In Lyon, it’s all about the food. Forget sightseeing- to get a real feel for what the city’s all about, step into its restaurants. Lyon has more eateries per capita than any other city in the world. Here, people swap recipes over breakfast, quarrel about chefs at lunch and debate Michelin stars over dinner. From some of the best restaurants in France to the simplest bouchons, you’ll struggle to have a bad meal. And to walk off all that food, France’s second largest city has staggering beautiful Renaissance centre – so impressive that it was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1998. Its history dates from Roman times, but its wealth came from the silk industry and Lyon still thrives today as a couture centre. Only in France could the concepts of high fashion and high calories marry so well.
The Presqu’île, wedged between the Rhône and Sâone rivers, is the centre of the city, focused on smart Bellecour (at the centre of which is the vast place Bellecour) and Perrache, the area around the main train station. Just south of here is the Musée des Tissus, a highlight and an excellent introduction to the city’s status as a silk capital. To the north is the Musée des Beaux- Arts and the area of La Croix-Rousse, once home to silk weavers and becoming a fashionable hot spot today, while to the east, on the other side of the Rhône, is the modern and commercial part of town. Sights here include the Centre d’Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation, L’institut Lumière and the Musée d’Art Contemporain. On the western banks of the Sâone is Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon), the Renaissance centre of the old town, the most atmospheric part of the city and the reason that Lyon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, the cobbled lanes creep up towards Fourvière, the hill upon which the Romans founded Lugdunum, which went on to become the most important city in Gaul. For an excellent overview of the city’s layout, head to the terrace of the basilica at the top of Fourvière which offers panoramic views over Lyon.
Lyon would be a great choice for you and your chosen Escort Lady to spend some cosy time together and enjoy high-class French cuisine. Start your day with a breakfast at Le pain Quotidien, a trendy Belgian chain serving delicious breads, pastries and yoghurts, as well as their decadent trademark home-made chocolate spread. To spend some time at the fresh air, walk together with your beautiful Escort Girl along the rivers or visit the famous impressive Renaissance Heritage. Indulge yourselfs with great meals at lunch and dinner cooked by celebrated chefs. Top of the pile is legendary Paul Bocuse, with no less than three Michelin stars, the inventor of nouvelle cuisine and today reigning supreme over five restaurants. Other kings of the kitchen include Pierre Orsi ( the French swoon over his foie gras ravioli) and Jean-Paul Lacombe, although new chefs such as Nicolas le Bec are snapping at their heels. Make an after-dinner walk to the streets of the Old Town. Around place Bertras you’ll come across a wide choice of bars and late-night cafés. The up-and-coming area of Croix Rousse is also increasingly popular, with trendy bars and pubs. More sedate, but no less popular is the excellent Opéra National de Lyon. Housed in an 18th-century building on place de la Comédie, it has a changing programme, with good-value last-minute tickets available on the actual day of performance. After an unhurried day you can back out with your attractive Escort Lady to the Grand Hotel and arrange the night as you both want to.