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overnight in Lyon (which I recommend), let me suggest a hotel. Cour des
Loges, once an abbey, is now a wonderful lodging. Aside from being very
comfortable (yes, there’s air-conditioning) and centrally located in
old Lyon, Cour des Loges has a fine restaurant. But the best part about
this hotel is the outstanding concierge service.
before we arrived in Paris, my mother was communicating with Monsieur
Gerard Ravet, head concierge and Clefs d’Or member at Cour des Loges.
Monsieur Ravet wanted to help her with everything. He wanted to know
the family’s interests, how long we would be staying, etc., so he could
create an itinerary for us that would maximize our stay in Lyon. When
we met him, he was just as nice as he sounded. Rarely have I met a
person so full of energy and passion about what he does. He genuinely
wants to help people discover Lyon, his home town.
settling into our room and returning to the lobby, Monsieur Ravet sat
down with us and outlined what he had planned for us: a visit to
Europe’s largest private rose garden, a chocolate tour, a tour of a
traditional silk weaving shop, a visit to the Basilica at Fourviere, a
day of antique shopping, a morning at a flea market, an art fair (held
every Sunday morning), and dinner at two of Lyon’s best restaurants.
(Restaurant reviews to follow in a later article.)
We set off
right away on the chocolate tour—not really a tour per se, but rather a
list of three fine chocolate shops that you can visit. All are on the
Cours Franklin Roosevelt, which makes it very easy to visit them
quickly. The first shop we visited, Bernachon, is a wonderfully old
fashioned place. They sell chocolate of a very high quality. Bernachon
doesn’t limit its wares to chocolate: it sells cakes, jellied fruit,
and nougat candy, too. Next door, the Bernachon candy shop sells more
chocolate, as well as the tearoom standards of pastries, ice cream and
a café crème.
A little further down the street is the second
store: Richart. In contrast to Bernachon, Richart is very contemporary.
All of the chocolates here, those for sale and those hanging on the
walls as art, appeal to your senses. They really are a treat for the
eye, because each piece of chocolate is covered with wild, interesting
designs. And, most importantly, they taste good.
The third shop
on the tour is Tortillier. This is probably the least impressive of the
three (and the staff isn‘t entirely pleasant), but it does sell some
good chocolate. I would hit this one last.
After we finished the
tour, we strolled (or should I say rolled?) to Atelier de Soierie, a
silk mill where you can observe traditional silk manufacturing. The
address is 33 Rue Romarin (telephone 78-29-59-73), but the store is
very hard to find—take a map with you. Inside we met Cedric Brochier,
whose family has owned the business for four generations. He very
kindly explained to us, in English, how silk scarves were colored. The
process is quite interesting, and not what you might expect. Upstairs,
a young lady demonstrated how cut velvet is hand colored. (It’s amazing
what the humble Q-tip can do.) After learning about silk and how it’s
colored, we bought some silk scarves at the small boutique on the
By the time we left the factory, it was getting
late. The sun had almost set, and the plane trees’ tall shadows
stretched out across the street paralleling the river. A cool breeze
was blowing, a nice contrast to the hot day that had just ended. I was
glad we were in Lyon. There was much more to do here than I had
expected, and I began to suspect that two days would not be enough time
to stay in this gem of a city.
Taylor Horton is a high school student who considers himself very fortunate to be writing for Bonjour Paris this summer.