Finding Romance and Indulgence in Brugge

 

Alex and I met 12 years ago today, ouch, it really hurts writing that! We were young and out exploring the world in February of 2002 and it just so happened that fate, as Alex likes to tell it, threw us into the same bed at a hostel in Brugge, Belgium! We were both staying at the Bauhaus hostel  near the centre of the charming old town. The Bauhaus is certainly not the most luxurious place one could imagine meeting their future spouse. But there we were and Alex was sitting on the bunk bed above mine asking me where the bathrooms were. Being that we were in Belgium and that we were backpackers it isn’t so surprising that the evening lead to a pub with many Belgian beers consumed and subsequently our first kiss. The romance and indulgence in Brugge had captured us!

Bell drinking beer back at the Bauhaus
Fast forward a few a years. While living in the Netherlands, close to where this all started, we decided we needed to make a long awaited trip back. We laughed about trying to book the same room again at the Bauhaus, but ultimately decided that while that would have been cool on one hand, it wasn’t the romantic getaway weekend we were looking for. So instead we stayed at the Lady Jane Bed and Breakfast, which is a lovely place for a romantic getaway. And the friendly owner, Hugo, has many great tips for enjoying the town. We highly recommend this intimate Bed and Breakfast that features 3 unique and lovely themed rooms. We stayed in the African room which featured tribal adornments and even antique riffles mounted to the wall.

Alex and the guns in our safari themed room
We did make a trip back to the Bauhaus, which has its own bar that even the locals hang out in. It was honestly surreal and funnily enough not quite how we remembered it after a decade! But there were still copious amounts of tasty Belgian beers on draft, with a lively atmosphere, making it worthwhile for anyone looking for a fun time to swing into.

Brugge Recommendations

Chocolate! – Enjoy lots of it, and with some 80 chocolate shops around town, you can find great chocolate sleep walking after 10 beers. Don’t buy too much from any one place. Stroll around and savour the experience, buying little bits here and there. This way you’ll also receive more free samples and you won’t feel like you missed out on a phenomenal window display later. Definitely have a hot chocolate as it will be one of the best you’ve ever tried. There’s even a chocolate museum called Choco Story which we found to be worthwhile. Their life-size chocolate replica of President Obama was a little tacky, but entertaining too.

Belgian pralines being made
 

De Halve Maan Brewery – We’ve been to some great breweries and De Halve Maan (“the half moon”) is one of our favourites. The brewery is housed in the historic centre of town and features a fun tour through their tasty Belgian beer making process. You also have the opportunity to swing up to their roof top and enjoy an amazing view of gorgeous Brugge. The beers are pretty good too, while not our absolute favorite, we’ll still occasionally grab a bottle of Brugse Zot from a bottle shop. It’s much better quality than the mass produced Leffe blond, which is now found in many bars worldwide because it’s owned by Anheuser–Busch InBev.

 

Alex at De Halve Maan brewery terrace
 

Eating – Residents of Brugge speak the same language as the Dutch- Flemish. But no offense to our old home country of 3 and 1/2 years, but taste the food in Belgium and compare it to that of the Netherlands and you’ll understand why these are different countries. Because of the Netherlands historical ties to Calvinism, food is generally viewed more as sustenance rather than something to take pleasure in (though this mentality is slowly changing). On the other hand, the Belgians take food far more seriously- and while the French prefer to cook with wine, the Belgians generally do so with their delicious beers. A popular Belgian brew dish is rabbit stewed in lambic beer.

And did you know that “French fries” actually originated in Belgium? During WWI, American soldiers fought alongside French speaking Belgians who deep fried delicious cut potatoes in oil. Even though they were Belgian, the American soldiers decided to call them French fries, much to the dismay of some 21st century Americans. While we did not visit the the fry museum in Brugge, but you can learn way more about this storied potato history at the Friet Museum.

And of course there’s waffles, which are indeed Belgian as well, and absolutely delicious, generally. Always stick with the fresh made ones and not the ones sitting around in window sills waiting to be devoured by drunk people (though this is a more common trend in certain areas of Brussels). Waffles generally come topped in chocolate, sugar or strawberries and cream.

And if this isn’t enough you’ll also find delicious crepes around town with an abundance of other tasty treats at great patisseries and candy shops. Enjoy the romance and indulgence in Brugge as much as you can, worry about dieting when you get home!

Canal Boat Ride – Many cities claim to be the Venice of somewhere…Places like Amsterdam, Hamburg and Mykonos come to mind. Basically anyplace where you can cruise a small boat or gondola among gorgeous historic buildings can lay claim to this, and Brugge is no exception. If you want to save your legs for chocolate shopping, hop on a boat that will tour you through one of Europe’s most quintessentially beautiful towns.

Canal ride in Brugge
There’s no doubt that romance and indulgence in Brugge is easier to find than most places, and our marriage of nearly 9 years can personally attest to this 

Taking in the scenery after some Romance and Indulgence in Brugge
 

 

 

8 thoughts on “Finding Romance and Indulgence in Brugge

  1. Congratulations guys! I’ve stayed at the Bauhaus a number of times and it’s a great little place 🙂 My boyfriend and I met at a hostel too, albeit in Japan. What a lovely story you can always tell, I’m sure you never get sick of telling it!

    1. Thank you! And awesome, you’ve stayed at the Bauhaus multiple times! 🙂 The bar is pretty fun eh? Lots of tasty Belgian beers on draft. We ate at the adjoining restaurant last time too, which neither Bell nor I remember being there 12 years ago (but we could be wrong). 12 years ago there was a brochure listing the top 10 party hostels in Europe and Bauhaus was listed among them. Kabul hostel in Barcelona was even crazier and Balmer’s Herberge in Interlaken, Switzerland was also good fun. Which hostel did you and your boyfriend meet at in Japan? That’s very cool you two are making this work! 🙂

    1. Hi Rebecca, thank you! Yes, it is often fun to return to these places. The Bauhaus was not quite how we remembered it and we were shocked by all the kids on laptops in there! But it’s funny the way your memory can slightly blur the details so you think you remember something quite clearly and yet you don’t.

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