albeit with a promise to visit Lille again!