24 hours at the InterContinental Lyon Hôtel-Dieu

Restaurants, shops and now a hotel. The Hôtel-Dieu, in Lyon, is the perfect place for a stay combining gastronomy and heritage. France.fr has set up shop at the InterContinental Lyon Hôtel-Dieu... Until the Cité de la Gastronomie opens next autumn.

16:00: A masterful welcome

As soon as you enter the building, you are struck by the architecture of this former hospital, which has cultivated a tradition of hospitality since the Middle Ages. This feeling is reinforced as you step under the dome and its 32-metre high keystone, designed by the architect Jacques-Germain Soufflot, who is also responsible for the Pantheon in Paris. What a welcome!

5 p.m: View from all floors

We opt for a Duplex suite, emblematic of the establishment and its architecture. Their originality? You enter on the first floor, before going down to the bedroom. Large bay windows on both levels allow you to enjoy the view of the Rhône and the city of Lyon which stretches out at your feet. As for the decor, the discreet luxury recalls the building's monastic past.

7 p.m.: Work up an appetite at the Dôme

At the Dôme, the hotel's bar, you never tire of admiring the dome, its balconies and colonnades. You can work up an appetite by sharing a cervelle de canut, a typical Lyon dish made with fromage blanc and aromatic herbs. On the menu, the original cocktails use Lyon's specialities such as the pink praline found in the eponymous creation, Le Dôme.

8 p.m : À table!

You are seated in the bright room of the Epona restaurant, which runs along the imposing façade of the building. With its stone floor, wooden ceiling and plastered walls, the place has preserved the architectural finishes of the site. You can enjoy the classic Lyon dishes revisited by the chef Mathieu Charrois, who can be seen in the glassed-in kitchen that opens onto the room. We opt for the K'nelle, a crunchy reinterpretation of the famous Lyonnaise quenelle. Unless one prefers the frog legs served with pig's feet and a thyme emulsion. Impossible to leave the table without tasting the pink praline tart or the Dôme - again! -a crunchy and melting dark chocolate creation.

10 p.m : Cool off along the quayside

We take advantage of the central location of the Hôtel-Dieu, on the Presqu'île, between the Rhône and the Saône, to offer ourselves a night stroll in the city renowned for its lighting and the staging of its monuments. Start with the colossal façade of the Hôtel-Dieu, 360 metres long and topped by Soufflot's famous dome. Place des Jacobins, Théâtre des Célestins, Place Bellecour... We push on to the quays of Saône to admire the Palais de Justice and its colonnaded facade as well as the Fourvière basilica which overhangs it.

9 a.m.: A gentle wake-up call

After discovering Lyon by night the night before, you can enjoy the view of the Rhône from your room while having a gourmet breakfast. A gentle break is followed by a visit to the Le Tigre spa, located in the Hôtel-Dieu, which offers a special welcome to the hotel's guests, including access to the sauna and hammam. For total relaxation, opt for a yoga class, a facial or a massage. Relaxation guaranteed!

Le Tigre Lyon (External link)

1pm: All on the terrace

While the sun is at its peak, you can relax on the terrace of the Epona restaurant. With its cloister-like setting, it promises a serene but far from monastic lunch! Just like the day before, it is difficult to choose between the Salade Epona, a reinterpretation of the Lyon salad with its perfect egg, and the Belle de Lyon which combines tomatoes, Côtes-du-Rhône and Saint-Marcellin. If the strawberry ice cream soup seems to be just the thing to end this meal on a light note, we admit that we find it hard to resist the Chartreuse ice cream parfait and the praline tart!

3 p.m.: Gourmet and historical stroll through the Hôtel-Dieu

We stroll in the shade of the corridors of the Grand Hôtel-Dieu in search of a small gourmet souvenir to slip into our suitcases. It's a safe bet that you'll find what you're looking for at the Halles du Grand Hôtel-Dieu, which brings together nine of Lyon's great gastronomic houses. Want to know more about the history of the place? Follow one of the tours offered on the mobile application. As the afternoon draws to a close, it is already time to continue the journey. But we promise to come back in a few months to visit the Cité de la Gastronomie which is due to open in the autumn.

Halles du Grand Hôtel-Dieu (External link)