Limoges is the nearest city to my little hometown in France so after doing other travel guides on this blog, which I love doing, I decided it was about time after all these years of visiting, to finally talk about Limoges! I often came here with friends on Wednesdays, when we had the day off school. We would go shopping for the day to forget about school stresses, get a bite to eat, maybe go to the cinema and often went here on weekends for a night out. Here are some of my top recommendations - I hope you find them useful and one day you'll get the chance to visit! *Disclaimer: in these photos it may look like Limoges is not busy, but this was on a Friday after lunch when people are back at school/work, so the streets can look quite empty, however it isn't normally this quiet!*
Limoges Bénédictins train station
Though it may seem like quite a random place to suggest visiting - the Bénédictins station in Limoges is renowned for being the most beautiful train station in all of Europe. In fact, it's so special that the exterior was even featured in the Chanel No.5 perfume advert featuring the beautiful Audrey Tautou (watch it here). I've visited this station many times, sometimes running to catch my train, not quite in the fleeting manner of Audrey but a slightly more sweaty and flustered version... that said, every time I visit I can't help but stop (if I have the time) and awe at this impressive architecture, it never fails to make my eyes smile.
This is one of my favourite places in Limoges to sit and watch the woooorld go by, enjoy a drink or food, go to the cinema or meet friends. It has a great atmosphere during the day but comes alive at night with people sitting out on the restaurant terraces till the late hours.
There's a selection of really good restaurants in this area, a favourite being Le Glacier, however my family and I had already been twice in the past two months so me and my sister, on our lil lunch date, decided to make a change and visit Le Paris instead. We went just after lunch time so it wasn't so busy. I ordered a goats cheese salad and my sister a caesar salad. Both were very generous portions and delicious, we were filled up with no need for dessert.
This chocolaterie turned coffee shop/boulangerie/patisserie is a right little gem in the centre of Limoges. The shop offers breakfast dishes and American brunches from pancakes and bacon, ice cream, cakes, bagels with smoked salmon and eggs to donuts and more. Ran by an American himself, this place brings some authentic and delicious cuisine to Limoges. Check out the Facebook page here!
More cakes and sugary things! It's not just the British who enjoy a cup of tea and a cake - the French are real tea 'Jennys' too. If you have a sweet tooth then you will loooove this place. The French take pride in their patisseries from the presentation to the taste and aim for perfection in both! You can also get lunch food here as well and sit out on their small terrace in the sunshine. Check out the Facebook page here.
Though you can find these places in other large cities, I thought it would be worth mentioning that Limoges has many popular high street brands too. There is a large Galaries Lafayettes, a Pimkie, Undiz, Kiko Cosmetics, Kookai and more along the Rue du Clocher. Parallel to these shops there is also a Zara, Sephora and The Kooples. A 2 minute walk from these you can also find a Mango, Burton and Fnac - so it's safe to say Limoges is a good 'un for shopping.
I love wandering down little streets because you can often find some great hidden gems. Just off the side of Rue du Clocher is Undersounds, a record store boasting vinyls, cd's, fanzines, books, badges, patches and band t-shirts. It's a great little shop for secondhand vinyl at affordable prices. Check out their website here!
I spent the day wandering the city for this guide to find places I thought were unique and special to Limoges so when I walked past this tea shop, I knew it would be perfect to mention! As previously mentioned, French are pretty big on the whole tea thing too. Le Comptoir du Thé has a huge selection of teas to choose from - I didn't even know that many kinds of tea existed! They provide loose teas of different brands as well as lots of different accessories that every tea addict needs. Both shop assistants were so lovely and were happy to give me lots of information about the shop. They told me that there is a 2nd shop in the city and will be a 3rd business very soon. It will include a salon du thé where you can actually sit and sample the different teas along with - caaaaake! Keep up to date via their website here.
Every second Sunday of the month, there is a huge flea market in the areas mentioned above in Limoges which is well worth visiting. I've been a few times myself and it's a great day out (for all the family! lol) to find some vintage goodies whether that's something for your home or something to wear. You can get hot crepes and churros too or grab some lunch from the merguez stands. Yuuum.
A little bookshop in the middle of Limoges filled with old and new books. Travel books, books about Limoges and the Limousin region, France and more. It kind of reminds me of the really old shop Harry goes to buy his wand for Hogwarts.
Rue de la Cité: there is also a few restaurants such as an Indian and a Creperie as well as a traditional Irish bar. Similar to Place Denis-Dussoubs, this area has a fantastic atmosphere and is the perfect place to sit out for a drink with friends in the evening.
|Just round the corner from all the restaurants is Limoges' cathedral. I entered for the first time ever for this guide and was so taken aback by the building - it's really incredible and so worth having a wander around!|
It's so great to see new shops opening (new to me anyway, I haven't seen Limoges since April), giving cities a refresh and the opportunity for an exciting new business! Whilst wandering (as always) I came across Blue Monday, another record store! The store has a lovely fresh, clean interior drawing all the intention to the bright vinyl sleeves and an amazing shiny red vintage jukebox at the back of the shop. Blue Monday also sells cd's, dvd's and books - old and new - a great find! Check out their Facebook here!
Enter, if you dare...the smell of cheese is ahem, rather overpowering. However, if you love your cheese, then there's no better place to go than here for it. The shop will soon have been open for a whopping 100 years so it's definitely one of Limoges' oldest treasures.
A lovely find in Limoges is this gorgeous little delicatessen where you can dine in the afternoon outdoors or indoors at the back of the shop. Throughout the year, the delicatessen holds exhibitions of artists and painters to promote the local talent. Check out their Facebook here for more information and buy their produce online here.
I was recommended to visit this place from the tea shop (merci!) - Depuis des Lustres is a beautiful home interiors store specialising in, ya guessed it, lighting. It's so well displayed which makes for great photo opportunities and it's the ideal place to snap up something for your home. Check out their website here.
"The Adrien Dubouché National Museum displays the largest public collection of Limoges porcelain in the world, plus works representing all the key stages in the history of ceramics, from Antiquity to the present day, a total of 18,000 works of which 5,000 are currently on display. The visit starts with the various steps involved in porcelain manufacture, then reveals the key moments in the history of ceramics, from Antiquity to the present day, and finishes with an exhibition of Limoges porcelain." The museum is beautiful and everything is so well presented and well kept - if you're interested in the works behind porcelain then this will be perfect for you! However, most information was not displayed in English so it would be worth asking at the desk if they have audio in other languages.
The best nights to go out are from Thursday to Saturday. As mentioned before, places like L'Irlandais and other bars in that area are ideal for a few drinks before heading out. For cocktails you can head to Place Denis-Dussoubs or L'Imaginarium. For beer, Brasserie Michard is a fave. My favourite place to go is the Lord John, and is a favourite amongst students and locals. For clubbing, The Times Club, L'Ambassade and Le Buckingham. If you're more into your live music, then the CCM John Lennon is a good shout. You can click on the names to be taken to the websites/Facebook pages!