Travel

A Weekend in Bruges – Part1

May 15, 2016

Bruges – the land of incredibly creamy chocolate, caramelised waffles and the amazing medieval architecture. With all those temptations, who wouldn’t want to spend a weekend in Bruges?

Weekend in Bruges - ChocolateWeekend in Bruges

After a hop, skip and a jump on the Eurostar, we found ourselves in Bruges over the long weekend in May. Just one hour outside of Brussels, this place has an enormous amount of charm!
Weekend in Bruges After an early start and a rather ho-hum breakfast at the train station, we went in search of some lunch!

First stop was in D’s Cafe which is a deli packed with every type of cheese, cured meat and Belgium specialty that you could imagine! Keen to try some traditional food, we let the owner put us together a selection of Belgian canapés.

Weekend in BrugesAlthough I know there was some salmon in jelly and duck pate, I’m not sure what else was in these tasty little morsels.

But that didn’t matter because the were delightful!

Weekend in BrugesEspecially this little guy – a crunchy sweet biscuit with some type of duck mousse on the inside (and I’m not even a fan of duck!).
Weekend in Bruges

Of course they had a huge range of wine and local spirits to wash down your delicious meal. I had a lovely crisp white with a roasted vegetarian stack slathered in hunks of tasty cheese!
Weekend in Bruges Weekend in BrugesWe could’ve stayed here all afternoon trying wines and chatting over a cheese platter but thought we better drop off our bags and check into our hotel.

Not far across the other side of town, we arrived at The Dukes Palace Hotel which was the former residence of the Burgundian aristocracy!

Weekend in Bruges - The Duke's Palace

Perfect for a Duke don’t you think?

The rooms also had retained some of their 15th Century elegance but with a modern twist of course (nescafe coffee machine and a double shower head)!

Weekend in Bruges - The Duke's Palace Weekend in Bruges - The Duke's Palace

Down the beautiful stairwell we went in search of the garden.Weekend in Bruges - The Duke's Palace

Weekend in Bruges - The Duke's PalaceAnd ran into a friend…

Mr TUQ was chuffed because his parents have a little toy poodle at home called Lily. This poodle was about 400x the size of Lily but he still went in for a big cuddle!

Weekend in Bruges - The Duke's Palace

After a quick roam around the garden we went back out to explore Bruges.

We headed down the cobblestone streets and found ourselves in the heart of the city, known as Markt square.
Weekend in Bruges - Markt SquareBuzzing with people, the Markt square has a mix of traditional Flemish style houses and medieval style architecture.

Whilst the colourful gabled buildings were beautiful, I think the intricate medieval architecture really stole the show!

Weekend in Bruges - Markt Square

In the Markt square you can’t miss the Belfry Tower because it literally towers the square. At a whopping 122m (400ft) tall and with over 47 bells inside, it can be seen and heard from most of Bruges.

Weekend in Bruges - Markt SquareJust a short walk from the Markt Square we headed to the touristy Frites Museum to learn about the good old potato chip!

Despite people thinking fries might be French or American, the Belgian’s claim that they invented the fry!

Weekend in Bruges - Frites MuseumA few other potato facts we learnt along the way were:

* Despite their bad reputation, potatoes have half the calories of the same portion of rice and spaghetti (obviously when not fried!)

* Potatoes are a natural first aid remedy for heartburn, light burns and bags under your eyes.

* The largest potato was found in Britain weighing 4,99kg (11lbs) – that’s one big chip!
Weekend in Bruges - Frites MuseumBut of course, my favourite part of the frites museum was getting into the frites parlour. Frites anyone? Double fried of course!Weekend in Bruges - Frites Museum And also pummelled the kids out of the way to get in the kids frites parlour too! Weekend in Bruges - Frites MuseumRegardless of whether they did or didn’t event the the fry, the frites in Bruges were seriously good!

The little green carts in the Markt square serve up boxes of piping hot frites. Crunchy on the outside and fluffy in the middle. With a large slathering of mayonnaise of course.

Mayo doesn’t really do a whole lot for me, but Mr TUQ thought it was heavenly!

Weekend in Bruges - Frites Museum

Following our frites, we went in search of the next Belgium food staple – chocolate!

We stopped in at Dumon Chocolatier which is renowned for being one of the best chocolatier’s in Bruges.

Weekend in Bruges - Dumon ChocolatierA tiny shop below street level, Dumon has chocolates in every shape and size.

Weekend in Bruges - Dumon Chocolatier

But the difference to any other chocolate I’ve tried is that every mouthful of this chocolate makes you weak at the knees!

I wanted to go pop all of these glossy chocolates into my mouth, however we settled on a small stash knowing we would be back for more!

Weekend in Bruges - Dumon ChocolatierMr TUQ still believes that Swiss chocolate is his favourite, but I think the Belgium chocolate has taken number one spot for me!

With chocolates in hand, we kept meandering around the streets, enjoying all the beautiful homewares, food and flower shops.
Weekend in Bruges Weekend in Bruges

Weekend in Bruges

On our travels, we smelt caramelised waffles wafting down the street. We followed our noses and arrived at a waffle shop called Oyya.

Bruges - Oyya-3

Whilst we were anything but hungry, we thought it would be rude not to try a Belgium waffle.
Caramelised sugar waffles with ice-cream on top and a good drizzle of Belgium chocolate – oh my!
Bruges - OyyaA diabetic’s worst nightmare but I thought we’d hit the jackpot!

I have never ever tasted a waffle so delightful! I practically licked all the chocolate off cardboard because they were so, so good!Bruges - Oyya-4

Following our waffle extravaganza, it was no surprise that I stumbled back to the hotel and I feel into a deep sugar coma (my reduced sugar intake was clearly on hiatus!).

A few hours later once the sugar had worn off, we headed out for a stroll before dinner.

At dusk, Bruges is even more charming with the evening light dazzling on top of the buildings!

Weekend in Bruges We walked past the canals which run throughout the city and I felt like I was in a fairytale.

Weekend in Bruges If I was Princess Jinny then this would be my turret where I’d spend the afternoon reading books!Weekend in Bruges

This would be my bridge where I could sit and wave to the people of the town…Weekend in Bruges Weekend in Bruges And this is where I would live!
Weekend in Bruges

Cute!

Once I’d stopped imaging ‘Princess Jinny land’, we ducked into Bistro Refter for some dinner.

A modern offshoot to it’s Michelin star brother, the food at Refter was on point!

Weekend in Bruges - Bistro RefterWe tucked into the most delicious salmon mousse I’ve ever tried (I think it was all that creamy Bruge butter!).
Weekend in Bruges - Bistro RefterFollowed by some cured salmon with fennel. The translation was a little lost of how it was cured but to me it tasted like my favourite Gourmet Traveller gin cured trout recipe!
Weekend in Bruges - Bistro RefterTo continue with the seafood theme, my main was a sweet and flakey flat fish smothered in butter. With a side of frites of course!
Weekend in Bruges - Bistro RefterA word to the wise – whilst the food here is incredible, the service is extremely slow!

Ensure you don’t go hungry and stock up on drinks as soon as you arrive. The food is worth it though!
Weekend in Bruges - Bistro Refter

Having consumed enough food to last us a lifetime, we rolled ourselves back to the Dukes Palace and tucked ourselves into our regal beds.

Weekend in Bruges - The Dukes PalaceWith Day 1 down, we dreamt of chocolate and waffles and had a wonderful little sleep!

Day 2 and 3 of our weekend in Bruges will be arriving soon! They’ll be some cycling in the Bruges countryside, climbing 360 steps to the top of the Belfry and a trip to the chocolate museum (because we didn’t get enough chocolate on Day 1!).

Keep your fries peeled!

 

You Might Also Like