Recently I visited with friends the French town of Lille, for a birthday weekend celebration. It’s a beautiful town with a mixture of old and new architecture, culture, beautiful independent shops, markets, lovely cafes, and some great bars and restaurants.
First stop was La Piscine Museum in Roubaix. What was once a swimming pool, is now a museum of art, ceramics and textiles. The breathtaking swimming pool was constructed between 1927 and 1932 by the Lille architect Albert Baert. It closed in 1985, and re-opened as museum in 2000. It’s beautifully done. Occasionally an audio clip of children’s voices and splashing was played to remind you of it’s previous incarnation.
It’s no longer a pool, but a shallow water feature to allow the reflection of the fabulous end window to reflect on the water when the sun is behind it.
On the ground floor underneath the balconies, you step into the original cream and green tiled shower cubicles which are still the entry way.
There was a fabulous exhibition of the Marc Chagall’s work on display.
The art deco period detailing was reflected in the exterior of the building too, the undulating edge of the flat roof, the window and door architraving and the iron work on the lamps – even the guttering.
After leaving we popped into an eccentric art pop up shop, with a cafe, in an old warehouse type space. Below, a pixilated wood on chip board tribute to Footloose. Or something.
Coffee could be taken in bed, but only in the upright position.
A lovely old sink had been
ruined repurposed as a mirror
French gnomes. Just rude.
Lille by night
Our trip was not long after the Paris attack, I’m not sure if this building was lit up with the French flag as a tribute – or the building is always lit. Either way it was beautifully done.
The lights look a little like they may have been hit by austerity cuts – or the weather, or both.
In the quiet backstreets the lights made the cobbles glow.
Delicious mulled red or white wine and spiced warm apple juice.
After our meal we childishly purchased our glasses at the Coq Hardi.
The next day we headed to the markets, this giant Carmen Miranda head oversees the flea market in Wazemmes.
Giants in skirts are the order of the day in the food hall. No idea.
There were long queues on this Sunday morning on the fish stall, the meat stall and the bakery, and the food was carefully inspected before purchase.
Hence the try before you buy Pineapple.
Less a mode of transport, more a mode of storage – I hope.
You want lots of ham, cheese and onion? You’re in the right place.
Colourful walls contrasted with shady looking characters in the alleyway.
My favourite part – the brocante, was limited, but we spotted some nice paper artefacts and some vintage Mossy amongst the vintage magazines.
A beautiful, traditional boulangerie was on the edge of the market.
The fruit was so beautifully displayed.
Frenchie says Relax
Nothing says I love you like….jam.
Who hasn’t felt the need for a boyfriend (or girlfriend) pillow?
This particular outfit was a bit low on the comfort factor for my liking
Every place had onions – but this one was official.
That’s it. I hope you enjoyed your tour of the beautiful, the charming and the outright wacky.
Thank you for reading, for your comments and kind words this year. Wishing you and your family a very happy Christmas and 2016.