Fancy a Little Break to Lille?

Posted By Kerri


The lovely people at Eurostar have kindly offered us a pair of tickets to give away so that you can go on your own Little Break to Lille, just like Stephen and I did earlier in the month.

All you need to do is leave us a comment (before the end of September) telling us about the best or worst food experience that you have had while travelling.

Five entrants will then be selected by Eurostar and we’ll select a winner at random from those five. The winner can travel on any day until the end of November, just so long as you can make your own way to St Pancras.

This competition is now closed.

Sep 10th, 2009

15 Comments to 'Fancy a Little Break to Lille?'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Fancy a Little Break to Lille?'.

  1. Alastair Fry said,

    As a fluent French speaker, I felt pretty confident ordering for my wife in hotel near Dijon. The lamb cutlets sounded lovely. Suspicions were unaroused when the waiter (and then chef) questioned the order. What I had ordered as cutlets turned out to be ‘lambs brains’ – a greyish sconcoction with the consistency of runny scrambled eggs! Beware “les cervelles d’agneau”. We returned to the hotel in the town of Mailly le Chateau the following year but my wife ordered for herself!

  2. Rhiannon said,

    the worst food experience i’ve had was in spain. i went to an ‘italian’ restaurant, waited about 45 minutes for a pizza which turned out to be flour and water mixed together for a base, tomato puree, canned asparagus and canned mushrooms!

  3. Baby Bro said,

    The WORST, ABSOLUTE WORST! meal I have encounted was on a recent visit to Bournmoth for a friends ‘stag’ do! As all of us like currys of varying taste, we pre booked at a recomended Indian restaurant (by an employee at the hotel we were staying).
    So there we were, some 14 men in a curry house, all starts well. Popadoms? yes please we say, they come, get eaten. At this point we order the main course, another beer? Yes please. They arrive, get drunk. More drinks? Yes we reply, At this point its nearly 2 hours from entering! The main dishes turn up at different times, mine was luke warm, but by now i had drunk some alcohol so choose not to return my meal to the kitchen. However when i had to cut my rice with a knife and fork!!! yep, thats right. I asked for the manager, who turned out to be the chef. The Food is not suitable for human consumption I tell him, backed up at this point by my fellow diners. (and the table next to us). He finaly agreed that it was bad, we left only paying for the Beer and popadoms! and that greassy kebab shop next door had a rush on!

  4. Sarah said,

    My best food experience is every time I go to New York. It’s not very high-class I know, but I just love the pizza. You have to know which place to go to (my favourite “local” is City Pie on 72nd and Broadway) but mmm, it’s so good and so cheap. I lived on pizza when I lived in NY as it’s all I could afford.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Vindolanda =-.

  5. Liz said,

    Our worst food experience was during a holiday in France in the 1980’s. At that time , as vegetarians we weren’t expecting to find it easy to find much choice eating out and for this reason we’d chosen self catering accommodation for our stay. One day on our travels around the Vendee region we couldn’t believe our luck when we came across a little pizzeria. We found a table easily as no-one else was dining there and placed our order for two pizzas with a less than happy with her lot waitress. The chef was then called for and she turned out to be the person we’d passed on the way in, leaning against the restaurant wall, having a quiet smoke. If that wasn’t bad enough, and in full view, she proceeded to have a good pick of her nose as she strolled towards the preparation area. There was no attempt to wash whatever might be lingering on the fingers as she immediately began to pummel the pizza dough . Unsurprisingly, when the extremely under-cooked pizzas were served, our appetites had completely vanished. Needless to say, we paid the bill and made a very sharp exit.
    .-= Liz´s last blog ..The clues are there =-.

  6. Jenny said,

    My best story (and worst experience) is from Peru.

    We had stopped at a bus station in the middle of nowhere, and the only place to eat was a stall run by a middle-aged local woman. She had a massive pan of fried chicken, and another of vegetable soup. She’d pile the fried meat into the soup as it was served. As my friend was a little suspicious of roadside meat, we decided to order soup “sin carne”. The woman assured us there was no meat in the soup, just in the other frying pan.

    Eating our soup, I noticed a lump in mine. I poked it with my spoon, and a chicken foot rose from the soup like Excalibur from the lake. We went back to the woman to complain, our “vegetable” soup clearly contained meat.

    She looked puzzled. “There’s no meat on the foot!”
    .-= Jenny´s last blog ..Chocolate Chip Cookies =-.

  7. My best food experience would have to be wolfing down Pad Thai from a little stall at the end of Krabi beach in Thailand. The sun was setting, we were a little sunburnt from a day on the beach and the fragrant noodles packed with prawns and topped with a squeeze of lime were the perfect finish to the day especially accompanied by a ice cold beer.

  8. Darren said,

    We were on holiday in Zurich and decided to try this Spanish restaurant a friend had recommended.
    We both love seafood so asked the waiter to bring us a selection of various seafood dishes for two.
    His English wasn’t great but he seemed to understand.

    20 minutes later he returned with a single platter of cold seafood.
    We were a bit disappointed but tucked in anyway and it turned out to be really tasty.
    As we ate we debated whether this was it or if there was more coming (as Brits abroad, we weren’t going to ask!).
    Eventually with no more food coming we decided that he had misunderstood and this was all we were getting so we should make the best of it.
    We started to eat some of the bread that was on the table to make sure we didn’t leave hungry.
    Eventually we finished the platter – we weren’t stuffed but we were quite full.

    After they cleared our plates we sat and finished our drinks.
    You can probably guess what happened next – a troop of waiters appeared and covered the table with dishes of grilled prawns, peppers, octopus, squid and various fish dishes.
    Stomachs groaning we tucked in to what turned out to be a delicious feast.
    It was really nice but we were so full we could barely walk back to our hotel.

    We loved it so much we went back the next day but decided to play it safe and just have the Paella.
    .-= Darren´s last blog ..Wiphi Mark II =-.

  9. Pen said,

    Best was definitely in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, a tiny little bungalow called the Lazy Wave Cafe. You sat in the garden which was strewn with fairy lights and candles, and there was a swing, and hammock. There were three choices of starter and main course, all of which were entirely dependent on what had been caught on the beach that day. We had swordfish steaks wrapped in a banana leaf and cooked with coconut millk. Which was amazing, the firm fish contrasting amazingly with the sweet coconut. The wine list covered a whole blackboard, and the pudding was home made coconut icecream. Absolutely amazing, and the memory of just sitting there in the dark, having an amazing meal will stay with me forever.
    .-= Pen´s last blog ..Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! =-.

  10. Sarah said,

    It was the last night of our holiday in Normandy and I wanted to go out for classic moules frites before heading home. The restaurant we chose had a great set menu but moules frites wasn’t on it. I was a little bit disappointed but the fish soup starter (another classic) made up for it.

    For the main I chose pork with a rich mushroom sauce and frites. I double checked with the waiter that it was what I thought it was and he said yes it was pork so I was quite looking forward to it.

    He brought out the mains and instead of a nice grilled pork chop, or similar there was a shrivelled sausage type thing (in a rich mushroom sauce) which smelt so bad I recoiled. I cut into it and out came bits of what looked like brain and general pig innards. I think I ate a tiny mouthful but just couldn’t eat the rest.

    My boyfriend couldn’t eat his dinner because he was laughing too much. I decided I had to get rid of the sausage without offending anyone. Luckily we were camping and due to the amount it had been raining I had lined my bag with a small black bin liner. I removed my passport and purse and while no one was looking lifted the innards sausage off my plate and into the bag, making sure I left a bit on the plate so it didn’t look too obvious that I had just chucked it. Even so when the waiter came to take our plates and saw I had left a bit he looked upset and said ‘didn’t you like it?’I said it was lovely but I was just so full I couldn’t manage it.

    I now know what Andouillette means and will avoid it in the future.

  11. Tom said,

    Earlier this year I took my girlfriend to the Lofoten islands off the west coast of Norway. Staying in a little wooden fisherman’s hut over the sea, I offered to cook a lovely evening meal. Little did she realise that I was going to take the opportunity to propose – so the meal had to be perfect.

    Luckily I’d planned a feast of traditional scandinavian meatballs well in advance. I came unstuck though at the local shop when trying to figure out the Norwegian for allspice – they had a massive array of different spices with their names in a multitude of scandinavian languages, but there seemed to be little distinction between allspice and mixed spice. After significant deliberation I bought both packs and decided to work out which to use back at the hut.

    I finally figured it out and the cooking went well. After serving up the dinner I proposed and after all that my girlfriend was so overwhelmed she couldn’t even eat any of it! Next time I’ll remember to propose after the meal.. (joking!).

  12. Will said,

    The best food experience of all time has to be that of the Brazilian churrascaria. We discovered it almost by accident as we stopped on a long road journey to have some food. The building looked like a Little Chef, and our guide described it as serving “barbecue” food. Expectations were average at best.

    It was only when we were finished helping ourselves to an extensive cold buffet that we really realised what we were in for. No sooner had we sat down, an army of well-dressed waiters appeared, each carrying a 3-foot skewer-sword with a great big cut of meat cooked in a charcoal rotisserie. Each delicious, the choice staggering, the waiters rotated round and round our table presenting their offering like a sommelier presents a bottle of wine, offering to add a piece to our slowly filling plates.

    We eventually realised that at each of our places was a beer mat – green on one side and red on the other. So long as the mat was green side up, the cuts of meat would keep on coming. Unable to keep enough space on our plates to keep up with the arrival of more food, the mats were quickly turned, only to be reversed when there was room for more mouthwatering treats.

    The whole concept flew in the face of our own “8oz uncooked weight” approach to serving meat. The final bill was an incredible £7.50 each. I gather that copycat restaurants have started popping up in the States, and it doesn’t surprise me that their bills look several times this size.

    Given the opportunity, churrascaria is an absolute must for any food-loving carnivore.

  13. Sarah said,

    The worst ever food experience I’ve had whilst travelling was when I was in Hong Kong with my family…

    Me and my family absolutely LOVE chinese food and so going to to Hong Kong we were really excited about enjoying a good ol’ slap up meal in the country of origin, the home to chinese food – surely it’s going to be amazing right!? Or so we thought…

    We went out to dinner and ordered a 5 course extravaganza. None of the dishes they made were like anything you’d order back in England so we just gambled and hoped for the best! A few courses came out and we couldn’t really eat much if it as they tasted odd, but we didnt mind so much as we thought “at least we’ll have enough room for the duck and pancakes!” Our favourite! They started to bring out all the trimmings – cucumber, spring onion, plum sauce, pancakes. At this point we’re starving and very excited. They brought out the duck, put it down on the table and literally our jaws all dropped. We looked at eachother, confused and quite horrifed. We were all looking at a plate full of pieces of skin, cut neatly into 2″ squares. There was no meat – just the skin, and each piece had duck hair sticking out of it. As you can imagine, we didn’t fancy wrapping pieces of hairy duck skin into our pancakes so we left and headed straight to McDonalds! In fact, the whole 5 days we were there, we sneaked McDonalds into our hotel room every night as we couldn’t bare the food!

  14. Jules said,

    Many moons a go my husband and I went on a last minute holiday to Crete. Our apartment complex was beautiful but fairly remote with an average Taverna on site. We didn’t have a car and to the horror of some of the other ‘play it safe’ holiday makers we decided to do some exploring on foot and head up the beach to see if we could find a more exciting eating place.

    After about an hour of wandering along the deserted beach we saw the twinkle of lights. Nearing closer we were delighted to come across a beautiful Taverna with a large outdoor seating area, where tables sat beneath a fairy lit vine ceiling.

    Although met with a few curious glares from the locals, on sitting down we were thrilled with our romantic little find and quickly ordered the Meze. With the wine flowing I was just about to try the octopus when I felt something fall onto my head, brushing it away something then fell onto the plate of stuffed vine leaves. To our horror we realised there were beetles dropping from the vines onto our lovely dinner. My Husband tried to make light of the situation with the usual ‘don’t tell everyone or they’ll all want some’! However, my appetite was gone by this point (and so had my sense of humour!) and when one plopped into my wine glass I had enough and we returned to the Apartments for yet another Greek salad!!

    If it wasn’t for the little uninvited guests at our dinner date this could have been perfect, it’s definitely one we have never forgotten and often have a laugh about it!

:: Trackbacks/Pingbacks ::

  1. Pingback by And the Winner Is… | Dinner Diary - on October 1st, 2009 at 11:23 pm

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.