Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Lille the trendy

Lille is a trendy place. Don't let anyone in the "South" (ie anywhere more southern than beyond the Autoroute du Nord) tell you Lille is an unimportant city. The lillios in the Vieux Lille even take themselves for Parisians most of the time. There are two new trends I've noticed of late here in Lille.

Labels There is a slew of new bars/cafes and restaurants cropping up. And for some reason, they all feel the need to label themselves. There’s the sandwich place that calls itself a “cozy bar”, the lunch place that calls itself a “contemporary bar”, and the fancy brasserie that calls itself a “trendy bar”. Trendy people pretend to speak English or at least use certain words and this place is geared towards the young, wannabe expat artsy crowd. But they obviously don’t realize that no one in their right mind would actually label themselves “trendy” in English. It’d be like openly calling yourself a fake or an incompetent or an asshole. “Hi, I’m an asshole. Wanna be my friend?” Anyway…The place also gives cooking lessons which shouldn’t surprise me except every time I’ve eaten there, I’ve hated me food.

Muffins Muffins have come to Lille. Blueberry, cinnamon, red currant, chocolate chip, rhubarb. Covent Garden and Nottinghill Café have decent muffins that filled the void a few weeks ago (not surprising with such English sounding names?!). Honey and Pie sells them but they are vile – the blueberry muffin has no real fruit, but is filled with a purply-pink goo that tastes of fake fruit and flowers. And the Muffin Café, which I pass every day on my way to work…doesn’t sell them at all. I once asked the owner of Covent Garden how he makes his muffins. The answer? He imports muffin mix from the US!

Taking into account these two trends, I think I could make a niche for myself. Maybe not the New Jersey diner I dream of opening one day or even the Whole Food's franchise I dream someone else will open but, don't you think a cozy fat-free organic muffin café would do well? I just need to import everything and we're set.

And for a name, what about...The Muffin Top Café? I think it's inspired!


Madame M. said...


(or should it be "Le Lol"?)

Thank you for that. My day needed a hearty chuckle, complete with muffin top illustration.

bibilamalice said...

how about "ze cozy muffin chop" it's soooo lillois ;)

Sarah said...

I'm enjoying these glimpses I get into contemporary French culture while reading your blog! Keep 'em coming! (And I'm glad to hear that you can get tasty muffins in France now. How about bagels? Can you find them anywhere outside of the Marais these days?)

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