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Charming stopover between Paris and Roubaix?

Charming stopover between Paris and Roubaix?

Old Jun 21, 13, 4:14 pm
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Charming stopover between Paris and Roubaix?

I'm planning a business trip to include a one-day visit to Roubaix in September. I'd like to fly into Paris and drive or take a train in the direction of Roubaix, and stop in a charming town to spend a day getting acclimated before going on to Roubaix a day or two later. The web site listing the "most beautiful villages of France" doesn't have a single entry in that area, so I'm looking for suggestions. I'd like to find a quaint B&B in a town where I can walk to a center that is old and at least fairly well preserved, where there might be the added interest of a river or a castle or cathedral, and where I can count on finding really good food (not necessarily Michelin-star level, but the type of wonderful country restaurant I've found in other parts of the French countryside. A Michelin "bib Gourmand" type place or two would be great.

I see Amiens on the map, and I know the cathedral there is an attraction. What about the rest of the town around the cathedral? Is it too big and too modern to be considered "charming?" I'm assuming Amiens might allow me to arrive from CDG by train, and possibly rent a car there to drive to my business appointment, which would be a plus, but not a necessity.

Any ideas for other places, or thoughts about Amiens?
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Old Jun 21, 13, 6:32 pm
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there is a very good restaurant in roye. the art museum in lille is quite good. there are a number of good restaurants in lille.
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Old Jun 22, 13, 6:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Helena Handbaskets View Post
Any ideas for other places
Beauvais has a noted French Gothic cathedral and is smaller than Amiens so perhaps a little more walkable and quieter. Just a thought.
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Old Jun 23, 13, 9:19 am
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The area around the cathedral in Amiens can indeed be called "charming", with lots of restaurants (but I have no specific recommendations) - more so than in Beauvais in my opinion. But there is not enough to do/see to spend 2 nights there. So I would either do a day trip in the area from Amiens, or spend one night there and one night in Lille. (Given that you would like to relax, I'd personally choose the first option: 2 nights in Amiens.)
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Old Jun 24, 13, 1:58 am
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Did OP desire a full 2 night stop or something shorter?
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Old Jun 24, 13, 6:44 pm
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It could be 2 nights but will more likely be just one.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check them out.
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Old Jun 25, 13, 3:24 am
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As a former Amiénois, I am biased, but there's some great, hearty food to be had in the city - and the cathedral and Quartier St Leu (as well as the Marché sur l'Eau and the Hortillonages) are pretty special. Make sure you try some ficelles picardes and some local macaroons (far tastier than the overhyped Parisian rubbish )

Old favourites include Les Marissons and Au Relais des Ofevres, for a more down-to-earth brasserie, Le T'chiot Zinc, on the rue des Trois Cailloux. Having said that, things may have moved on these days. But this is hunting and gathering country, and you're right next to Normandy - look for game, all sorts of wild mushrooms, and lashings of cream...

If you're driving from Amiens up to Lille, you'll probably end up heading up the D929, which takes you through old WW1 country. It's at least worth going through central Albert to look at the golden angel, but the monument at Thiepval and trenches/cemeteries at Beaumont-Hamel are the main sites. I appreciate that this may not bee the correct mood for any given trip, but it's a fascinating and sobering bit of history.

Beauvais is pleasant, and has rather less to it than Amiens, but the cathedral, once again, is rather stunning. Its height needs to be seen to be fully appreciated, and the astronomical clock is great as well.

Further north, there's Arras, worth a look in for a Croque Monsieur on the Grand'Place at least. A very Flemish-looking town, this one.
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Old Jul 18, 13, 5:05 am
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Question Normandy guide?

Is Amiens a good place to explore the battlefields of Normandy?

Also any advice/recommendations for a good guide?
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Old Jul 18, 13, 5:20 am
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Well, being in Picardy, Amiens is a better base for exploring the battlefields of Picardy!

The Norman battle fields are further west, so I'd probably base myself in one of the pleasant seaside towns round there, or at a push, Rouen (if you want something more substantial).
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Old Aug 5, 13, 7:32 am
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Arras is a lovely historical town
http://www.arras.fr/tourisme/arras-t...on-office.html

If you have time, you definitely should stop at Lens to visit the superb Louvre museum's little sister
http://www.louvrelens.fr/home

If you do not mind going to the West before reaching the North: a lovely place to have a lunch in the Baie de Somme:
http://www.auvelocipede.fr/en/accueil/

A little on the East side:
Le Kiosque, which is a lovely café - restaurant - pâtisserie - bookshop
12, rue du Général-Mangin
Villers-Cotterêts (02600)
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Old Aug 6, 13, 4:19 am
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Originally Posted by Helena Handbaskets View Post
I'm planning a business trip to include a one-day visit to Roubaix in September. I'd like to fly into Paris and drive or take a train in the direction of Roubaix, and stop in a charming town to spend a day getting acclimated before going on to Roubaix a day or two later. The web site listing the "most beautiful villages of France" doesn't have a single entry in that area, so I'm looking for suggestions. I'd like to find a quaint B&B in a town where I can walk to a center that is old and at least fairly well preserved, where there might be the added interest of a river or a castle or cathedral, and where I can count on finding really good food (not necessarily Michelin-star level, but the type of wonderful country restaurant I've found in other parts of the French countryside. A Michelin "bib Gourmand" type place or two would be great.

I see Amiens on the map, and I know the cathedral there is an attraction. What about the rest of the town around the cathedral? Is it too big and too modern to be considered "charming?" I'm assuming Amiens might allow me to arrive from CDG by train, and possibly rent a car there to drive to my business appointment, which would be a plus, but not a necessity.

Any ideas for other places, or thoughts about Amiens?
One general way to find some of the sort of places described by the OP is the R&C list/map. These can be expensive, however. Another way it to look in the Michelin or Gault-Millault books/maps for the "red" (pleasant) hotels and then look at restaurant listings for the same town, possibly including restaurants within the hotel. There are also some "romantic" hotels and hotels of charm lists/associations that can be helpful.

Can you ask your business contacts for suggestions?
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