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Friday, 30 November 2012

The twinkly lights of Lille

We had a lovely trip to Lille. A flying visit but we managed to pack a lot in. Mainly of the shopping, walking and sightseeing variety. It was just as pretty and festive as I'd hoped it would be. Those French really know how to do things, each window beautifully decorated and lots of time and trouble taken to gift wrap even the smallest item (even when there was a large queue, and nobody sighed or rolled their eyes, either!).

The lights outside the station were particularly magical and I loved the pink carousel in the main square.

The little Christmas market was very sweet, selling lots of festive treats such as gingerbread, hot pear cider (yummy), roasted chestnuts and peanuts. 

There was plenty to see apart from the market, and we walked miles. I'd visited the city earlier this year, so I knew roughly where to go. We had dinner in a small, traditional restaurant, where pot au feu was on the menu. 

We found a few vintage shops....

This one was lovely, although as my mum pointed out, rather a lot of photos of naked ladies :)
I really enjoyed the shop window displays. There are some large chain stores in Lille, but so many tiny independent stores seem to be thriving as well. I wish I knew their secret. In my own town, a vast Primark has just opened and I fear it will crush the little traders.

This ballet dress was in the window of a shoe shop....and this enormous cat was part of a florist!

I bought some treats for Christmas presents, little jars of pickles and mustards, packets of gingerbread stars and small bottles of wine for grown up stockings. Some fat quarters of floral fabrics from a haberdashery for crafty friends, and one vintage find, a tin of mother of pearl buttons. We were loaded up when we boarded the Eurostar home, and our feet were very tired!

See you tomorrow for the giveaway results. You can still enter!

P.S A few of my buys from Lille

Mum and I at the Christmas market...


  1. Helloooo!
    I feel like i have had a little trip out with you and your dear Mum!
    Lille looks splendid and decorated beautiful too!
    We did Prague one year at this time ( without children) and it was quite magical ****
    Loved the chilled out Puss in the window! hehe..
    love Maria x

  2. Dear Streetcomber
    It looks like you had a wonderfully festive time and came home with some lovely treasures. Your photos give a real flavour of your trip.
    Best wishes

  3. The French really know how to do it don't they. I love their markets and as you say they have some lovely vintage shops too. Glad you had a great time with you mum.
    Patricia x

  4. What a great little jaunt...and one to really put you in the festive Christmassy mood! The little small gifts are the best and most treasured and ones that will be used!

    1. Yes, I agree. Small items carefully chosen are best.

  5. Wow, it looks so magical! Bet you've had a great time with your mum! :)

    1. Yes, we really did. I was so hoping it wouldn't rain so we could do lots of walking and soak up the sights and apart from one or two short showers, when we were inside, the weather was great.

  6. That looks glorious. So pleased you had a lovely time. Lizzie x

  7. Oh, very Christmasy - reminded me of our lovely trip! xx

    1. Yeah and I'd be happy to go back again. I really like the feel of the city. Maybe the mega-flea in September is calling :)

  8. Just dropping in for a mince pie and a nose around! I have enjoyed reading your Christmassy posts - I still have my bottle of Bluebell from Penhaligon's which was bought when it was just a tiny shop off Covent Garden. I remember that I decanted some into a beautiful silver clad perfume bottle that I used to keep in my day my bag was stolen....Anyway 'tis the season of forgiveness...
    Well done with all your articles - good for you and more of the same in 2013
    keep warm
    Best wishes