Cour de Lo­ges, Lyon

Cheshire Life: June 2019 A WEEK­END AWAY A stylish blend of gas­tron­omy and gothic glam­our makes for a five-star stay in this French foodie Mecca Cheshire Life: June 2019

Cheshire Life - - Butcherbar­lowllp @b - Janet Reeder

It may be the gas­tro­nomic cap­i­tal of France but Lyon’s charms don’t stop with its Michellin stars and world-class menus. If you’d ever like to fig­ure out the in­gre­di­ents to a per­fect week­end away, Lyon might just have the recipe – cool café cul­ture sits amidst quirky ar­chi­tec­ture, his­tory steeped cob­bled streets stages a vi­brant, mod­ern buzz. You can see all the best bits on foot within a 48-hour win­dow and it’s all a less-than two hour flight from Manch­ester.

One of the most il­lus­tri­ous places to stay can be found down a quiet al­ley­way sur­rounded by the marvellous me­dieval and re­nais­sance ar­chi­tec­ture of Vieux Lyon (the old town). The Cour des Lo­ges is a mag­nif­i­cently quirky five star ho­tel renowned for its ar­chi­tec­ture and Miche­lin-starred restau­rant.

Those look­ing for a con­tem­po­rary bolt­hole, all clean lines and generic fur­nish­ings, look away now. This five-star gem in the Unesco des­ig­nated part of this city was orig­i­nally four Re­nais­sance town­houses, now in­ter­linked by

monastery-like cor­ri­dors and twist­ing stair­cases and arched walk­ways sur­round­ing the atrium. The lighting is at­mo­spheric – or in non-ho­tel brochure speak, dim. Even in the in­ner sanc­tum of our su­pe­rior room, the over­head lighting didn’t flicker above can­dlelit level. Still I’m all for soft fo­cus, es­pe­cially as one wall of the en­suite bath­room, ac­cessed up a short flight of stairs from the bed­room, was taken up by an enor­mous mirror.

Re­nais­sance-style art adorns the wall above a gen­er­ous sized bed and the room is big enough to ac­com­mo­date a ta­ble and sep­a­rate dressing/wardrobe area so you don’t have lug­gage clut­ter­ing up the main room.

The ho­tel is also renowned for its food of­fer that in­cludes chef An­thony Bon­net’s one Miche­lin starred restau­rant Les Lo­ges, its Café Épicerie, a re­laxed brasserie and its su­perb breakfasts, fea­tur­ing an enor­mous buf­fet filled with French breads pas­tries, char­cu­terie, fresh healthy juices and coked-to-or­der eggs of all va­ri­eties (I tried baked eggs with parsnip which sounds

weird but were vel­vety and unc­tu­ous). Food fans have flocked to Lyon for decades now, mainly thanks to the leg­end of Paul Bo­cuse, the chef’s chef and France’s most fa­mous gas­tro­nomic ex­port af­ter the crois­sant.

Bo­cuse died in Jan­uary 2018, but his legacy lives on in his restau­rants, in­clud­ing his L’au­berge du Pont de Col­longes, which has three Miche­lin stars. There are sev­eral other Bo­cuse restau­rants in the city, as well as the foodie par­adise of his epony­mous mar­ket, Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bo­cuse

The Bou­chon Ly­on­naise – a type of restau­rant only found in Lyon – is a rea­son so many flock here to eat re­gional dishes such as calf’s head, pike and tripe but mod­ern cook­ing is just as good. We ate at the Cour des Lo­ges brasserie and en­joyed a mix­ture of tra­di­tional Ly­on­naise and mod­ern cook­ing. A cold game pie, fresh as­para­gus served with a truf­fle but­ter, steak frites and a spelt risotto for mains were per­fectly ex­e­cuted in this busy restau­rant.

If you haven’t eaten your­self into a coma, then tak­ing a slow walk along the banks of Rhone is a per­fectly pleasant way to wan­der away an af­ter­noon – or you could whizz along on an elec­tric scooter lo­cal style (al­though there is some­thing off­putting about grown adults on any sort of scooter). Per­son­ally I went for my sec­ond­favourite (af­ter eat­ing) mini-break ac­tiv­ity; shop­ping. A mix­ture posh favourites such as Her­mes, Chanel, Maje, and niche bou­tiques, it’s a danger to your credit card. I saw one de­voted ex­clu­sively to gloves but my favourite was an­other selling ex­quis­ite silk scarves and bowties. Ideal dinner at­tire one could ar­gue.

“Food fans have flocked to Lyon for decades now”

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