Brugge, Belgium – Culinary delight
When I was still in high school it was a fixed item; every class in the third year would go to the famous Bloodprocession in the city of Bruges or as we call it Brugge. Because I flunked the third class I actually got to go twice… Not that that meant anything as – well you know how kids are right? – I cannot remember one single thing about that whole procession. At the time I was heavily into my ‘anti-religion’ phase and would have nothing to do with anything associated with religion. My parents are both Roman Catholic, so I was brought up that way, but faith has never really meant anything to me, not in that sense anyway. So you can probably imagine that a religious procession was not something I was looking forward too.
Weirdly enough (weird because Brugge is so close!) I never went back to Brugge until this year when we visited with friends for a long weekend. You could say that for all intents and purposes it really was the first time I went to this culinary heaven. Thirthy years earlier I had no clue about anything to do with food and the only thing I did remember were the cobblestones… 😉 Our friends with whom we went on this little citytrip are from Belgium and they don’t live very far from Brugge in a town called Gent. So we had agreed to go there first, pick them up and head to Brugge together. Ofcourse, as faith would have it, we got into huge traffic jams, but we did end up at our destination at some point!
Our first pleasant surprise was the charming little hotel that Sandra had picked out. We stayed in Hotel Waalwyck and it was a gem of a hotel. Not to far to walk to the city center but far enough to stay away from the noise and craziness asociated with any city. If you’re looking for a place to stay in Brugge I can highly recommend this hotel.
Ofcourse Brugge is famous for it’s beautiful chocolate but also for the cuberdons (picture above) and don’t forget the Belgian Waffles! I can go on and on telling you about all the various delights that we found while browsing the city on a rather rainy weekend, but I will stick to just the two restaurants we visited in the evening.
The first one is called Rock-fort and is a modern and funky hotel with delicious food. While the interior is modern it is not too stiff or overly styled. We felt right at home and our waitress was clearly someone who enjoyed her job. Strangely, I do have to say that this was the first restaurant we went to in Belgium where the staff was having a good time. For some reason we always tend to have grumpy waiters when we go for dinner… Hmm, maybe it is us?
We opted for a menu called ‘The chef’s mood” after inquiring how the mood of the chef was that day.. I’m not sure you’d want to be there when the chef is not in such a good mood! Anyway, we were assured that the chef is always in a good mood on friday so we picked this four course dinner.
We had a kingcrab starter, iberico pork for main and a delicious dessert with pineapple. If you’re in the area then I can recommend this restaurant plus the cookbook they sell there too. Lots of original and delicious recipes. For 4 people incl. apertive and wines we paid € 390,=.
Langestraat 15, Brugge Tel. +32 (0) 50334 113
The second night we went to a restaurant with the funny name of Sans Cravatte which means as much as ‘without a tie’. For a restaurant with that name it did have quite a chic clientele. We had a perfect little corner with a table for four, a little out of the way of the main area and perfect for when you want to take some photos of your food without having the entire restaurant stare at you. I can sometimes get a little self conscious when I am the only one doing that, so I then end up not shooting any pics at all.. And regretting it later. but not this time though
Because of a lack of staff on the saturday you cannot choose what you want to eat but you have to eat the fixed menu which is usually not an issue for us. Ofcourse having a fixed menu makes it much more manageable for the kitchen, even though my guess is that most of these dishes were pretty labor intensive. We started of with a serious of beautiful amuse bouche dishes, each one delicious and gorgeous as you can see from the below picture.
Because there were so many courses and so many little bites before the dinner even started, I was quite happy that the portion were all fairly small. We would have rolled out the door otherwise. As it were we were quite satisfied but didn’t feel like we had overeaten. Which is a good thing. We also opted for the wine arrangement together with four of the courses (for dessert you had to order separately if you wanted)
All in all it was an amazing dinner. The only drawback was the steep price. it was worth it but you should definitely not visit this restaurant if you’re on a budget!
In total we spend € 575,= for 4 people, including all drinks and wine arrangement for four. Plus extra wine for dessert, coffee after and aperitive before.