On the road again - destination the Alsace-Lorraine region of France, first stop Nancy. Half-way there we stopped for a lunch of, what else? , Quiche Lorraine at a small bakery in Baccarat, home to the beautiful crystal. Once in Nancy we settled into our “Chambre pour 2 dans maison proche centre ville” before taking a walk into Old Town. At the recommendation of our AirBnB host Romain, we stopped into the Excelsior Brasserie - a registered Art Nouveau Historic Monument - for a Kir Royale.
Of course, we visited the lively "Feast of St. Nicholas" Christmas Market where the sound of the carousel, the scent of spiced “Vin Chaud” (French version of mulled wine), and the unseasonably warm evening kept us wandering. We stopped at a stand offering three varieties of raw oysters and foie gras, which we paired with a local red wine.
The next day we clocked 24,818 steps exploring Nancy - especially Place Stanislas and Place de la Carrière - UNESCO World Heritage Sites. (Stanislas was the Polish father-in-law of King Louis XV, who gifted him Nancy as the capital of the Duchy of Lorraine.) For lunch we found a tiny patisserie that served up delicious versions of the local specialties, Pâté Lorraine (a savory meat-filled puff pastry) and Quiche Lorraine. We were back in the evening to see the Christmas lights and had an aperitif of smoked salmon and foie gras with a local red wine at Brasserie Jean Lamour right on Place Stanislas.
On our final day in Nancy we visited the unique Musée de l'École de Nancy - the “Nancy School” was an Art Nouveau movement founded in 1901. The museum is a former villa with rooms decorated with the most amazing furniture and decorative arts of the period. We followed that up with the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy, a classic fine arts museum with a very large collection of Art Nouveau/Art Deco glasswork from Nancy’s Daum crystal studio displayed in the basement amid the archaeological remains of ancient fortifications.
We finished our visit to Nancy with a classic Alcace, locals-only, prix fixe lunch at “La Marianne”. Nancy's main course was a Whitefish Brandade and Richard's a Venison Stew...yum.
Only 90 minutes from Paris on the non-stop high-speed train (versus 4 hours by car), Nancy is definitely worth a day trip to immerse yourself in Art Nouveau and the specialties of Lorraine.
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Nancy McCabe &