(News broadcast: I bring this update to you from a windowless and soundproof booth in the deep heart of the Washington Singer building on the University of Exeter's Streatham campus. I have somehow managed to lure participants into completing my study in a dark and dingy lab, on this most glorious of bright and sunny days, and I am bloomin' ecstatic. Anyway.)

Lille was a deliciously pretty town to explore. At every twist and turn, there was a picture perfect scene worthy of being plastered on the front of any fancy biscuit tin or chocolate box.

Last time, we took a stroll through the green spaces in the city; today I'm going to show you the streets of Vieux Lille, which are no less colourful to behold.

My sister's flat was in the heart of Vieux Lille, making it a superb base for exploring the city from. At the bottom of her staircase, the door opened out to deposit us directly on a cobbled street with a Paul's bakery directly in front and a Pain Quotidien to our left. We would choose the former for a freshly baked pastry on the go and the latter for a long, lazy sit-down breakfast, watching the world go by.

After breakfast, we would take a very leisurely stroll around the city, dipping into shops and admiring the general prettiness of a city that seemed to be painted entirely in pink, blue and gold.

Of course, no trip to Lille would be complete without ogling the delicacies on sale at Meert and whilst we didn't actually buy anything from them (much to my regret), we did stop by to stare longingly through the window at least once a day!

I think my Mum and sister have got the whole blogger posing thing down more than I do!

For me, the best thing about visiting Lille was the way you can instantly relax there. Unlike other cities, it doesn't demand that you run from sight to sight in order to make the most of your time. We spent our days having lazy breakfasts, walking around the streets in the old centre, popping into shops and boutiques and just generally treating our holiday as if it were a lazy week back home. I think this is what made the time pass so gloriously slowly.

We also went to see Beauty and the Beast in the cinema (original language with French subtitles). It was the first time I'd seen the live action remake and being able to see it in France (and with a trip to Disney just a couple of days away!) made it 100x more magical! Especially when all of this was waiting just outside of the cinema afterwards:

That being said, there was still definitely a holiday vibe to the trip - which roughly translates as "see a pretty bar, go forth and drink wine."

One of the most fascinating things about Lille are the cannon balls still lodged in the facades of some buildings. These were launched by the Austrians during the 1792 siege of Lille - and have remained there ever since! Most have been left as they were whereas others have been painted in a way that, um, disguises them somewhat...

Did you spot the boob?!

Now one of the most important questions when visiting a city is: where to eat?

I didn't do any research as I assumed that my sister would have undertaken a full culinary inspection of the city by the end of her year abroad. She hadn't but she still knew of a few rather decent eating spots!

There was the lovely Creperie Beaurepaire, which Mum and I visited on more than one occasion. Proper French cider in bowls and delicious buckwheat galettes - I had mine with cheese, onions and endives *heart face emoji*. They were also doing a wonderful cocktail special that involved rose cider and fruit... I can almost taste it now!

And then there was one of Jess' favourites, the Estaminet au Vieux de la Vieille, where my younger sister became entranced by carbonnades flamandes (some naughty beef and beer dish) and the lovely staff made me a vegetarian version of the Welsh, another rather naughty dish that involves lots and lots of cheese, bread soaked in beer and (usually) ham. It's positively dripping in the local (rather smelly) Maroilles cheese and it is delicious!

Approaching the Estaminet...

...and inside the wonderfully French restaurant.

Lille, you were a dream. I'll definitely be coming back for you!