ANGELA BIRD'S
Northern France

What to do and see within 90 minutes of Calais

 

 






Marshland near Tilques, a centre of watercress-growing; the Auberge de la Grenouillere, at Montreuil; Sablé de Wissant cheese (all © Angela Bird);
 pavement eating in St-Valéry-sur-Somme (© Luke Smith)

 

WHERE TO EAT IN NORTHERN FRANCE

Here is a selection of restaurants large and small, grand and basic.
I have enjoyed these places myself, or have had them recommended to me by friends,
but I disclaim any responsibility for whether they will be to your own taste. 
If you would like to add any favourite of your own, do let me know via the webmaster link at the bottom of the Index page
.

 



There’s more to come – this is just a starter…
 
Area numbers relate to the section divisions in Angela Bird’s Northern France guidebook.

 

 

If you are in a place with no restaurant recommendation to go on, here are a few tips:

 

Check out a reliable French food guide, such as an up-to-date red Michelin guide,
Gault-Millau or Guide du Routard;

Watch where people are heading for in the largest numbers;

Find somewhere on the market square;

Ask tourist-office staff or other locals;
Look for a plaque indicating a place where the local Rotary Club eats!

 

BOOK BY PHONE 
As the French tend to be less enthusiastic users of email than others,
 it is preferable to make a reservation by telephone rather than to rely on booking by email.

 

 

 

 

 

AREA 1:   DUNKERQUE, CASSEL  & FRENCH FLANDERS


 

Photograph from restaurant website

BERGUES
Le Bruegel

A popular estaminet in a 16th-century building in the centre of this attractive walled town. You tuck into hearty local dishes, sharing scrubbed wooden tables with other eaters in a “ye olde” kitchen atmosphere, and are served by waitresses in Brueghel-esque costume. Best to book, as they only do one sitting, and since Bergues became a celebrated movie location in 2008 there is a lot of demand!

1 Rue du Marché aux Fromages

(tel : 03 28 68 19 19). Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.

 

 

 

 

BOLLEZEELE
 Hostellerie St-Louis

The 3-star Logis hotel in the centre of a
Flanders village is a favourite with British weekenders. Restaurant menus from 23€.
47 Rue de l'Église (tel:  03 28 68 81 83). Closed Mon-Sat lunch & Sun evg.

 

Photograph from hotel  website

 

Photograph by Bonnie Robinson

CASSEL
Estaminet T’Kasteelhof
Fantastic atmosphere at this hilltop bar/café/restaurant near the windmill at the summit of Cassel  hill. Traditional dishes such as carbonnade of beef and potjevleesch, and at least 40 beers – plus several local fruit juices such as rhubarb. Best to book at weekends. 8 Rue Saint-Nicolas
(tel: 03 28 40 59 29).
Closed Mon-Wed.

 

 

 

 

CASSEL
Het Kerelshof
Another popular estaminet, this time down on Cassel’s cobbled main square. Hops hang from the ceiling, appropriately - since the menu features almost 50 beers.
31 Grand’ Place (tel: 03  28 42 43 02). Closed Tues & Wed (on Mon & Thurs it is open as a bar only).

 

Photograph from restaurant website

 No picture available

HONDSCHOOTE
La Xavière

Good food in stylish setting near the ancient town hall of this little Flemish town. Menus around 20€. 1 Place du General de Gaulle (tel: 03 28 62 61 04). Closed Mon.

 




 

LA MOTTE-AU-BOIS
Auberge de la Forêt

This 2-star Logis hotel, in a village just south of Hazebrouck, has a smart
dining-room and sophisticated cooking.




 

Photograph from hotel website

 

AREA 2:   CALAIS, BOULOGNE, ST-OMER & WORLD WAR II


 

Photograph from restaurant website

BOULOGNE-SUR-MER
La Poivrière
Small, popular restaurant in the heart of Boulogne’s ancient upper town. Good selection of fish. Menus 14.50€ (this one offers many ways with mussels)-27€. 15 Rue de Lille (tel: 03 21 80 18 18). Closed Tues & Wed.

 

 

 

CLAIRMARAIS
 Hotel du Romelaere

The restaurant of this waterside, 2-star hotel in the Audomarois marshes,
near St-Omer serves good local dishes such as planches (like a ploughman’s).
Menus
from 16€.
Chemin du Gd St-Bernard
(tel: 03 21 38 95 95). Closed Sun evg
.

 

Photograph from hotel website

 

 

 

 

 

Photograph from restaurant  website

LANDRETHUN-LES-ARDRES
 Au Flot de Yeuse

A rural estaminet in a small village near Ardres. Menu features traditional dishes such as potjefleesch and carbonnade. You can also rent a donkey to accompany you on a hiking trip, or sleep over in a gypsy caravan.
MARY WRITES:
The owner is charming; the food simple, but delicious. The coq au vin was one of the best I have ever had, and the chips were fresh!  There is a log fire and old-fashioned pub games you can play while waiting for the food to arrive. It's pretty hard to find at night though.....
90 Rue des Jonquilles (sat-nav users should programme “Impasse des Carrières”), Yeuse, nr Landrethun-lès-Ardres, 5km S of Ardres (tel: 03 21 35 07 93). Open Fri evg, Sat, & Sun evg; reservation essential

. 

 



MARQUISE
 Le Grand Cerf

Traditional coaching inn in the centre of this little market town, with a stone bench outside on which 19th-century French novelist Victor Hugo is said to have sat. Decor is a bit dated, but welcome from Stéphane Pruvot and his staff is delightfully friendly. Dishes on the traditional side; menus 24-39€.
34 Avenue Ferber (tel: 03 21 87 55 05). Closed Thurs & Sun evgs, & Mon.

 

Photograph © Angela Bird


Photograph from hotel  website

RECQUES-SUR-HEM
Château de Cocove

Good restaurant in this 3-star hotel in a tranquil parkland setting near Ardres.
Menus from 26€. Avenue de Cocove
(tel: 03 21 82 68 29).

 

 

 

 

 

 

AREA 3:   LE TOUQUET, MONTREUIL, HESDIN & THE SEVEN VALLEYS


 

 

 

 


Photograph from owner’s website

BERCK-SUR-MER
L’Impératrice
 
Excellent dining in the smart restaurant of this 2-star Logis hotel set in a side street a stone’s throw from the sea at the rather Blackpool-like resort south of Le Touquet. Delicious menus, around 26€. Booking essential.
43 Rue de la Division Leclerc/2 Rue de Rothschild (tel: 03 21 09 01 0). Closed  1-15 Mar &  10 Oct-30 Nov, plus Sun evg to Tues lunch inclusive.

 

 

 

 

MERLIMONT-PLAGE
Brasserie de la Plage
 
This shack-like beach bar/restaurant,
right on the sands, is the place
to enjoy the freshest of Dover sole and other fish. Menus 14.50€-19.50€.
Bvd de la Manche (tel: 03 21 94 67 53) 

Photograph © Angela Bird

 

 

Photograph © Angela Bird

MONTREUIL
Auberge de la Grenouillère  
Long-term favourite with British gastronomes, this low-ceilinged restaurant in a village outside the walls of Montreuil is the place to linger over inventive dishes created by brilliant young chef Alexandre Gauthier. Menus from 33€; à la carte main courses around 30€.
Booking essential. Rooms available for overnight stays. La Madelaine-sous-Montreuil (tel: 03 21 06 07 22).



 

 

 

MONTREUIL
Froggy's Tavern  
An in-town spin-off from Alexandre Gauthier’s Auberge de la Grenouillère (above), opened in 2007 by Gauthier, with William Elliott (of Le Touquet’s Hotel Westminster). Hearty grills served in a fairly minimalist setting, in a courtyard off Montreuil’s main square. Unusual features include roaring vertical-grill flames (very hot, if you sit next to them) and the serving of soups and dessert sauces from clip-top lemonade bottles. Two courses 18€; three for 24€. 51 bis Place du Général de Gaulle, 62170 Montreuil-sur-Mer (tel: 03 21 86 72 32).
Open
daily for lunch and dinner.

 

Photograph © Angela Bird

 

 

 

 

AREA 4:   AMIENS, CRÉCY AND THE WILDLIFE OF THE SOMME BAY


 

 



AMIENS
Bistrot du Boucher

Part of a nationwide franchise, this place – near Amiens wonderful cathedral - serves good-quality steak and other straightforward grills. 18 Rue Dusevel, 80000 Amiens (tel: 03 22 72 26 82). Open daily (inc Sun), lunch and evening.

 

 


 

Photograph from Chez Mado website


LE CROTOY
Chez Mado
 
An institution, almost on the seafront, near Les Tourelles hotel. This long-established restaurant-with-rooms is great on seafood. Weekday lunchtime menus from 16€. Then 21€-36€. Booking essential. 6 Quai Leonard, 80550 Le Crotoy (tel: 03 22 27 81 22). Open daily. 

 

 




 


LE CROTOY
noshoes café
 
This beach bar, north of the resort, is a lovely place for a drink or a snack, among the dunes. You can also book lessons in sand-yachting, rent bikes, or join guided walks and cycle rides. Hot soup in winter; ices and cold drinks in summer. Oyster bar and open-air evening meals (on prior reservation) in July & August. 22 Allée de la Grève, 80550 Le Crotoy (tel: 03 22 27 11 50). Open daily, all year.

 

 

Photograph from noshoes website


Photograph from hotel website

 


ST-RIQUIER
Jean de Bruges

Non-residents can drop in for a snack or a cup of tea in the conservatory of this
smart little hotel. It stands almost alongside the magnificent Gothic church in a picturesque village near Abbeville.
18 Place de l'Église (tel: 03 22 28 30 30).

 

 

 

 

 

AREA 5:  ARRAS, ALBERT & THE SOMME BATTLEFIELDS


 

 

 

ARRAS
La Rapière
Choose whether to eat out on the magnificent, arcaded Grand’Place (summer only) or indoors in the impressive 17th-century cellars. Good food, including such local specialities as flan au Maroilles (cheese tart), carbonnade de boeuf au pain d’épices (spiced beef stew in beer), and pavé au speculoos (steak with crumbs of biscuit), and friendly service; menus 16-33€. 44 Grand’ Place (tel: 03 21 22 24 28). Closed Sun evg and evening before public holidays.

 

 

 

Photograph © Angela Bird

Photograph © Angela Bird

 

ARRAS
Le Palerme
Good-value place on the Grand’Place, almost next door to the Rapière (above). Pizzas and grills on the menu;
open 7/7 lunchtime and evenings.
50 Grand’Place (tel: 03 21 58 53 84).

 

 

 

 


ARRAS
Bistrot du Boucher

Part of a nationwide franchise, this place – near Arras railway station - serves good-quality steak and other straightforward grills. Popular with businessmen at lunchtime.  6 Boulevard de Strasbourg (tel: 03 21 51 34 83). Open daily (inc Sun), lunch and evening.

 

 

 

 

AUCHONVILLERS
 Ocean Villas

Avril Williams’ café is a haven for visitors to the Somme battlefields. Just up the road from the Newfoundland memorial park of Beaumont-Hamel, it offers fish and chips, omelettes, chilli con carne and other warming dishes. 10 Rue de Lattre (tel: 03 22 76 23 66). Open daily

.

 

 

 

 

DOULLENS
Relais le Risquetout

This spruce transport café/brasserie stands on a right-angled bend, 2km or so west of Doullens. It is justifiably popular with the locals at lunchtime for its incredibly good-value three-course menus (12€ in 2008). Risquetout, on D925,
at junction with Auxi road D938
(tel: 03 22 77 06 79).

 

Photograph © Angela Bird

 

 

 

 

AREA 6:   LENS, BÉTHUNE, BATTLES OF THE ARTOIS, & THE MINING BASIN






Photograph © Angela Bird

 

BUSNES
Les Marronniers

Smart restaurant in a small brick farmhouse deep in the countryside north-east of Lillers. Interesting decorative flourishes to the table include quirky figures created from napkins, shallots and even eggshells. Delicious roast boar in winter. 343 rue de Busnettes (tel: 03 21 54 27 14). Closed evenings, except Sat.
 

 

 

 

BUSNES
Restaurant Marc Meurin

Michelin-starred menus at Marc Meurin’s grand, 4-star country-house hotel,
the Château de Beaulieu, set in peaceful gardens outside Lillers. Menus 95€
(four courses) and 120€ (five courses) [2008]. Closed Sat lunch. Simpler
 fare in the adjoining brasserie (below).
1098 Rue de Lillers, Busnes
(tel: 03 21 68 88 88).

 


Photograph from hotel website

 

 

Photograph © Angela Bird

BUSNES
Le Jardin d’Alice

Simpler brasserie-style “fusion” dishes are served in the conservatory and outdoor terrace at the back of the Château de Beaulieu (above). Here you can enjoy cool decor, smart service, and a delicious three-course lunch for 28€ (2008). Don’t miss a chance to visit the first-floor loos–approached along a corridor whose walls are hung with what appears to be organza. Open 7/7 (but closed Sun evg from 1 Nov to 1 Mar).
1098 Rue de Lillers, Busnes
(tel: 03 21 68 88 88).

 

 

 

 

BERMICOURT
La Cour de Rémi

Casual modern décor in a dining-room with floor-to-ceiling windows, and interesting menu (by Stéphane de la Borde) for this restaurant attached to a small hotel 10km north-west of St-Pol-sur-Ternoise. Menus from 17/28€. 1 Rue Baillet, Bermicourt, 9km NW of St-Pol-sur-Ternoise (tel: 03 21 03 33 33). Closed Sun evg & Mon.
Jan 2008: Chef Stéphane de La Borde has been nominated a “jeune talent”, or promising newcomer, in this year’s prestigious GaultMillau guide.

 

 

 

GONNEHEM
Estaminet le Sire Jérôme

Busy, fairly smart estaminet in an old presbytery, in the centre of a village NW of Béthune. Traditional dishes, and some pub games to play. Closed Mon & Wed. 18 La Place (tel: 03 21 61 21 64).

 


 

 

 

LENS
Bistrot du Boucher

Part of a nationwide franchise, this place serves good-quality steak and other straightforward grills. Popular with businessmen at lunchtime.  10 Place Jean-Jaurès, 62300 Lens (tel: 03 21 13 09 59. Open daily (inc Sun), lunch and evening.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NORTHERN FRANCE

|
index page |
|
accommodation | activities | beaches | bookshelf | calendar |
|
guidebook | guidebook update | history |
| introduction to Northern France |
links | markets |
| practical info |  restaurants |  tour operators  |   travelling from UK to Northern France |


| mail webmaster by returning to the bottom of the index page |