Archive of ‘Travels’ category

Aux Moules

aux moules in Lille

The moules-frites (mussels and fries) in Lille are world-wide known and its the traditional dish in the north region of France and Belgium, so there was no question what we were going to have for lunch in Lille. With some previous research and recommendation we found out that the brasserie “Aux Moules” was the place to go for mussels and that’s where me and Parisbreakfasts headed to after our morning-tea at Meert.

Worried about long queues would be awaiting us I was quiet surprised that was not the case.  In Paris popular places get crowded pretty fast around lunch time but “Aux Moules” was only half full and a good sign was I only so local/French people…feeling releaved it wasn’t a tourist spot. However, I’ve read many reviews that this place do get crowded quite fast and there might be some waiting for a table…so beeing early is to recommend! The brasserie had a traditional and authentic look, with black and white photos on the walls indicating their long history (1930). Attentive and friendly waiters, some of them even smiling and joking (no snobby Parisian attitude)..yet another good reason Lille is on my list, perhaps not a city I would like to live in permanently but definately good for daytrips ;-) After consulting the menu for a while Parisbreakfasts opted for a traditional Moules à la Marinière while I asked for a Moules à la Crème, and cidre doux from Bretagne ofcourse! The service at “Aux Moules” was extremely fast…in short we got our mussels served in steaming pots, marmite à moules and I was happy to have my moules in Lille..finally a dream coming true :-) And that marmite á moules..I need to find one of those on a brocante one day..an old one with history..that have served moules for decades..thats one I would love to have and prepare my mussels in the future.

The mussels were great, they could have had been more generous with the crème fraiche in mine but the were tasting good….only one dissapointment, the fries. They were ok, but what a bonus it would have been if they were homemade! Guess its rare nowadays to have frites fait maison….

I was so full after the mussels that I for once in the history skipped the dessert! Yes you read right..no dessert!! We both needed a walk after this lunch and headed to Vieux Lille…were another adventure was waiting for us…..

Aux Moules – 34, rue de Béthune, Lille

aux-moules-lilleAux Moules – mussel institution in Lille
aux-moules-lille-1Aux Moules, dating from 1930 is boasting history
aux-moules-lille-2Since 1930 Aux Moules are serving their speciality, moules-frites
aux-moules-lille-3Even dogs are welcomed here :-)
aux-moules-lille-4Look how discrete an iPad is, can’t tell wether Carol is taking a photo of the menu or reading something interesting….need one too!!
aux-moules-5Not everybody comes for the mussels…..

Meert in Lille

meert-gaufres-1

Out of all meetingpoints in Lille , Parisbreakfasts and I chose Meert, are you even surprised? I knew Meert by their famous thin and oblong waffles filled with vanilla buttercream, yet I had never had one even though they have two boutiques in Paris. No, I wanted to wait and go all the way to Lille, and have my very first Meert waffle in their boutique, Lille’s oldest in fact and now an institution not to be missed when in Lille. This is were the story of this famous waffle began already in 1849, when the Belgian Michael Paulus Gislinus Meerts took over the business of Monsieur Delacourts, confectioner and chocolate maker, at 27 rue Esquermoise. These waffles are still beeing handmade daily in their laboratory that is located behind the boutique.

Stepping in to their beautifully decorated boutique was like going back in history…like a fairy tale or even a dream. No wonder why the lines to this boutique are long..who wouldn’t want to buy their sweets in this boutique full of charm and go home with chocolates, caramels and waffles in cute boxes with lovely illustrations?

After been browsing through their boutique and pastry shop we were ready to take a well-deserved break in Meerts Salon de Thé. Breakfast at Meert, thats not bad, is it? I wanted a Mont Blanc, but reminded myself to “go light” as I knew many other sweets were awaiting me throughout the day, even I do have my limits. A waffle filled with crème de marrons and a cup of Tisane de Soleil was just perfect, to start my day in Lille. That tea…I fell in love with its aroma…if they would have it for sale I would have bought it, right away.

Meert – 27 rue de Esquermoise, Lille
meert-waffleHow to eat your waffle, keep is slightly above a cup of hot beverage until the filling starts melting….very yummie!!meert-gaufresWaffles stacked in plastic boxes - they should be consumed within 10 days but if you are like me they will be finished by one or two days ;-)
meert-chocolateChocolate in all kinds meert-lillePralines Roses and marshmallows…meert-lille-1Next time I will buy a box with wafflesmeert-lille-3Beautiful boxesmeert-lille-4Like stepping back in time..this boutique boasted charm and lots of historylille-meertJust like in a fairy tale…meert-patisserieMeerts pastry and bakery shop side by side the boutiquemeert-patisserie-1I wanted a piece of each cake…meert-patisserie-5How is it possible to resist?meert-patisserie-4We went inside for a closer lookmeert-patisserie-6The prettiest pastries in Lillemeert-patisserie-lillewell prootected by a red ribbonmeert-salon-de-thewe continued to the Salon de Thémeert-tea-salonwe were not the first ones this early morningtisane-de-soleilI opted for a cup of tea, with Tisane du Soleil, delightful taste and aroma. Too bad they don’t sell this tea en vrac, I would have bought some with me to Paris ;-)meert-lille-salonFurnitures in Louis XVI stylemeert-salon-de-the-1From above, we both had tea :-)meert-lille-10While others went all in…lille-meert-11What a luxury for the Lilloise to come here for a breakfast..I would have too if living in Lille.meert-lille-12I will be back soon!

Lille

lille-france-1
A few years ago I wanted to move to Lille, 2nd largest metropolitan area in France, even though I had never been there. I know, sounds strange, BUT what can go wrong, living in a city where you can reach Paris with TGV within a little bit more than an hour..and London with Eurotunnel in one hour? I also knew this city was famous for mussels..and waffles! Location and good food…AND they say in the north you find the friendliest people in France. Bonus would be the close distance to my favourite city in Belgium, Antwerp <3

Time passed by, instead I moved back to Sweden, then to Denmark and back to Paris….no passing by Lille. Not until now, I did something about it, France is after all not only about Paris. And I’m craving to explore and discover other parts of France for the moment. Parisbreakfasts was all in, we set a date at Meert as she was going to Brussels (for chocolate) first.

Another friend of mine joined us in the afternoon and I must say we managed to do many things in only one day. Morning tea and waffles at Meert, obligatory lunchstop at Aux Moules for mussles and frites, walked through Vieux Lille to find Aux Merveilleux de Fred (after all it was in Lille the successful adventures of the meringues covered in whipped cream and different toppings started 20 years ago…) took the metro to Roubaix, went to La Piscine de Robaix to see the Camille Claudel exhibition and ended the evening with a delightful dinner at Pulp Kitchen in Lille before running to the train station catching our train back to Paris. All this fun, only one hour and 36€ from Paris. I have to do this very soon again!

gare-de-lille-flandres
Gare de Lille Flandres – where I arrived with my train from Paris. To my delight, its forbidden to smoke on the platforms. Worst thing in the train when you sit next to somebody who’s just been smoking just before.
vieux-lille-1Gorgeous Flemish architecture…
vieux-lille-9Don’t forget to look up…
vieux-lille-6Charming streets…
vieux-lille-4 Brick houses and narrow cobblestone streets in Vieux Lillelille-france-2 Passed by le Musée de l’Hospice Comtesse, to visit next time !
rue-de-la-monnaie-lilleRue de la Monnaie – Vieux Lille
rue-de-la-monnaieRue de la Monnaie in la Vieux Lille

lille-paulPaul, the king of industrial bread ? Began in Lille and this chain exists worldwide now. Please avoid if you’re not a fan of frozen bakery and pastries. Support the local artisanal and traditional boulangeries instead, where you get the “real” stuff ;-)
lille-operaThe Grand Place with Opéra de Lille and Chamber of Commerce
lille-francePlenty of Bio C’Bon and other organic supermarkets in Lille – thumbs up!
lille-bikeRental bikes in Lille – la prochaine fois peut-être ?

Inoubliable Marilyn

marilyn-monroe
I guess I will never have enough watching photos of the beautiful Marilyn Monroe, always discovering new ones I haven’t seen before. A few weeks ago when walking around in Marais I stumbled upon a small gallery that is having an exhibition with photos on Marilyn Monroe taken by different photographers. Rare photos, go there before February 25th..last day of the exhibition !

Inoubliable Marilyn – La Galerie de l’Instant – 46 Rue de Poitou, 75003 Paris

Jean-François Baecker

galerie-du-pont-neuf

Yesterday I went and saw the French photographer, Jean-François Baecker‘s exhibition at La Galerie du Pont Neuf. He is both a street photographer and news reports. I liked his way of capturing different sceneries in a way that evoke many emotions. Below you’ll see a selection of the photos that were shown. Today, Sunday February 15th is the last day of the exhibition – not to be missed ;-)

La Galerie du Pont-Neuf - 23, Place Dauphine – 75001 Paris

jean-francois-baecker-5Jean-François Baecker – La Galerie du Pont Neuf
jean-francois-baecker-4Jean-François Baecker – La Galerie du Pont Neuf
jean-francois-baecker-3Jean-François Baecker – La Galerie du Pont Neuf
jean-francois-baecker-1Jean-François Baecker – La Galerie du Pont Neuf
jean-francois-baeckerJean-François Baecker – La Galerie du Pont Neuf

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