Gaufres in Lille

These days I find myself doing less and less planning for my travels. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. I spend more time thinking about what to pack so I can maximize wardrobe style and minimize what I actually have to carry with me. Other than that, for my last two trips I haven’t even cracked a map before landing there. I spent this past weekend in Lille. The morning I left (Lille is just an hour north of Paris by TGV), my friend Elodie told me to eat une gaufre, a waffle. It was advice said in passing, but I took it seriously. Upon arriving at the train station I wandered the streets of Old Lille. Not far from the Opera and clock tower I saw a line in front of a gaufre stand. I knew it must be good. There were two options for kinds of gaufres, and I didn’t know which one I was supposed to pick. I went with my gut, and took my first bite (and a photo) and couldn’t believe how good it really was. I didn’t know something as simple as waffle could totally make a trip, but Lille quickly won me over as I filed this in my brain under “favorite things I’ve ever eaten.”
While I could have spent the weekend just eating gaufres, I was actually in Lille to attend my first ever French wedding (more on that in an upcoming post). As French weddings go until about 5am, we were all a bit zombie-eqsue the next day, so it was the perfect excuse to stop by Meert, one of France’s oldest pastry shops, established in Lille in 1761 (there is now a Paris location, but without all the pastries). A few French friends had dropped the name of this place before I departed, but I was happy to have Jenni and Romain, my local experts, to officially introduce me to the famous gaufre à la vanille. Meert has a wonderful collection of teas as well, which was just the pick me up we needed.
What can I say? Gaufre may be a funny word, but made for delicious book ends to my weekend getaway. And something as simple as a waffle may just be the perfect excuse to take a weekend trip to Lille.

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