If there is one dish that unites all corners of the globe, it has to be soup. La Louche d’Or – or the Golden Ladle – festival, which is being held on the streets of Wazemmes, Lille, on May 1st 2012, follows that spirit and invites the world to come and join in.
This festival has been running since 1984, and it now draws a large crowd of around 80,000 – rest assured, they’re not all in line for soup.
The Golden Ladle Soup festival isn’t just about the food, it’s a street party with local bands and artists travelling from across the globe. Audience participation is a must: not only can you go and whip up your own favourite soup recipes for the crowd, but you can also perform as well.
There’s a general party atmosphere, as the festival lasts for the entire day and well in to the night. The variety of dishes available will really broaden your palate and expert soup chefs will happily trade tips and give you some help if you show an interest in how (just an example) to make a hearty, German-style lentil and sausage soup.
Lille is in the North of France, so your journey from Calais will be a brief one. It’s filled with things to see, like the Palais de Beaux Arts, whose collection of masterpieces was first instigated by Napoleon. It boasts to be the second best art collection in France, and it contains statues, paintings and prints dating back to the Middle Ages as well as displays from Renaissance masters.
It is also a city of great character: from quaint narrow cobble streets to mammoth heralds like the Place du Generale de Gaulle, Lille is a city built for exploration. Once you’ve had your fill of soup, you can amble through the market squares or luxuriate at one of the sun-drenched cafes or bars.
Lille is just a short drive from Calais, all the soup you can imagine is just across the channel and P&O Ferries have a frequent which will get you to La Louche d’Or
Image credit: crd!