Lyon is the third largest city in France. It is also the culinary capital of the country. (I don’t know if that is official or unofficial, but I heard it from numerous sources before we visited.) And best of all, it’s only a little more than two hours from Vevey!
I hadn’t been yet, because I kept thinking I would go with a visitor. Several of us decided to spend a weekend there, and as it turns out, I ended up taking a visitor after all. A Purina friend was in town for work and stayed the weekend with me. Thankfully, she was up for joining us for our weekend away!
We headed out on Saturday morning (in our borrowed minivan). Our first order of business on arrival was lunch. And what better place than a food hall with oodles of delicious choices! Les Halles de Lyon-Paul Bocuse is a fabulous indoor food market. There are almost 60 different booths serving everything from fresh seafood to cheese to meat to pastries. It was delicious!
As if having amazing food isn’t enough, Lyon is simply lovely. It’s full of charming cobblestone streets, lots of bridges, and beautiful architecture. We loved roaming around the city taking it all in. It’s surrounded by the Saone and the Rhône Rivers, so there is plenty of opportunity to stroll along the river.
[Slides are for big kids, too!]
There is a lot of amazing shopping in Lyon! I didn’t take advantage this trip, since I was traveling with four others. However, I will definitely be back! While I didn’t make any purchases, there was one (or should I say two) important purchase made! One of the guys bought the other a special gift in honor of his 30th birthday. I mean, who wouldn’t want these decorative pillows in their home?!
Lyon had quite a few large, ornate churches. We visited a couple – the most spectacular of which was the Basilica of Notre Dame Fourvière. It sits up on the hill overlooking the city.
From the church, we walked a short distance to the ancient Roman amphitheater built into the hillside – again overlooking the city.
After a little rest, we went out for a really lovely dinner at Les Retrouvailles. It was small and super traditional. The husband was cooking in the kitchen, and the wife was serving the dozen or so tables in the restaurant. In France, they love to offer “menus,” where you choose 3-4 courses. I love this, because it allows you to try so many different things. We were there for more than three hours enjoying the food, the setting, and the conversation.
On Sunday morning, we strolled through an arts & crafts market along the Saone River before heading to lunch at one of the Paul Bocuse restaurants – Brasserie le Nord. (Paul Bocuse is one of the most famous Lyonnais chefs.) Yet again, the meal was delicious. I tried Black Pudding, which was actually quite good. And an assortment of sorbets for dessert. The French love dessert, and so do I!
It was rainy on Sunday, but despite the sprinkles, I was thrilled to see signs of spring!!
Lyon is hard to describe in one word, but after three decadent meals, the word I would choose is…YUMMY!