The ECSSC conference will be held just after the “grande braderie de Lille” (31st of August to 1st of September, see here for more information: https://en.lilletourism.com/lille-flea-market-1.html). This annual event is one of the highlights of the local tradition and usually drags a huge crowd from all across Europe. Therefore should you wish to discover the special atmosphere of the city during this week-end of celebration, we strongly recommend to book your accommodation as early as possible. Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer the negotiated hotel room prices during the “braderie”.
A bit of History…
Morel & Fils is a café/restaurant since 2003 only. Originally, this place was a hosiery: a business of linen, sheets and fabrics. After the Second World War, the Morel family reoriented towards the sale of socks, tights and stockings and finally widen the range with the sale of fine lingerie and pyjamas.
On the Morel descendants decided to break with tradition and turned this place into a café by keeping nevertheless the famous gold mill of the facade which commemorates the victory of Valmy (1792) against the Prussian troops.
It is this same battle, and more precisely the siege of Lille, that commemorates the balls embedded in the bricks of the facades of the rank of Beauregard (the row of houses in the theater next to the Old Stock Exchange). Even if some like to believe that it is the real shots fired by the guns of Albert of Saxony it is nothing since they are made of iron and were placed there a few years later by the owners of houses.
On the occasion of the renovation of the rank of Beauregard in 1997, one of these balls was painted in pink to suggest a breast, by the previous owner. As Jules Morel explains in an article in La Voix du Nord: “Before dismantling the scaffolding, my father put a wine stopper on one of the balls, it was
like putting a nipple on a breast” finding the appropriate joke considering the old function of the place, it was adopted.
The entire neighborhood (Beauregard) is registered on the list of classified monuments since 1966. The café/restaurant Morel et Fils is part of it, so its facade and roof are protected.
Little story: the lower room was used as a location for the shooting of « bienvenue chez les Ch’tis » when Kad Merad, the main character of the movie, learns the local dialect (le Ch’ti), one of the memorable moments of the movie. You will recognize the wooden staircase leading to the first floor.