I realise I’m a little slow with these blog posts, but I’ve had so much work to catch up on and time seems to be flying by! So let me rewind a week and tell you about our third day in beautiful Bruges.
Rosie and I were ever so eager to have the boat ride that we missed the day before, so we set out for 9.30am in an attempt to go to the place I had wanted to go to for breakfast called ‘Bittersweet’. This place has some of the best reviews on Tripadvisor…but of course, the one time I want to go, it’s closed! Undeterred by this, we went in search for a lovely breakfast (that wouldn’t be too pricey). Online, everywhere warns you about never to eat on the Markt Square as it is too expensive due to the incredible views…this my friends, is a brilliant tip from me to you – go to The Grand Cafe Belfort.
Upon arrival, the waiter suggested we sit outside (they had heated lamps, thankfully), to enjoy the view and goings on of morning in Bruges. We looked at the menu and saw this:
Crossiant and jams/butter
English breakfast: sausage, bacon, egg, toast and beans
We looked at the menu, then at each other, ‘surely not? For all of that, let’s ask the waiter’. So we did, ‘Yes, yes of course!’ Brilliant, just the answer I was hoping for. I like things to be quite simple at breakfast time, and I must admit, it’s my favourite meal of the day. So I was glad to find this, no thrills meal to set us up for the day of walking around and exploring. Total cost: 15€
So where did our journey take us next? Straight to the booths to buy ourselves a ticket for a boat tour. Without exaggeration, it was FREEZING! The sun had done the cruel thing it does by shining ever so bright, deception. We bought our tickets (7.60€ each) and waited for our tour; while waiting I witnessed something quite upsetting. An older English couple were too waiting to board to boat, the lady held up her camera to take a picture, dropped it on the deck to which it fell (sod’s law) into the canal.
The boat tour gives you a wonderful view of Bruges through its network of canals. Your tour guide will tell you interesting facts about the city, with humour and pleasantry. It did allow me to get some wonderful pictures too! Make sure you’ve got some spare change on you, your guide will ask for a tip once the tour has finished.
After our wonderful and insightful boat ride, we had decided to visit one of the many (I’m sure) chocolate museums. In all honestly, I wish we hadn’t wasted our money! It was 8€ each (student rate) and was the most disorganised, boring and uninformative place I’d ever seen. We wanted to watch the demonstration but would have meant waiting for an extra hour just to see her filling to moulds. All in all, not a good place to visit.
Filled with disappointment, we decided that for lunch, we would go to a place I’d seen on Trip advisor and was definitely keen on visiting. Books and Brunch has some of the best reviews, and after going in, I could understand why. It’s very unique and off the beaten track, with amazing food, friendly people and a bookshop setting.
You can have a sit down, read a book, have a coffee/lunch/homemade lemonade and just relax – browse the web on their complimentary wifi. It’s a perfect haven for a spot of lunch or something sweet. When we arrived, we were ever so pleased to hear Norah Jones playing over the speakers – we knew this was the place to be. The menu isn’t too badly priced, but it is fairly expensive. However, the food and service was amazing so it was definitely worth it.When I say expensive, it is from the perspective of a student, for those whom work, this wouldn’t even be in consideration.
What did we have? Well, I had the homemade lemonade while Rosie opted for a chocolate milkshake:
I adore lemonade, so for me this really hit the spot; needless to say, Rosie enjoyed her milkshake.
Food! What did we have to eat! Well surprisingly, we ordered the same thing. Goats cheese toasted sandwich (Croque?) with tomatoes and herbs – of which came with a side of salad; was one of the loveliest things ever. Loved the food, wonderful smiley service, total cost = 28€.
After our massive lunch and busy day, we headed back to the hotel to relax a bit before going out for dinner. Looking back on it now, it seems like we ate so much, but we did do an enormous amount of walking so I’m going to go ahead and say it’s all good. With Mussels/Musslen and Frites being a speciality, Rosie and I knew we had to just try them. Let me explain something about myself:
- I am scared of fish (those that are living, of course)
- I’m not a fan of seafood
- Especially those that live in shells
But like our second day, we wanted to be a bit more open minded with our attitudes towards food, and just wanted to go for it. I had read that Poules Moules (the same restaurant we had visited on our first night in Bruges), was the best place to have mussels. So, we made a reservation just in case (and good job too – it was packed!) and arrived ready for our new tasting expedition.
I had mine cooked in the local beer, while Rosie opted for the white wine option. I couldn’t believe the sheer amont of food that was presented to us, I’m fairly certain we had a kilo of mussels each that night, but they were delicious! So it goes to prove kids, you have to have an open mind otherwise you won’t try new things. To bring day 3 to a close, Poules Moules – best mussels and food in town, total price: 60€.