15 October 2012

A weekend in Belgium (Brussels and Brugge)

I didn't intend for my first European trip since arriving in the UK to be somewhere I'd already been but it worked out well this weekend. Not to mention that i did see something new (Brugge), got to relive old memories from my flight attendant days and met a lovely girl who recently got in touch with me via my blog (it was lovely meeting you Laura!).

So what did i get up to? Well, there was chocolate, waffles, mussels, frites, more chocolate, waffles, pancakes, chocolate and chocolate...and of course some sight seeing too :)

Bruge, Brugge, Bruges or however you spell it is a lovely little town, and, as it wasn't peak season, it wasn't crammed full of tourists. I think its the place to go with that person you want to spend time away with but not get lost in sight seeing that you forget to enjoy each others company.
The afternoon i arrived, i took a walk behind the hotel along the canals. Climbing vines were changing colour and at sunset it was a beautiful sight - sadly none of my photos do it justice. The town is charming, squares pretty, and at night with it all lit up...romantic.

Brugge canal
Teeny chocolate shop

Brugge City Hall

Brugge Belfort and Square

The hotel i stayed at was Oud Huis de Peellaert and it was a lovely place to stay. Elegant and charming, yet simple. They piped in some quiet classical music on the room floors, had a lovely lounge area for relaxing and the breakfast room (and breakfast) was generous and very lovely. The oddest thing about the place was the number of armoires (wardrobes), cabinets and chests they had everywhere, reception, in hallways etc...i almost felt that if i could just get one armoire open, i could go through it to Narnia. They did provide recommendations for dinner but i ended up stopping at Dell' Arte. Great food, friendly and fast service and a nice vibe.

View from the room
Staircase with stained glass ceiling
Part of the breakfast room
Dell' Arte
Time in Brussels for me was surreal. I did fly there a number of times during my flight attendant days and it was such a blast of nostalgia. The highlight was meeting a lovely girl who has been reading my blog and having a chat over crepes and coffee. Laura, thank you so much for making the trip to Brussels, it was a pleasure meeting you. I hope your brother had a lovely birthday.

I stayed at the Marriott in Brussels (i booked through booking.com as it was a quarter of the walk-in rate) as the location was fantastic. It was minutes walk from Grote Markt/Grand Place and the people at reception were very nice and accommodating. One of them recommended a street for dinner that resulted in finding a cute little family run restaurant about 10 minutes walk from the hotel. The owner of Le Vistro was charming and chatted away talking about the family recipes used, the areas history (it used to be a fish market and the port reached just outside his doorstep), the Chimay beer and how the recipe was sold by the monks that used to make it but the cheese by the same name was still made by them (the cheese by the way has a very smooth and subtle flavour and is currently sitting in my fridge waiting to be eaten). And as you would expect...the food served was to die for. Very delicious.

Sunset in Brussels
Family run Le Vistro
Brussels Atomium

Next week I'm off to Rome! It'll be my first time in Italy and i cant wait!

Till then, happy travels!
Vanishing Point

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