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Lille City Cuide
Whether you decide on a Sunday-night tango with stranger in a Renaissance cloister, or order a bowl of onion soup at dawn, should you explore France's best art collection outside Paris or head for the discount designer stores of the legendary flea-markets, if you share a sandwich with artists in an old post office building or discover the Michelin-starred chefs of tomorrow, a decade since Lille was first chosen as European Capital of Culture the city has not stopped partying since. Just as the city continues to re-invent itself with ever more exciting places to eat, to explore to relax and to stay, so the latest edition of the award-winning Bradt Guide keeps up with the changes and continues to share the secrets of the past, present and future of a capital of Culture, of Flanders and of Life.


Award-winning author, classroom poet and playwright, Laurence Phillips has been escaping to France since boyhood and has written many and varied books on France and the French. Hailed by British critics as a witty and entertaining enthusiast; in France, his appreciation of long lunches and longer dinners was recognised when he was honoured as a member of the Commanderie du Fromage Saint-Nectaire and a Squire of the Confrérie des Sacres de la Champagne (although for the latter citation he was inscribed as 'Madame Laurence Phillips', which quite possibly makes him a Dame). 

The more enjoyable perks of being a high profile Francophile have included being co-opted as the token Shakespeare-loving Brit onto France's official heritage committee to decide the future of the Field of Agincourt upon St Crispin's Day. 

Recently, he followed Robert Louis Stevenson's Travel with a Donkey in the Cevennes - Laurence's companion piece to the classic, hailed by Times Online as the best read for your holiday in France, retracing the route for travellers with a donkey, a dog or a dodgy hip!

Three-times winner of the prestigious GuideBook of the Year prize from the British Guild of Travel Writers for his love letter to Marseillan & Languedoc and the Bradt city guides to Lille and the Eurostar cities, he combines wanderlust with a love of theatre as playwright and songwriter, and has written for the Royal Shakespeare Company. 

His stage work has clocked up more travel miles than the author, performed on four continents, from the West End to the South Pacific. He has also written plays for children and is author of the classroom favourite "Poetry is Boring".

Another book of verses has become part of the Passover seder night in many British homes. Crumbs from my Seder Plate is an affectionate humorous collection of poems in the style of AA Milne and Edward Lear that led one critic to declare "The sort of book that makes you want to hug your family!"

His has been a familiar voice on countless BBC radio travel and arts programmes with his very personal reflections on France and the French. 

Laurence is currently working on Rue Britannia, a satirical tale of a British enclave in France.

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