Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Fairytale City Out of a Dream...

The above picture is of the town hall 

Hello, hello, dear friends! It has been a while since I have blogged because, my crummy Internet has been out for over a week! I have been on several trips and have experienced wonderful things that I am dying to share with you!
As many of you know, I recently came back from a spectacular weekend in Brugge, Belgium. This city is by far one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been to. The food is astronomically amazing and the people of Brugge, are some of the friendliest and most helpful folks that I have ever met....seriously!
Brugge is similar to Venice, Italy in that it used to be a rich and bustling trading port with tons of canals. This ancient city started trade with Scandinavia around 750 A.D. and became a commercial center for Europe. Once its ports silted with mud around 1100, the city slowed down it's trading for hundreds of years. Because of this, this gorgeous place has been preserved beautifully! The design and architecture is unlike anything I have ever seen. 
After a four hour drive we arrived at our hotel around 9:30pm. We strolled through the rain desperately looking for a warm and cozy place to eat. We stumbled upon this enchanting entrance to a restaurant. The nest looking awning above the door and twinkle lights drew us in. 
We were warmly greeted by a friendly server who later we found out owns the restaurant with her husband Sam the chef. Also unknown to us, this place had received a Michelin Star. This became very apparent to us with our first taste of this phenomenal food. It was incredible and is most definitely worth the splurge.  The cured venison is a fabulous choice for an appetizer and you CANNOT leave without trying the home-made mousse crafted with Belgium's finest chocolate. The chef told us the chocolate was from a shop called Prailinette (most chocolate shops say prailines on the front but this is called Prailinette and has a brown sign). Visit the kind folks at Restaurant Spinola and they will tell you exactly where to go to get this rich and decadent chocolate! They gave me a tour of the kitchen, which they built themselves and looked like it was out of a Julia Child cookbook. 
Chef Sam has an herb garden and creates his own herb blends. I had the privilege of smelling the aroma of many of the blends. They also make wine. Thanks to this kind power-couple, this evening was one of the greatest experiences!
We learned from our friends at Restaurant Spinola that in order to work in the gorgeous city of Brugge, you must be able to speak at least three languages. They speak eight. This is helpful when traveling to this magical place. 
The rest of the pictures look like I've added a glow or soft effect to them, but I haven't. It is the moisture from the  rain on my lens. I like how dreamy it ended up looking, because that's exactly how the evening felt.
We had the most lovely time walking through the silent, sleepy streets, soaking up this city's beauty and having it all to ourselves. 
 We walked through the city center and admired this old church, The Basilica Of the Holy Blood, that is believed to hold a vial of Christ's blood that was stolen from another site during the crusades.
 The buildings were lit up beautifully as if it was just for our viewing.
 The architecture of these enormous masterpieces were inspiring to say the least.

Check out this Belfry clock tower!

 The next day I woke up to bells ringing and this spectacular view of a church across the street! Off to another adventure-filled day!

To be honest with you, this undeniably, gorgeous city made me completely awestruck. I don't have much to say but, "WOW". 
The design shops are spectacular! I felt so very inspired wandering though the beautiful stores in Brugge. Design and clothing shops have such a fresh and different take on things than the stores in The States. It is so much fun seeing such completely unique ideas. 

The three pictures below are of the the Basilica Of the Holy Blood, that is believed to hold a vial of Christ's blood that was stolen from another site during the crusades.

It is simply delightful watching the horse and carriages glide through the town. We decided not to do the carriage ride because it's about 50 Euro for a half an hour, and it was only 10 Euro to go on an incredible ride through the canals. 

 I recommend doing the boat tour of Brugge so you can get a fantastic and unique view of the city at a very low cost!
While in Brugge, be sure to try:
- Belgian chocolates (that's a given)
- Pommes frites (Also known as french fries. This is the place that fabulous food was created!)
- Belgian waffles and crepes (yes please...)
- The beer, including the fruit beers
- Croque Madame (We stumbled upon a place packed with locals called Punta Est. It was along the canals and the food, ambiance, and staff were rad!)
- The Coffee
-Oysters (only in the summer when they are fresh)

The wrought Iron metalwork on the tops of the buildings signifies the architect who designed them.
I love all the tiny details in this amazing city!

This chocolate shop is so miniature. I had to get a photo of how precious it is!
What I would give to live in one of these homes on the canal. I like that our monogram is all over this city as well.
My husband and I picked up this gorgeous (and not yet framed) drawing from a street vendor. We like to buy lovely, yet inexpensive things from the places we've explored to display in our home. Try purchasing a piece of art (or anything other than a shot glass, really) to remind you of places you've been that will only add beauty, not clutter to your home.  

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  1. I just love getting to travel with you! Belgium looks and sounds like it was amazing! After reading your posts I'm now hungry.:) What I wouldn't give for some well made pomme frites right about now!

  2. I never been there, but looks like it's amazing city. beautiful photos!!!!!!!

    1. Brugges is incredible a must see if ever you are in Europe!

  3. Oh my, this is how picture to Europe to look like...stunning and beautiful. Your pictures were all lovely, what a fun trip this must had been. Thanks for sharing it with us.


    1. Brugge is such a special place! It is on my list of top ten places to go in Europe...It's quite unreal :)

  4. i love love LOVE brugges, and to see dumon chocolate was a nice surprise, that's where we bought ours when we were there about 3 years ago. the fruit beers! omg. i wish i could have smuggled home pineapple and cherry, they were so stinking good!!

    1. Isn't it the most lovely place! I just love it all! It is a city that feeds all the senses. I am so glad you stopped by!
      Have a very merry day!

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