Wonders of Lille

Happiness from the Burst of Flavors

I knew from the moment I stepped foot in France that I was going to have a blast eating. French cuisine is always praised on with good reason. In the north of France, specifically in Lille, they are known for their gaufres (waffles). They are sweet and incredibly soft. Unlike the waffles you might find in America, the waffles here are smaller and on the flatter side. However, despite not being fluffy, they are way softer and more flavorful than any waffles I have ever eaten. With vanilla waffles, the vanilla practically melts on your tongue. Needless to say, I do believe I am not dramatic when I say that the waffles in Lille taste like an explosion of happiness and heaven. Although they range in many flavors, I have been loyal to the vanilla waffles.

Another food that Lille does right by is their French fries. Although not actually French, their fries are highly influenced by Belgian-styled fries due to their proximity to Belgium. Unlike regular fries that are fried with oil, Lille’s fries are fried with animal fat that gives it a burst of flavor that you honestly can’t find anywhere else in the rest of France. Someone could have told me the potatoes were laced with magic and I would’ve believed them. They are that good! I have had friends from other parts of France visit Lille, and the first thing I recommend is the fries. So far, not a single person has gave them a thumbs down and I think that speaks for itself. Lille’s French fries for the win!

Lille fries with a side of meatballs and salad.

Beauty of Flemish Architecture

Lille is beautiful. The architecture here is not what you would find with the buildings in Paris. Here in Lille, you can see the inspiration of Belgian architecture mixed with the French-styled buildings you can find in Paris. Le Vieux-Lille (the old city) has buildings that you can immediately tell is Flemish.

With Flemish-inspired architecture, you can see the use of red bricks enhanced by gold details. Personally, I use the colors yellow, red, and gold in order to distinguish whether a building might be Flemish or not. In Lille’s town center, most of the buildings surrounding the fountain is flamboyant with the way the red and gold compliments the beige-yellowish color of the actual building. It is definitely easy to notice the difference in between French-styled architecture and French-mixed styled buildings.

Flemish-inspired buildings spotted in Lille

I am incredibly happy to have been given the chance to study here in Lille. With each day coming, I find myself discovering more secrets of the city that I am excited to share. There is no place like this city. In fact, I think I might be turning into a Lilloise!

Linh Nguyen is a student at Texas A&M University – College Station and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is studying with ISA in Lille, France

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