Metz has scores of appetising restaurants, many along and near the river. Place St-Jacques becomes one giant open-air cafe when the sun’s out. Cobbled rue Taison and the arcades of place St-Louis shelter moderately priced bistros, pizzerias and cafes.

Don't Miss: Go to Market

If only every market were like Metz’ grand Marché Couvert. Once a bishop’s palace, now a temple to fresh local produce, this is the kind of place where you pop in for a baguette and struggle out an hour later with bags overflowing with charcuterie, ripe fruit, pastries and five different sorts of fromage.

Make a morning of it, stopping for an early, inexpensive lunch and a chat with the market’s larger-than-life characters. Chez Mauricette tempts with such Lorraine goodies as herby saucisson, local charcuterie and mirabelle (plum) pâté. Its neighbour, Soupes á Soups, ladles out homemade soups, from mussel to creamy mushroom varieties.