Lyon’s modern centre runs from the Croix Rousse hill, the old 19th century centre of the silk trade, to where the two rivers converge. Here are grander streets, just as picturesque as the old town, but reminiscent of Paris with their curving, storm-grey roofs, wide squares and stone palaces and statues, triumphant monuments to civic pride. But while the banks of the Saone offer majestic views over the river, the real star of the area is the Rue Merciere, famous for a row of houses dating back to the Renaissance.
The real draw, however, is the street’s many bouchons; Lyonnaise restaurants unique to the city which serve local specialities, and pride themselves on their warm, informal atmosphere. Andouillette sausage- a pretty name for offal- coq au vin, quenelles of pike- the food is hearty, the wine flows, and the street is crammed with outdoor tables and chairs; as diners stop by every menu to see what they’re missing, waiters balance vast trays, weaving through the crowds, and queues wait patiently to be seated. As a place to eat, it’s unbeatable, but as a sightseeing experience, it works equally well. Nearby are museums, theatres, the town hall and several spectacular churches. But Lyon being the city it is, they pale somewhat beside a glowing pichet of red wine and a rare steak, eaten in the sun on the Rue Merciere.
In the Mood
The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Bocuse in Your Kitchen: Simple French Recipes for the Home Chef - Paul Bocuse
Bouchons : Brasseries & Restaurants Lyonnais [French] - Matthieu Flory.
The Unbearable Lightness Of Being- (partly filmed in Lyon)
The Essential Jean Michel Jarre (from Lyon)
Short Stories - Franck Avitabile (from Lyon)