The First Day in Lille

We arrived in Lille in the afternoon. Having taken 2 moderately smooth AC flights with the Little Nomads, we picked up our 4 suitcases and walked out of Gare Lille Flanders to the sight of the oddest exterior design of the Crown Plaza hotel.

The house, located in north Lille, was a 15-minute drive from the station. The 'house help' or the 'servants' house (as I called it), where we will live for the next 3 months, is quite lovely. It is a part of an impressive residential structure built in a traditional style of the 17th-century Flemish architecture.  Three distinct buildings constitute a square (with entrance gates on the fourth side): the main house or what I call the chateau, the 'house-help' quarter where we live and the 'stables' on the other side (now converted to another living quarter with three garages). A spacious courtyard is private, laid with large cobble stone.

The courtyard of the residence. Our 'house' is located on the left

Both owners speak impeccable English. The wife has an air of a relaxed golf-playing soccer-mom than a proud mother of many children and sounds like a graduate of an elite private English boarding school.

I spent some time creating as much of an open-concept as I could in our 2 bedrooms, which are decorated in a classic Provencal style. I cleared out countless knick-knacks, trays, vases, lamps, miniature sculptures, stacked numerous little coffee tables, cute chairs, etc. These details are quite lovely but not in a household with two extremely active boys!

Apparently, the modern open-design concepts are extremely contagious! I feel that I prefer IKEA furniture much better to the heavy wooden chiffoniers, closets and cupboards hand-painted with pastorals of palaces and fields. I guess I'm not much into antiques either...

The Impression of the day. God, wine is cheap here!
A terrific 5-EU bottle of Loire valley Cabernet Franc made me cry. It was beyond good! The dry sausage was a great accompaniment and we were done with both quite quickly. It will take a while till I get used to the wine and cheese prices here but I'm afraid the reverse transition will be much harder.

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