Le Lieu Unique

Top choice theatre in Nantes

Within the one-time LU biscuit factory (crowned by an iconic angel-sculpted, domed tower, which you can ascend for €2), this industrial-chic lieu unique (unique place) is a cutting-edge venue for dance, theatre, art exhibitions and a mixed bag of live music. Its cafe-bar, with great music and laid-back vibe, is laptop central during the day. Deckchairs lounge by the water in summer.

In the basement the decadent Oreintal spa complex Zeïn (http://nantes.zeinorientalspa.fr) – with dedicated hammam sessions for men, women and families – tops off the edgy ensemble.

From the quayside, walk around the building onto rue de la Biscuiterie to admire Le Grenier du Siècle, a treasure trove of tin boxes built into the wall. The tins, sealed on 31 December 1999, contain 12,000 different objects contributed by the city's inhabitants in a nod to local history. They will only be opened on 1 January 2100.