A building typical to northern France converted into a house and garden
on the charming outskirts of Lille

Resorts

Property owners’ take the floor

Why did you settle in this region, in this place and not elsewhere ?

Long ignored by tourists, Lille turned things around in a mere decade to attract more and more visitors. The dynamism of the city captivated professionals, parents of visiting students and travellers from all walks of life who come to discover the rich cultural heritage of the region or simply spend the day shopping along the cobbled streets. As ordinary folk, we weren't expecting to fall under the spell of this beautiful mansion when we came to Lille in 2013. But a few months later we were settled in this well-off neighbourhood, not far from the city centre, and had begun plans to open our bed and breakfast. We opened the first two rooms in 2014 and the second two in 2015. I never tire of helping our guests to discover the charms of this beautiful city.

What can you offer people staying with you ?

A guesthouse must first and foremost provide a warm welcome. We invite guests into our house as though they were our friends. So even when we offer them detailed tourist information and leaflets, we try to tailor everything to their personal tastes. As in any family home, breakfast is a lovely chance to sit down together and share stories. Even the birds come to join us from time to time and perch on our guests' shoulders. Lille aux Oiseaux (the name of our house) is made all the more unique by the resident parakeets and parrots, they stay in an outdoor aviary but are more than happy to come inside if they are invited.

What specific architectural features does your building have ?

As is typical of early 20th century mansions in northern France, the house is built from red bricks and enhanced with white stones. The building is an impressive one with stunning, high ceilings up to the second floor and large windows that light up the three living rooms on the ground floor. One of these living rooms serves as a conservatory that overlooks the 'jardin de curé' that is nestled between the house and a chapel with a thousand-year-old history. From the entrance, a wide, elegant staircase leads to the rooms. We were sure to preserve the original wooden flooring and parquet floors when renovating the property, as wells as the chimneys in each room, though they are no longer functional. We have, however, replaced the windows with identical double-glazed ones. We were also sure to install new bathrooms that are in-keeping with with the modern style of the bedrooms.

Places you would personally recommend

Our neighbourhood is lucky enough to have several good restaurants, including two Italian ones. Another that serves traditional French food was recently opened by a candidate from the 2015 season of Top Chef - the cuisine as So Lange is delicious and different each day. In good weather it is nice to walk or cycle along the banks of the Deûle to the citadel of Lille. The queen of all citadels, as Vauban so named it, should not let our guests forget that the Notre Dame de Réconciliation chapel is right on our doorstep, and as members of the association of friends we have the privilege of permanent access.

What is its history ?

The house is part of an impressive architectural ensemble of five adjoining buildings. They were built in 1907 on the site of a clare convent that had been destroyed the previous year - only the Notre Dame de Réconciliation chapel (which is the oldest place of worship in Lille) still stands today. At the beginning of the 20th century, wealthy industrialists settled near their factories in the suburbs of Lille; this is why our house was once the headquarters of a locomotive factory for mining trains.

Our opinion

Birdsong and chiming bells are sounds that you would expect to find in the countryside - less so in towns, let alone Lille. However, at the aptly named "Lille aux oiseaux" you are sure to enjoy the sound of both as the clock of the adjoining chapel chimes (which is the oldest and best hidden place of worship in the city) and the birds in the garden's aviary chirp away. The birds (tit, thrush, turtle dove and swallow) even inspired the names of the four guest rooms in this bourgeois residence in northern France. The north of France is far mellower than you might think - as this property proves with its charming pastel tones.

Prices

between 100 € and 175 € / night

Réf 387177

Open from 1st January to 31st December

Accommodation capacity

10 4 4

Breakfast is served in the 20th century-style conservatory that overlooks the garden. All of the rooms are upstairs. On the first floor is  'La Grive Musicienne' (the musical thrush) - a double room with a street view, a balcony and an ensuite bathroom with shower and toilet. Also on the first floor is 'Les Tourterelles' (the turtle doves), a two-roomed suite with a living room looking onto the street that can accommodate two children on the extra beds, and a master bedroom with a king-sized bed and garden view. It also includes an ensuite bathroom with a spa bath, a separate shower and a toilet. A small fitness suite on the first floor is open to all of our guests and includes an elliptical trainer along with other fitness equipment. On the second floor is 'Mésange' (tit) which is a double room with a queen-sized bed, a street view and an ensuite bathroom with shower and toilet. Last but not least is 'L’Hirondelle' (swallow) which includes the choice of a king-sized bed or two twin beds and an ensuite bathroom. Our own rooms are on the third floor and some of the second floor.

Facilities and amenities
  • Wireless Internet connection
  • safe
  • Daily cleaning service available on request

Languages spoken

English

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