Saturday, 28 February 2009

Lille City Centre

















"All the colours and all the sizes" of Leffe beer available here:

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Friday, 27 February 2009

Variety of trains

Gare de Lille Flandres station





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Thursday, 26 February 2009

Lille Zoo

All the animals appeared very healthy and happy. There were a huge number of keepers, and a lot of maintenance work going on presumably for the new season. All the more remarkable because the zoo was free to visit!
The main concern of the day for the keepers was the fact that a domestic cat had got into the enclosure of the giant tortoise. Although I don't think the cat could harm the tortoise, there were several other open enclosures nearby with tasty morsels like guinea pigs.


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Tuesday, 24 February 2009

St.Albans Pancake Race

Nineteen teams (I think) entered the race this year, which was a very hard fought affair. It was sponsored by McDougalls and Claude's Creperie who made all the pancakes using...McDougalls flour. Unfortunately the team from Claude's got knocked out fairly early on.















The team from a St.Albans special school got special applause throughout their gallant effort.














What a tosser!



The team from Harpenden's Billy's Bar and Restaurant won the hotly-contested prize frying pan.
Second and third were two teams from the district council: the leisure and projects departments.
Last year's winners, the Planning Boys, who thought they'd won, were disqualified at the last minute for failing to stop as they to tossed their pancake.
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St.Albans Pancake Race Video Clips

video video

Interrupting the Lille photos as today is Shrove Tuesday and for the first time ever I went to see the St.Albans Pancake Race. The second clip shows the clergy team on the right. The only accident of the day was when one of the clergy came a cropper on the homeward run.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Cathedrale Notre-Dame de la Treille

Fairly self-explanatory, with raindrops in the final night time view on our way to Les Parts des Anges restaurant on Sunday night, booked via TopTable clickylink - very extensive wine list, wonderful beers, excellent food and very friendly attentive staff - thoroughly enjoyable.






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Saturday, 21 February 2009

Around Lille...continued

Opera House















Vieille Bourse






Courtyard of Vieille Bourse
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Friday, 20 February 2009

Wazemmes Sunday Market

Now that's a BIG paella - with lots of chickens roasting behind the stall















Beautiful fruit and vegetables















Cheese stall with smiling waving lady















Fish


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Thursday, 19 February 2009

Around Lille

Place de la Republique:

Palais des Beaux-Arts















Prefecture


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Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Back from Lille

Just spent four days in Lille to celebrate Valentines Day/Wedding Anniversary and SWMBO's birthday, courtesy of the magnificent Eurostar.
We stayed at the 4* Couvent de Minimes hotel which is housed in a former convent.















The lounge/bar/restaurant is in the former cloisters which is now covered by a spectacular glass roof.






























These are the passageways around the cloisters












The Valentines Day menu was excellent although a little expensive at 80 Euros (including champagne) each although SWMBO did get a 'free' watch courtesy of the company who supplied the champagne.
On the other hand, EVERYTHING was expensive due to the poor Euro/Pound exchange rate.
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Friday, 13 February 2009

If you wondered where Redbourn is...

It's on the old Roman road "Watling Street" which was the A5 at this point but was 'de-trunked' some time ago and is now the A5183.


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Thursday, 12 February 2009