Lille & Orleans

“Everything ends this way in France…everything.  Weddings, christenings, duels, burials, swindlings, diplomatic affairs.  Everything is a pretext for a good dinner.” – Jean Anouilh


A buddy and I ended up in Lille, France while en route to Belgium.  It was, as the saying goes, a happy accident.  In driving around the charming city, the largest in Lille Métropole, we ended up at a local restaurant based purely on the aroma of freshly baked bread pouring out from its open doors and windows.  Alas, warm bread never fails to seduce.

Orleans-01
© David-Kevin Bryant
Orleans-08
© David-Kevin Bryant

The owner was charming and asked if he could indulge us and serve us a meal completely off-menu.  We agreed and he brought us a baguette; locally made cheese; salad greens with dressing made of herbs his family grew; warm potato salad; and foie gras.  Although composed of simple ingredients, the meal was one of the best we have ever eaten, and was completely responsible for our new-found affection for Lille, so much so in fact, we are planning to return in the coming months.  Just to dine there.

Gare de Lille Flandres-01
Gare de Lille Flandres. © commons.wikimedia.org

Orléans, located on the Loire River in north-central France, was another happy accident.  The city, the capital of the Centre-Val de Loire region in north-central France and southwest of Paris, is famous for a number of reasons.  First and foremost of course is Joan of Arc, also known as “The Maid of Orléans,” having led the French army to several victories.

Orleans-03
© David-Kevin Bryant

It’s also known for its stunning cathedral, Cathédrale Sainte-Croix d’Orléans, pictured below.

Orleans Cathedral-01
Cathédrale Sainte-Croix d’Orléans.
© David-Kevin Bryant
Orleans-06
Orléans’ famous carousel is located in the city’s central square.
© David-Kevin Bryant
“Orléans Pont George V 01” by Croquant – Own work.

The city has not shied away from embracing modern architecture, however :

Orleans Médiathèque
Orleans Médiathèque Building. © e-architect.uk

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