Discover Europe's hidden jewel, where France meets Flanders
Leave St Pancras on Friday afternoon, and spend three days exploring the fairy-tale charms of Lille. This magical long weekend promises lifelong memories of cobbled, medieval streets, hidden, candlelit bars and the pleasures of great art, in this unique corner of Europe where France and Flanders seamlessly meet.
The Eurostar sets off from the beautifully refurbished St Pancras station, speeds through the countryside and takes just twenty minutes to dash through the Channel Tunnel and emerge in France. The journey is deceptively fast- the comfortable train rockets through Kent, beneath the channel and emerges in France in the time it takes to queue at an airport.
Check-in is smooth and simple, up to 30 minutes before departure, and there is a lounge with wifi and plug sockets, shops including WH Smith and Costa Coffee and comfortable seating in the departure lounge, with an escalator which delivers passengers directly to the platform. There is a buffet card on board, on an executive upgrade means food service at your table, a quieter carriage, more spacious seats and a plug socket and free wifi. After just an hour and twenty minutes, passengers alight in Lille Europe station after a quiet, relaxed journey.
Days 1 - 3
Spend the following morning sightseeing or shopping in the old town and have lunch in “A L’Huitriere” oyster restaurant with its Art Deco tiling. Walk up the town hall belfry for a wonderful view of the city, before coffee and a cake at beautiful chocolatier Meert. After strolling back to your hotel, admiring the city’s fascinating architecture, have dinner at the romantic La Compostelle restaurant.
Spend the Sunday morning at the Wazemmes Sunday market, strolling the stalls, and have a coffee or lunch at Café La Brulerie. In the afternoon, explore Lille’s wonderful art collections at the Musee des Arts or La Piscine Roubaix, a short tram ride away.
Return to Eurostar at Lille Europe in the late afternoon and be back in London in time to catch your onward connection. Extend your stay till Monday and enjoy an early-morning stroll by the Deule River, before boarding Eurostar for the return journey.
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