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Trip Report August 2011

London, United...
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Trip Report August 2011

I've spent a few days in Bruges and was quite sad too leave as it is a beautiful city. I didn't see everything, but didn't try as I really wanted to take my time and soak up the atmosphere. Plus there are so many distractions. My camera was put to good use.

There is a very laid back, leisurely feel to the place. Unless you're a cyclist, who always seem to be in a rush. They come out of nowhere and many don't seem to realise what a bell is for.

Navigating through the streets is initially confusing but after a while it starts to make sense.

I arrived on Tuesday afternoon and made my way through the busy high street to the Market and onto the Burg where I was staying at the Crowne Plaza Brugge. A little out of place in the historic square, it was very nice with a spacious room, ensuite bathroom and flat screen TV with pay movies. I didn't eat there because it was very expensive.

After settling in I went out to have dinner and chose Cambrinus because of the good reviews I'd read on Tripadvisor and it's proximty to the hotel.

I think I was lucky to get in as there seemed to be a lot of reserved tables. I was given the menu which was the size of a novel, and gave up reading all the beers available, choosing one called Wattau. The food was wonderful, with big hearty portions. I had the Flemish Onion soup and chcken with mushrooms and tomatoes.

Afterwards I went for a long walk around town and reached the windmills. This part was very peaceful and tranquil.

On Wednesday I was out at 7am looking for breakfast and found it at a fantastic place called Patisserie Prestige on Vlamingstraat which criminally doesn't seem to be listed on Tripadvisor. I was greeted by two friendly girls and had the continental for 12 euros (Crowne Plaza wanted 23 euros). Amazing pastries! I came back every morning.

I took some photos in the Burg and Market for a while, then went to the Belfry. I was charged 8 euros which I thought was a lot, but the view at the top was breathtaking. It had been raining so the red rooves contrasted with a fine mist a little further away.

I went for a walk about town and had lunch at De Zevende Hemel . I was a little concerned that it may be a tourist trap, but even if it was, the food was lovely. I had the hot bacon salad, a large portion (a continuing trrend in Bruges it seems) presented with a smile by the sweet waitress. Afterwards I visited the Beguinage. In the afternoon I went walking and shopping and had a boat ride through the canals. Late afternoon I visited Carpe Diem and had waffles with ice cream and chocolate. Delicious.

After more photography and shopping (chocolates and beer of course) I headed back to the hotel to change and then went for dinner at In Den Wittencop, a very nice little restaurant. I had the set menu of Prawns in curry sauce, duck perfumed in lavender and poached pear. The duck was actually a little tough, but had a lot of flavour and was beautifully presented, a quality in common with whereever I ate. After an evening walk i had a beer at the hotel bar.

Thursday after breakfast, I started with some more photography of the Burg, well I tried, but didn't take into account the delivery trucks parked outside. I went to the Basillica of Holy Blood and marveled at the interiors, and then did a brewery tour at De Halve Maan which was quite interesting.

I went on to have lunch at Salade Folle whivh was the one let down. I chose the macaroni carbonara which wasn't very pleasant. I associate carbonara with a white creamy sauce, but this was brown and not very appetising. It also seemed to contain a lot of salt.

I wandered down to Minnewater. It was lovely but I had somehow got the idea that it was bigger and further removed from the city.

For my dinner, I wanted to try Waterzooi, so I went to De Gastro and had a great meal. I started with cheese croquettes, not what I was expecting but quite tasty. The waterzooi was delcious with three types of fish and mussels. The slight disappointment was the chocolate mousse, which while nice , was a bit underwhelming of the first two courses. This was also a set meal, which representd good value. The service was very good.

The next day I was headed home, so after a final breakfast at Patisserie Prestige("Good morning, the continental?" beamed the waitress almost before I sat down) I left Bruges behind.

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1. Re: Trip Report August 2011

Sounds like you had a great time - thanks for the review and the tip about Patisserie Prestige - a nice breakfast expereince sets one up for the day :o)

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Prestige Patisserie
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Sluis, The...
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22 reviews
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2. Re: Trip Report August 2011

Hello,

Thanks for sharing! I think a lot of readers will be quite happy with your descriptions on restaurants and food ;)

Kind regards,

Sabrina

London, United...
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93 posts
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3. Re: Trip Report August 2011

One thing that had me puzzled was a strange glass and plastic structure in the Burgh. It's a complete eyesore. Does anyone know what it is?

Sluis, The...
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1,120 posts
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4. Re: Trip Report August 2011

That's Toyo Ito, named after the Japanese architect of the monument. It's more commonly known as "the car wash".

More info:

"The old city of Brugge was designated Cultural Capital of Europe 2002. As a symbol of the encounter between historical culture and contemporary culture in the context of town planning that strives for coexistence of history with the future, Toyo Ito's pavilion was constructed in the Brugge city center. As though suspended above a shallow circle of water in the ruins of the Roman-influenced cathedral, this eloquent pavilion abundant in contemporary sensibility has over time blended into the history of Brugge and now exerts a presence as one face of that city. The pavilion was originally conceived as a single-year project for Brugge's term as Cultural Capital of Europe during 2002, but as large numbers of its citizens called for it to last beyond this time, it was decided to preserve the pavilion into the future."

They are going to restore it next year I believe. You may have spotted the yellow poster announcing the restoration.

Kind regards,

Sabrina

London
Destination Expert
for Bruges
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5. Re: Trip Report August 2011

I suspect you mean the Toyo Ito Pavillion (clear box like thing with a hexagonal lattice work in it?).

It was part of the art work around the city for the 2002 City of Culture and since then no one has really known what to do with it, from what I can understand.

At various points there are moves to restore it but I don't think much has got to the point of action yet, although there is currently a planning notice on it, so who knows.

London, United...
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6. Re: Trip Report August 2011

Thanks Sabrina and Nettle. :)

7. Re: Trip Report August 2011

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