21 February 2015

Things to do in Bruges

In this post I have collected some of my favourite places in Bruges for shopping, eating out or just visiting. Of course the canal sides and the architecture have to be the main attractions of this town. However, as I already posted some of such pictures in my first Bruges post, here are just random places that left me with a good feeling and I would be more than happy to return.

Olivier's Chocolate Shop & Bar, Sint-Amandsstraat 14 – It was quite difficult to decide where to get chocolates, as they are offered absolutely everywhere, but I wanted to get something special. Therefore I'm really happy that I stumbled upon this little shop close to the Markt, which only opened on Valentine's Day this year, but is already buzzing. The guy who was serving us, was really proud of the shop and said that his dad makes the chocolates and that they have been ever so busy since the opening. I hope that this shop becomes a real success story, as they make truly exquisite chocolates.

Ellis Gourmet Burger, Simon Stevinplein 14 – I seemed to be very unlucky with the veggie restaurants I had been planning to go to in beforehand. Unfortunately, they were closed when I could have gone there, but I didn't need to stay hungry in this place, as frietjes and kaaskroketten were good fillers at anytime. But then I also found the Ellis Gourmet Burger. Well, of course they also serve meat burgers, but they had quite a good veggie burger selection too. There was a portobello and goat's cheese burger and a soy classic burger on the regular menu. I went for the monthly special, the nutty red veggie, which is a savoury bell pepper, soy and pecan nut burger served with spinach, rocket, red onions, a lovely bun and lemon mayo. It was quite possibly the best veggie burger I've ever had! The place is quite busy, but it's worth the wait, if there is no table available straight away. 

Wednesday food market, Markt – I was happy enough to catch a day when the food market was on the Markt. You know how much I enjoy strolling through food markets, and this one was no exception. There were local cheeses, vegetables, bread and much more for sale, and I could have bought loads. Unfortunately my suitcase was filling fast, so I had to leave the veggies there.

Groeningemuseum, Dijver 12 – No matter where I go, I always have to visit a local art museum (and their shop!). The Groeningemuseum happens to be a lovely art museum with a good collection of Flemish art and well worth a visit. There I got to see yet another Magritte. In the shop I bought many art postcards and a hedgehog brooch, and learned that hedgehog is egel in Flemish.

Friet Museum, Vlamingstraat 33 – If you want to know everything about the history of the humble spud and its way into deep fried frietjes, this is the place to go. If you have children, this is a good place to visit, as they can get all hands on with the items there. 

Dille & Kamille, Simon Stevinplein 17-18 – Located pretty much next to Ellis Gourmet Burger is a kitchen and household shop Dille & Kamille. They have such beautiful household items for sale. I stayed strong however and only purchased a few quirky hedgehog pencils and stuff.  

Bottle shops – I'm not mentioning a particular bottle shop here, as there are many good options for buying beer in Bruges. We carried a few bottles back with us, and can now enjoy them at home. I couldn't resist the wooden Gouden Carolus box, which contained two large beer bottles and two glasses. The medieval imagery did it for me once again.

Getting there - I also wanted to add a section for getting to Bruges, as I find that the Eurostar offers such a wonderful service that no other travel options should be considered, at least when coming from England. The journey from St. Pancras station to Brussels is almost too quick to enjoy all the views and the scurrying through the tunnel. There is an excellent board restaurant, where you can have a warm mushroom risotto or a pizza margherita and drink wine. I do enjoy this form of transport a lot, and I'm already planning to book it again. The ticket contains a further travel to any station in Belgium, and the journey from Brussels Zuid to Bruges takes about one hour.

Have you been to Bruges or would you like to go? What are your favourite places?

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