Hello, I'm Fanny !

39 years old, I live in CREIL

Local resident in northern France

21 Oct
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My insider tips

Eat a crepe after walking around the Commelles ponds, south of Chantilly

Eat a crepe after walking around the Commelles ponds, south of Chantilly

This place is out of time. Even the wifi hasn’t been able to make its way through yet. The small château de la Reine Blanche (private) overlooks the pond, right by the crêperie. Dogs and kids are welcome to walk around on the pedestrian paths. It’s a place well known for fishing and nature exploring as you always come accross ducks, water hens and swans. The creperie L’Etang d’Art (closed in winter) offers a wide variety of crepes and ice creams. The local beer « Bière St Rieul » is also noticed on the menu. Music bands are performing on Friday nights.

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Discover Arras

Arras completely assumes the demands of elegance and French art de vivre. I recommend that over the course of a weekend you truly plunge into the heart of its history and heritage. Climb the bell tower to admire the view over the Artois plains or go down into the bôves or caves, to discover the British soldiers’ living conditions during the Great War. Hotspot, have a drink on a terrace in place des Héros in exceptional surroundings, just perfect after visiting the underground passages. Arras knows how to transmit this message of peace among all of us. Here, luxury is taking time to Live!

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Immersion in the Flemish Art de Vivre

The must is to stroll through the cobbled streets in the Vieux Lille : esquermoise, Grande Chaussée, Basse, Masurel, de la Monnaie streets.... Hand in hand to lead to different  shops that will please to Mrs. Want to have a drink in a trendy store concept? See you at La Biche et le Renard, rue de Gand. To finish the evening direction the bars with a cosy and hushed atmosphere: the Dandy,  rue Basse or the Jaja, rue Saint-André, unless you prefer the Monde Moderne, rue des 3 couronnes? The cocktails are served in copper glasses. So Chic! 
 

 

Visit Le Touquet

During your stay, don’t miss a trip to the market or a visit to Canche lighthouse, where you can learn about the history of lighthouses as well as that of Le Touquet-Paris Plage resort. A must-see for art-lovers is the museum in the heart of Le Touquet forest, in a 1930 dwelling  then named Villa Way Side. The museum houses more than 800 works by regional artists.  
Le Touquet is a dynamic town with a year-round program of activities and cultural, sporting and fun events of all kinds, including cycling, sand-yachting and horse-riding. Le Touquet-Paris-Plage is truly a resort for all seasons.
 

 

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Anneau de la Mémoire à Ablain-Saint-Nazaire

The Ring of Remembrance

Close to the battles of Artois, I invite you to take another look at the centenary of the Great War, because in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, it is no longer a question of nations, allies or enemies. With the ring of Remembrance, one of the greatest memorials in the world, it is 500 sheets of metal on which are engraved, in alphabetical order, without distinction of nationality, rank or religion, the names of  579606 soldiers now combined Forever in a common humanity. Here the quiet seizes the visitor. I recommend you climb the hill on foot, from the parking  of the  memorial 1418 in Souchez, before entering the ring, it takes 15 minutes before arriving on the plateau and when the night goes down, the impression is even stronger.

Visiti Senlis Village

Visit Senlis village

Senlis is a town of the Oise department, located 30 minutes from Paris and 2hrs 15mins from Calais. It is nestled in the heart of one of the largest forests of the north of France and provides the ideal destination for couples seeking to escape for a weekend combining nature and romance!

Streets with cobblestones, walls covered with ivy, private mansions, built one beside the other, quiet outside seating areas adorned with flowers, elegant boutiques with front windows from another era…

Roaming through the streets of Senlis is like leafing through a history book :-) After being part of Gaul and, subsequently, the Roman Empire, Senlis is the town where the Capetian dynasty established itself. It was never destroyed and is therefore layered with the remnants of each era. Its ancient walls weave among the Renaissance houses, encircle the cathedral and lead you to the different museums of the town, which can be found right next to the cathedral!

Try the restaurant Le scaramouche with a view of the Senlis Cathedral.

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Meet the fish mongers

In Boulogne-sur-Mer, I highly recommend that you make a stop on the quays to meet the fish mongers who sell fish fresh off the boats because here, fishing is not just folklore! Nausicaà will transport you to the ocean’s fascinating world and the discovery of fish from the entire planet. Lovers of old stones won’t want to miss a visit to the high city: its fortress-castle, now a museum, its ramparts, its bell tower and its typical streets or, a must-do in my opinion, its basilica which houses the largest crypt in France! No fewer than 200 years of history are yours for the taking; I’m certain you won’t be bored.

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Stretch the legs in Arras

Arras completely assumes the demands of elegance and French art de vivre. I recommend that over the course of a weekend you truly plunge into the heart of its history and heritage. Climb the bell tower to admire the view over the Artois plains or go down into the bôves or caves, to discover the British soldiers’ living conditions during the Great War. Hotspot, have a drink on a terrace in place des Héros in exceptional surroundings, just perfect after visiting the underground passages. Arras knows how to transmit this message of peace among all of us. Here, luxury is taking time to Live!

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Discovering the local produce

With its top chefs, prize-winning beers and fine Cheeses, Around Louvre-Lens destination is an amazing food destination. The master chefs really know how to work with the local produce. To fully appreciate this region has to offer, I recommend the beers made by Vincent Bogeart at the Saint-Germain Brewery, they are a must. Do stop off at the Arras market on Saturday morning, time permitting to breath in the smell of the fine cheeses.

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Meeting a passionate

For me, if there was one must do to really get under the skin of the destination, meet Dominique Gall, a painter who captures the various animals and birdlife of the region. He is a passionate birdwatcher and environmentalist who organised the Festival of Animal Art in Montreuil each year.

 

 

Dominique GALL
Rue du Clape-en-Bas
62170 Montreuil-sur-Mer

+33(0)3 2186 2575
+33(0)6 3360 0488

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Family

Animals hidden in the sand

Cockles, small crabs, sand worms… I love the little heads of children as they dig in the sand of the Bay and discover all the little animals hiding there. It's very concrete, they touch with the tips of their fingers and so they remember. I think it's one of the best gifts you can give them: bring them to the heart of the Bay (with a guide, for greater safety), where the fauna is so rich, and allow them to discover with their own hands, to taste plants, to fill their lungs with iode-scented air, to see far in the distance, far - much farther than we can generally see. All five senses are mobilised and they'll never forget it!

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My favourite outings in Calais

When you come to Calais, there are places that are simply unmissable; unique and spectacular, they're just perfect for a romantic weekend getaway. I love the Grand Site of the 2 Capes, a classified Grand Site de France, is imposing, refreshing, and the view it offers of the sea and the White Cliffs of Dover is simply magnificent: perfect for an intimate stroll hand-in-hand along a scenic hiking trail. If you would like to meet some locals, there's nothing like a visit to the Channel, one of the city's cultural hubs, where you can enjoy a truly excellent glass of wine in the building of the former abattoirs located at the port. I also recommend seeing the view from the top of the magnificent belfry of Calais, with its bird's-eye view of the Bourgeois de Calais by the famous French sculptor, RODIN, and its panoramic view of the sea. You won't be sorry!

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Stock up in the Champagne region

If you are stopping over close to Champagne on the way to or from your ski trip, its a great idea to stopover a bit longer and fill up the boot with some bubbles. You can head into the larger towns like Reims or Epernay where yu will find the bigger Champagne houses, or why not hunt out a few bargains from the lesser known, but equally delicious, smaller houses?  “Maison Lévêque-Dehan”, a family of winegrowers for five generations. Mr Lévêque-Dehan will take great pleasure in showing you round the vineyard, adapting the visit to your wishes. Two fabulous features: discovering the different varieties of grape and his delightful little museum. What’s more he’s a genuinely warm and friendly gentleman. 

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Hiding in the Le Marquenterre wooden observation points

The Le Marquenterre Bird Reserve is a great place to take the kids for a day out. For a start, they can run around in safety as there’s a lot of room:-) Running through the pine needles, the sand, on the grass, under the trees… What my daughter likes the most is being able to get so close to the birds: you can see them really clearly on the water and it makes a really big impression on small children as some birds are just as big as them! And, what’s more, there are observation points: wooden observation points where you can’t be seen enable you to look at the birds from very close up without them realising you’re there (and consequently not disturb them). And, of course, hiding just adds to the fun for the little ones!
 

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Poppy biscuits!

I love the “Biscuiterie du Coquelicot” in Albert (run by Philippe FERET). It’s great for an afternoon snack or to treat somebody before going home. There are many specialities made with poppies (the flower that symbolises the First World War): Neapolitan wafers, syrup, sweets… My favourite goodie in this shop is undoubtedly “Les Sablés aux Pétales de Coquelicot” (Poppy petal shortbread): incredibly tasty! You can also stock up on the local specialities such as “sirop de bleuet” (cornflower syrup), chicory-flavoured Neapolitan wafers, products based on sea buckthorn from the Bay of Somme…

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Visit the factory where the Le Creuset casserole dishes are made

Did you know that the famous casserole dishes were made just next to Saint-Quentin? In Fresnoy-le-Grand!
There’s even a factory shop where you can buy a product that will be a permanent reminder of your holiday.

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Parc Saint Paul

The perfect family day out in France can be found at Parc Saint Paul amusement park. With great rides and amusement for all ages (even the very small), this is a great option for families. Better still, unlike other amusement parks, here there are large picnic areas and a supermarket where you can grab what you need for an inexpensive French lunch. The entry fees are really reasonable and you will definatly get your monies worth. A great place to pass a day with kids.

 

Stopover and visit the Jardin de Valloires

Stop off on route at the Jardins de Valloires which is close to the A16, just an hour from Calais. The stunning gardens are well worth stopping for, with their rosary which housed the Rose of Picardy (created by David Austin after the romantic war time ballad The Roses are Blooming in Picardy). There is also a huge range of decorative plants, flower filled avenues with stunning views, orchards etc etc. The restaurant is a must, with the chef creating a new menu every days based on whats available in the gardens! 

 

Michelin starred dining anyone?

I highly recommend L'Auberge à la bonne idée restaurant in Saint Jean aux Bois, which is only about a 10 minute drive from your accommodation.
It’s a gourmet restaurant, awarded one Michelin Star in 2011, which chef Yves Gustiani has held onto ever since. The setting is magical with a gorgeous garden, an open fire in the colder weather.... not to mention the actual building a gorgeous all covered in ivy. The village of Saint Jean aux Bois is charming a is worth a stroll, even if it’s just to see the 800 year old oak tree! We are after all in the middle of a 14,000 hectare forest!!!

 

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Born and raised in Hauts-de-France, I can recommend a number of things to do and places to go to. Having worked in the UK in Brighton & Hove for 7 years I have some knowledge about what is relevant to the UK audience and am keen to showcase what my region has best on offer for my British friends!