Maybe I’m living under a rock, but why don’t people talk about Bruges more?!
Considering how infrequently I’ve heard anyone talk about the wonder that is Bruges, me thinks it’s under the radar, but really, it should’t be.
First, let me back up.
48 hours in Belgium kicked off with 16 hours in Brussels. I visited the city eight years ago, didn’t like it then, don’t like it much now (except the beautiful Grand Place).
Friday night’s dinner at Amadeus was a really nice surprise. Although a local friend of a friend had recommended it, the restaurant is technically an ‘all you can eat’ rib joint, so my expectations weren’t high. I was happy to be wrong and take pride in the fact that I was the last one still eating at the end of the meal.
Following dinner we taste tested the local beer and strolled around the Grand Place, the main square, which, when lit up at night, is simply stunning.
Saturday morning we explored a bit more, but kept finding ourselves back at the Grand Place.
Or taste testing waffles because, you know, when in Belgium…
At noon we hopped on the hour train north west to Bruges.
The town welcomed us with cloudy skies and rain, but I didn’t mind one bit because I was in storybook heaven.
When my friend Ashley recently visited Bruges, she raved about it, referring to it as the real life version of the Beauty and the Beast town.
I can’t think of a more accurate description (in fact, I kept singing this song as I wandered the streets.)
I’m assuming Brothers Grimm spent most their time here while brainstorming their fairytales.
Bruges now sits toward the top of my favorites list as one of the sweetest place have ever visited, a Flemish town completely suspended in time that preserves its early heritage tremendously well.
First things first - we loaded up on Belgian mussels, fries, and beer at a cavernous underground cafe De Bierbistrto.
And then spent the afternoon doing what we do best…
Exploring and taste testing more waffles.
After spending the entire day on our feet getting lost on side streets and canals, it was nice to curl up with loads of red wine in front of a fire place and taste even more local food (for me, meatballs in a pear sauce) at Maria van Bourgondie, a restaurant we found simply by passing by away from the center of town. I 100% highly recommend it.
Sunday thankfully brought with it blue skies and pure sunshine.
We found a picture perfect cafe, again out of a storybook, Patisserie Servaas Van Mullem, where I devoured the most decadent vanilla bean custard pastry.
Just take a moment and to observe this thing of beauty.
Then it was time to further explore the perfectly preserved medieval town, some of us by boat, some of us by bike. I became utterly lost in the city because it really feels as if nothing has changed since the 16th century.
At 6pm we jumped back on Eurostar and returned to London.
Total Flemish win.
Currently back in London trying to catch up on my zzz’s and prepare for this weekend’s voyage…..Denmark and Norway!