Category Archives: Belgium

Tips for things to do in Belgium.

Review of Tres Leuven, Flanders, Belgium

I dined at Tres Leuven, on a complimentary basis, during my Flanders is a Festival blog trip in August 2012. The restaurant is in the city centre, close to Grote Markt.

Tres Leuven

Exterior of Tres Leuven

There’s a very swish looking bar and a mezzanine floor. I found it cold inside, I assume due to the height of the ceiling and the fact that it was a miserable evening. The music they were playing was really good.

Tres Leuven

The mezzanine floor at Tres Leuven

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Review of Brasserie Appelmans Antwerp

I had lunch at Brasserie Appelmans Antwerp on a complimentary basis during my Flanders is a Festival blog trip. I had high expectations of the restaurant, as the receptionist at the Park Inn Antwerp told me it was one of her favourite restaurants and had a very good reputation with locals.

Brasserie Appelmans As it was a sunny day most customers were sitting out in the terrace, so it was nice and quiet in the interior.

Brasserie AppelmansI started with Salad with Goat’s Cheese; a crunchy salad mix with pear, pinenuts and lemon cream. The texture and flavours were superb.

 

Brasserie AppelmansMy main course was Linguine with Shrimps topped with Rucola. The shrimps were large and juicy. The chef here seems to cook exactly to my taste. The staff were attentive and friendly.

It cost around 35 Euro for the two courses and a fruit juice. Although this is quite expensive for a lunch, the food is so good it’s worth it; a pity that my photos don’t really do it justice.

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Review of Park Hotel Ghent

I stayed at the Park Hotel Ghent for one night on a complimentary basis during my Flanders is a Festival blog trip in August 2012. I had some difficulty finding the hotel. I looked up Google Maps the previous day and as it looked a bit far to walk from St Peters station, I jotted down the number of the tram to take me from the station to hotel.  I arrived at St Peters station planning to check directions at the Tourist Information but there wasn’t one. I asked the tram driver who had no idea where the hotel was. I then asked a couple of locals and neither of them had heard of the hotel or the street in which it was located. Before jumping in a taxi, which I’d been warned would cost around 20 Euro for the journey,  I asked a police officer for assistance. He didn’t know the street but checked on his mobile phone and told me that I should have gotten off the train at Dampoort station and it would take me around 20 mintes to walk to the Park Hotel from Dampoort station. Even when I finally arrived at the location of the hotel, it wasn’t that easy to find as it was through a passage way next to a restaurant, with only a small sign for the hotel. Reception is at the back of the hotel garden.

Garden at Park Hotel Ghent

Apparently the restaurant at the front is run by the same people that own the hotel. It looked to me as though they’d decided to expand their business by building some rooms in the garden. I was allocated a room directly opposite reception which was a good distance from the street, meaning it was nice and quiet. The room was a good size, a bit dark but that’s not a big issue for me in a bedroom. I’d seen on the hotel’s website that you had to pay for WiFi. Fortunately I was able to pick up a good signal on the MiFi that Visit Flanders had lent me.

 My room at Park Hotel Ghent

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Photo Tour of Mechelen, Flanders, Belgium

I spent one night in Mechelen during my Flanders is a Festival blog trip in August 2012. I’d heard about Mechelen in a Europe a la Carte post written by Andy Hayes. There’s a lot of beautiful architecture, but one of its charms is that it’s not quite so full of visitors as some of the better known destinations like Bruges. I spent a very enjoyable couple of hours wandering around Mechelen. I loved all the colourful buildings and the sculptures.

Mechelen photos

Mechelen photos

Mechelen photos
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Review of Grand Cafe Lamot Mechelen

I dined at the Grand Cafe Lamot in Mechelen, on a complimentary basis, during my Flanders is a Festival blog trip in August 2012. The second floor restaurant is flooded with light, as the glass walls were put in during the conversion from a brewery. There are great views over the canal.

View from Grand Cafe Lamot

I decided to dispense with a starter, so that I’d have space for a dessert.  While I was waiting for my main course, I was brought a Tuna Amuse-bouche.

Tuna Amuse-bouche at Grand Cafe Lamot

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Visiting the Design Museum Ghent

I had a couple of hours allocated to visit some Ghent attractions the morning before I had to pick up my luggage and head for my next overnight stop in Leuven during my Flanders is a Festival blog trip in August 2012. However, I loved the Design Museum Ghent so much, that I spent all my time there and that was mainly in the 20th century collection.

There was a Peter De Bruyne postmodernism exhibition.

Ghent Design Museum

On the next floor were some beauiful stained glass exhibits.

Design Museum Ghent

Design Museum Ghent
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Review of Lombardia Antwerp

I had lunch at Lombardia Antwerp in August 2012 using a 15 Euro voucher given to me by Visit Flanders. It’s a very colourful vegetarian restaurant. Although there was outdoor seating, I elected to sit inside in the shade. Between the tables looking more like small desks and collage style decoration, the interior made me feelt like I was in a primary school in desperate need of renovation. I was glad that most customers were outside, as it would’ve felt very cramped inside it if’d been busy.

Lombardia Antwerp

Lombardia Antwerp

I’m not sure that the menu doubling as a table mat was a great idea, as mine was starting to get a bit tatty.  The organic bread served with the salad was more like some kind of very hard cracker. The salad was good and felt as though it was very healthy, but personally a bit of cheese would have made it much tastier for me.

Lombardia Antwerp

Salad at Lombardia Antwerp

My salad and a mug of tea came to just under 15 Euro; which seems a little on the expensive side given the rather makeshift, not too spacious, quite tatty interior. I think it’s one of these ‘in’ places that thrives on being quirky.

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Review of Restaurant du Progres, Ghent

I ate at Restaurant du Progres in Ghent on a complimentary basis during my Flanders is a Festival blog trip in August 2012. The restaurant is located in Korenmarkt, close to St Michael’s Bridge and I had a walk along the canalside before dinner.

Restaurant du Progres

I sat inside. It was pretty busy for a Monday evening. The tables were quite close together. There’s a wide selection of dishes on the menu.

Restaurant du ProgresThe Shrimp Salad was very large for a starter.

Restaurant du ProgresThe main course of Chicken Fillet with Seasonal Vegetables had an enormous piece of chicken and was served with a pile of chips in a bowl that could have fed 3 – 4 people. The chicken and the cauliflower cheese were delicious.

It cost around 30 Euro for my two courses and a small bottle of water, but really a main course would be enough. The staff were very cheerful and offered me recommendations about what I should do and see in Ghent.

Restaurant du Progres is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

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