Restaurant Porto Romano is a small restaurant that serves Portugese and Belgian cuisine. It's honest, simple and delicious food.
The grilled fish is a must as is the apple pie. Very nice Portugese wine at good prices (compared to prices in Bruges.)
Sint Jacobsstraat 50, 8000 Bruges, Belgium
Google map: bit.ly/17gRuxh
Just spent a lovely weekend in Bruges, you just must take make the canal boat trip. All the restuarants we ate in were great but I would especially recommend the Maximillian which faces towards the Lake of Love.
The horse drawn carriage ride sounds a bit tacky but its great fun, about €35 for a 30-minute ride, the Bruges people are very forward about asking for tips! Look for special offers in the museums.
We stayed at the Boat hotel de Barge, great quirky place, the bedrooms were surprisingly spacious, and very clean and airy with views over the canal. Bird watchers delight, with Barnacle Geese tapping on the windows as you breakfast, from the canal they can see what you are eating! Great fun and good value all round.
I was most impressed by the hotel booking information provided by the online booking agent and easy navigation of the whole site. We booked with Just one hotel who have a website dedicated to Bruges.
I’m British through and through but nothing says Christmas more passionately than Brugge does each December. The Belgians of course have two celebrations with the Feast of Sint Niklaas coming early in the month!
The city streets are beautifully decked out with twinkling lights and window displays and the main and smaller squares like Market Square and Simon Stevinplein have their stalls selling all kinds of gift, food and drink specialties. It’s a picture book / chocolate box place that you may wander and wonder around in the warmth of their hospitality and friendliness - and in safety.
My ideal 24 hours? I set off on a Friday afternoon straight down the M20 from London and directly into the Eurotunnel terminal from the motorway. Go to the toilet, buy a drink, drive onto the train – 25 minutes of rest – drive off the train, to the end of the tunnel road, turn right and just keep on straight for 55 minutes and there is the Bruges turn-off – 10 minutes later I am parked in the centre. Nothing could be easier and hardly needs a map or GPS!
If I just kept walking around the main central triangle of the city it would only take me some 15 minutes to do so – but there is so much to see that is worthwhile. Ice Skating in Markt, climb the Belfry, eat Flemish beer stew and photograph the canals and picturesque buildings as the sun sets and the sky glows. You are never far away from where your hotel is and it is so easy to take a small break to recuperate and re-energise!
Saturday is market day at Tzand (square next to bus station) – buy wonderful cheeses to take home; visit The Church of our Lady to see the Michelangelo Madonna with Child statue and take a canal boat trip, a museum visit or a romantic Horse and Carriage ride around the cobbled streets. Too much to do – so little time!
Now don’t forget those chocolates, those fresh cream pralines. Much much cheaper than the UK and guaranteed to produce sounds of delight (and quiet munching noises). I also buy ginger bread, chocolate figures and honey waffle biscuits.
Driving home; quickly visit a supermarket in Belgium for very good beer at low prices. Try a jar of Advocaat as this goes great on ice cream or Christmas pudding! Wine is also reasonable in price here.
… and it’s back to Coquilles to catch the train back home. Mission accomplished… Tired and very Happy!
Here’s a link to learn more oldchocolatehouse.com/links.html
A great café chock-full of some of the best cakes and sweets in Bruges according to the locals who go there – and in a city famed for its deserts, that’s saying something!
The hot chocolate was literally hot milk with pieces of chocolate for you to melt in yourself. Sickly, maybe, but definitely delicious – you’ll find it hard to go back to instant stuff when you return…
Pretty much the only time when food and drink around the Markt square is affordable is every Wednesday morning when it’s taken over by market stalls.
With a range of cheap, fresh and tasty offerings like rotisserie chickens, olives, cheese and international dishes, it’s the perfect place to bag a picnic or stock up on self-catering ingredients.
Instead of ketchup, the Belgians eat their chips (or fries for the Americans) with lashings of mayonnaise. Slightly odd perhaps – but a trip to Bruges has converted me!
‘Frites’ stalls around the city centre do them cheap, along with meatballs and sausages for a good snack.
Across the road, waffle stands and bakeries sell dessert dripping with chocolate and cream. What more to say except 'yum'.
Having used the been there to plan a short trip to Belgium I thought it only proper to note down my experiences for the reference of other visitors.
We travelled to Bruges in our own car via ferry from Dover to Calais – for our trip we found that this was the most cost-effective means. The drive from Calais to Bruges is not arduous and took less than 1.5 hours - sat nav makes it all the more simpler and brought us to the door of the Anselmus Hotel in central Bruges.
We found that this was a very comfortable, friendly family-run hotel that we could heartily recommend. It is ideally located close to the central area.
The city is fabulous – we enjoyed ourselves immensely. Take the canal tour and get a view of the local Flemish architecture, visit the Chocolate museum, watch the demo and sample the goods. Have hot chocolate and waffles in one of the street cafes as a mid morning snack or maybe grab a portion of chips and mayo from the mobile frituur in the market square, browse the unique shops – not too much sign of globalisation here!
For our meals we found excellent mussels and frites at Breydel-de-Coninck just off the main square at Breidelstraat 24 and for an alternative evening we could recommend the Grand Café de Comptoir with their excellent selection of international dishes, warm welcome, elegant décor and reasonable prices.
Then there’s the beer, you can visit a local brewery but if it’s the business end of the operation that you are interested in you will not be disappointed by the selection of bars and pubs and the variety of local beers on offer – close your eyes and take your pick.
The following day we visited Ypres (Ieper), about 70 km away, where you cannot fail to be stirred by the tragedy of the first world war. The museum named ‘In Flanders Fields’ in the main square of the town and only a short walk from the Menen Gate really puts a subsequent driving tour of the battlegrounds and cemeteries into vivid perspective.
Near Hill 62 you can view the trenches and let your imagination construct what it must have been like to fight in these conditions. The largest allied cemetery at ‘Tyne Cot' has over 12,000 graves regimentally aligned plus a wall of remembrance with thousands upon thousands of names of those who fell but have no known grave.
Bruges and the locality have much to offer visitors looking for a city break with a difference – I look forward to going again at some stage.
Check out the hotel at en.venere.com/belgium/hotels_brugge/hotel_anselmus.html?fe1&ref=682988, Breydel Restaurant site is www.breydel-deconinc.be/
Just went over to Bruges and visited this great chocolate shop. It was a chilly morning and Francoise (Fa) Thomaes and Barbe Van Den Haute were serving fantastic hot chocolate in their first floor tea-room. A great big cup of Belgian chocolate hot milk in a floating island of chocolate filled with fresh cream!! On the side - fresh Belgian pralines from their chocolatier. Decadent and delicious!
I enjoy my visits here as they always help in choosing just the right selection for my daughter Joanna.
Restaurant In den Wittenkop run by a truly enthusiastic couple. Not an encyclopaedic range of beers but great advice and what they do have is worth trying.
Work up through the Rocheforts over some great food. Talk whisky after dinner and weave a merry way home. For chocs go to Pralinette, you can watch them being made in the back of the shop. Get the orange peel in chocolate!
Lovely big rooms in Hotel De Tuilereën, super spa facilities and winner of best breakfast in Benelux! Nice people, nice place. Oh, it’s got canals and museums as well.
This restaurant was part of the excellent hotel we stayed in, Die Swaene. We decided to try it out for supper, not expecting the gastronomic feast we had in store.
The food was simply delicious, the service was excellent, and the surroundings beautiful. I highly recommend this restaurant. Our selection was the five-course Menu Romeo & Juliette.
This was also one of the most expensive meals we've ever had, close to €300 for two adults and a child. This price, however, included two decent bottles of wine from the Margaux region, early 90s. We felt that the quality of the food, wine, surroundings and service made this meal well worth the price.
Die Swaene Hotel, Steenhouwersdijk, 8000 Brugge, Belgium,
From Burg Square, exit on the south and cross the river, take an immediate left (north-east) and the hotel will be a block up on your right. It's a five-minute walk.
We had a lovely evening recently in restaurant-brasserie Vivaldi in Wijngaardstraat 24 in Bruges.
It was a warm evening so we sat outside watching the horse-drawn carriages coming past. We had the local specialities, my wife had a pan full of mussels and I had Bruges filet steak. We also had the local brewed beer.
The quality of the food was very good and the price was reasonable - three-course dinner, drinks and coffee just under 70 euros for two people.
Visit the Curiosa restaurant just off the market sqaure in Bruges - the traditional Flemish stew is amazing! If you are after something sweet, try the tea room a couple of doors away for the most beautiful, but reasonably priced, cream cakes to enjoy with a coffee.
My family lived in Bruges for a couple of years and my top tip there would have to be the Spinola restaurant on Spinola 1. It is cosy, friendly and great value for money.
Above all, the food is delicious and the best example of real Belgium food I experienced anywhere in Bruges. The restaurant is probably best visited in winter when its roaring fire and candle-lit tables offer consolation from the cold.
My advice would be to book for December and then follow your meal with a brief walk to the Markt where you can enjoy a skate on the temporary ice-rink and a comforting mug of warm wine.
The concert hall in Bruges is a beautiful, contemporary venue with an impressive seasonal calendar of events. The performance I attended was a highlight of my trip. There are a range of tiny restaurants opposite the entrance where you can enjoy a pre-theatre meal - accompanied by a beer of course!
If you love hot chocolate visit De Proeverie in Katelijnestraat 6. It is owned by Sukerbuyc the chocolatier.
Their hot chocolate is served with the same sort of care as the Japanese serve tea.
They also claim to have the only British tea in Brugge, although why you would drink that I do not know!
Be there on a Wednesday - it is the open market day for a veritable smorgasbord experience.
Take a trip on the canals and a horse & carriage ride. Visit the lace making shops to witness the results of a near-miraculous craft.
Bruges has a quieter side with many friendly local bars. Worth checking out is the welcoming Cafe de Hollandse Vismijn.
Approached from the Burg down Blind Donkey Alley, the Hollandse is on the far side of the Vismarkt (fishmarket). There is a large heated terrace and six beers are served Van t' Vat (on draught).
If you are after food head one block down to the relaxed L'Estaminet bar opposite the charming Astrid Park. Again with a large terrace where a varied bar food menu is served to locals and visitors alike.
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