.: Le Boudin Blanc :.

Last week we went out for dinner middle of the week with friends who were enjoying for the first time they are parents, some time just for them. For how much you love your kids I’m sure there will always be moments you also miss the times when you could do anything you wanted, including trying new restaurants on a Thursday evening. As we’re about to join their club, felt like a really good idea to go too.

One of our friends, who loves both Marylebone and Mayfair, selected the restaurant. I can’t say no to a French restaurant and I love those areas as well! The choice was Le Boudin Blanc

Loved the environment immediately! Really cosy without being pretentious with really friendly staff. One of the staff members couldn’t speak english very well, so we had to repeat a few things, but that’s ok.

We didn’t order any starters – at least I didn’t to save some space for dessert, but we had some bread to start with. The wine menu is actually really good, but I can’t say anything about it, as at the moment I can’t drink, so had a sparkling water instead.

For mains, I’ve ordered the cod, which was absolutely delicious and creamy!

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He had the lamb, which was perfectly seasoned and cooked.

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The star for me was the dessert, the Fondant au chocolat. As soon as the plate arrived I could smell it already and the small was absolutely fab! I’ve managed to finish it all and I’m glad I had saved some space for it.

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He’s crazy about lemon tarts, so he ordered the tartellete au citron. Same as my one, the smell was incredible. I had a try on it and it was superb. He was quite happy about it and said it was the best he had in a long time.

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So a really good place to go for a nice relaxing dinner, either as a couple or with a small group of friends.
Le Boudin Blanc Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

.: Eating and sleeping in Lille :.

.: Sleep well :.

One of the things I loved the most about out weekend away in Lille was actually the overall experience in the hotel! We’ve stayed at L’Hermitage Gantois Hotel, and I totally recommend a stay in this hotel!

Our hotel – From the official website

It’s quite well located but the most important factor is that it’s beautiful! As part of the Autograph collection from Marriott, it means it’s an historic hotel. It’s a perfect example on how to mix history with modern decoration. As soon as I’ve got through the door I was in love. The staff is also quite friendly throughout.

There is no covered parking nearby, so you only have 2 options really, park the car outside or use the valet parking (25€ – which I find a bit expensive).
The first part of the hotel you’ll see is the gorgeous bar, which feels like outdoors indoors. Really really beautiful and chic!

Bar area – view from the 1st floor

Official photo from the website

Our room followed exactly the same style as the common areas, classy and modern at the same time.

Beautiful isn’t it?

Elegant chair in our room

Another lovely detail from our room

The bathroom was gorgeous too!

I had to google for this one

I visited the bar after my dinner in L’estaminet next door.

Relaxing at the bar

The ambiance was perfect with some live piano music, but there was a downside, the prices. I can’t still go over the fact I’ve paid 7€ for a Schweppes as I’ve ordered a gin tonic (I’ve order botanic gin but was served Gordon’s – which I like anyway, so no problem there). Total bill for a lemonade and a gin tonic 24€. Feels a bit too much, but just for a stay in that bar probably is worth it.

Most expensive Schweppes ever!

Breakfast in the morning was delicious! The staff was once again really friendly. The china was really elegant as well. The food was tasty and for those of you that like espresso, they have Nespresso as well!

Breakfast room – Photo from google

Elegant china – Photo from tripadvisor

Final note, for those of you trying to find a romantic hotel, this is it! Your other half will only thank you if you book your stay here 🙂
So overall, it’s a beautiful hotel, really chic but not pretentious (thanks for that!). Once I return to Lille I will stay there again.

.: Eat Well :.

Food-wise, we arrived after 14h00, so after a quick walk and I guess because it started to rain cats & dogs, really I could hold the stones with my hands! We stopped in a lovely place (Le President) for belgium beer and food. I had an omelette, fries and a Tripel Karmeliet (my favourite belgium beer). As I left my phone in the hotel I have no photos 😦

My favourite Belgium Beer

Actually I need to make a remark here. I was just checking the reviews from Le President, and you will notice the reviews are awful! But then, when trying to find some photos to post here, I also found a local website and in there the reviews are 4*. Personally, I didn’t felt it was that awful at all, I had the food I wanted, the beer was perfect and we managed to relax a bit. So this got me thinking, why are the reviews so different? I guess one of the reasons is that rather than staying outside, I went indoors to be closer to the staff (and warmer too). Also, I managed to order my food in french even though he couldn’t. Staff was polite enough. So really, can a reason be that sometimes we forget to acknowledge that we are in a foreign country and we can’t expect everyone to speak english? Lille hasn’t that much tourism, so I know many people won’t be able to speak it, especially from the older generations – which was most of the staff at this particular restaurant.

Tip: When going abroad, please try to make an effort to acknowledge that not everyone speaks english and try to say a few words in the local language, if for nothing else to show that you are trying. I’m sure this will affect the level of service that you may or may not have.

For dinner, I had a booking at L’estaminet Gantois, so next door to the hotel (very convenient!). L’estaminet is a typical north france brasserie, which is precisely what I was looking for. I’m glad I did my booking for 19h30, when the restaurant was still empty, because I’ve noticed the service became a bit slow.

Love the decor!

Had a glass of house wine, and one of the typical dishes (La Carbonade Traditionnelle Flamande avec les Frites )

La Carbonade Traditionnelle Flamande, Frites

I didn’t had any space left for dessert, but overall it was a very good experience. We’ve ended our evening at the bar, as per photos above.

Any recommendations for food in Lille? Can hardly wait to go there again 🙂