Bar 10 is a stone's throw from the Palais Luxembourg. It is a lively hangout with an eccentric owner, and is popular with students.
It also includes a predominantly French language duke box. Note also that the bar staff give very generous measures when ordering spirits!
A traditional bräuhaus, with a lively atmosphere at the weekend, and especially around Oktoberfest time. In the summer, there is a small beer garden too, and you can get traditional Bavarian food in the evening. Try the Hefe Weisen Dunkel (dark) beer for a change from the typical lager-style beers.
Kapuzinerplatz 5, not far from Goetheplatz underground station
Brussels is a colourful, charismatic and stunning city, full of rewarding surprises, it is least of all “boring”.
Don’t bother with the slightly eccentric and haphazard metro system – just walk. Central Brussels is small enough to potter round in a day.
Aim for the splendid Place du Grand Sablon (where you can get the best chocolates in the world) then head downhill to La Bourse and Grand Place and west into the trendy St. Catherine and St. Géry areas.
Make sure you take in plenty of good food and drink along with the stunning Art Nouveau and Art Deco buildings that populate so many streets.
The best thing about Bruxelles/Brussel and the bilingual-Belgians is that they know all this; they just don’t go shouting it from every corner of the Grand Place.
I can heartily recommend buying the finest cheeses, meats and bread, beer and chocolates from the above areas, getting back on the Eurostar and turning all the other passengers green with envy as you tuck-in. Brussels is nearer than Paris too!
Brussels makes a great weekend trip with children.
Not so big and overwhelming, with so many "must sees," as Paris, but more than enough to keep you busy.
And there is loads of great chocolate - need I say more?
Don't miss MIM, with more than 1,000 ancient and rare instruments from around the world.
There is a lovely cafe overlooking the city on the top floor.
The best place we've found to stay with kids: Novotel Centre/Tour Noire. It has a cool hammam/indoor swimming pool surrounded by rocks which creates a very cool atmosphere. It is walking distance to Grand Place, also to many waterside restaurants and off-the-beaten path neighborhood places and playgrounds, good ethnic restaurants nearby, easy access to train station.
If you have more than a weekend, take a day trip to Bruges, Antwerp, or any other place in Belgium: distances are short!
Try the Mappa Mundo bar in the Saint-Gery area of the centre of Brussels (2-6 rue pont de la carpe).
It's a great cosmopolitan bar, with a very nice atmosphere, it's not too expensive, and it serves lots of good Belgian beers (try my favourite... Faro.) and great food.
Plus it has a nice terrace , so it's perfect for warm days!
For football fans, a trip to see Anderlecht play at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium.
It's like a small, tight ground where you get really close to the action and the home fans generate a great atmosphere.
And be sure to enjoy a pre (and post) match pint of Hoegaarden in one of the many bars around the ground.
If you’re enjoying the delights of Brussels, then we’d recommend taking some time out in Leuven.
One of Europe’s oldest university towns, a short hop from Brussels by train, it offers grand architecture alongside quiet gardens, café-lined squares, great shopping and a slower pace of life.
Try out Café De Werf, (for the best breakfast you’ll have anywhere), or nearby Domus, boasting an on-site brewery alongside many other Belgian beers and fine Flemish food.
The peaceful Begijnhof and botanical gardens are not to be missed, and on Saturday mornings the artisans’ food market is a must.
You might expect something special on ‘The Sacred Isle’ (Ilot Sacré), the area around Brussels’ Central station.
Among the many bars and restaurants surrounding the Grand Place is The Toone Theatre, 66 rue du Marche-aux-Herbes, providing three unique Belgian delights under one roof.
You can sample a rare local speciality ‘Plattekeis’ (cream cheese with radishes) accompanied by a choice of over 20 beers, including ‘trappiste’ monastery brews.
But the real treat is enjoying these while sitting on raised wooden benches being entertained with a puppet show, in traditional dialect, from the famous Toone Marionettes, whose performances date back to 1830.
Just a short walk from the Eurostar terminus in Brussels is the Cantillon Brewery, breweing traditional Belgian beer styles including gueuze and the cherry-flavoured kriek.
Get to Gare du Midi a couple of hours early when catching your train home, and tour the old, atmospheric brewery, before picking up some refreshments for the journey back!
Brussels gets extremely hot and sweaty in the height of summer. If you are there at this time of year and happen to be in the vicinity of the European institutions/Rond Point Schuman, you could do worse than pick up a picnic and head to the Parc du Cinquantenaire for a relaxing afternoon.
When evening falls, head back into the centre and go for a beer at the sinister ultraviolet coffin bar (Le Cerceuil, Rue Harengs, off the Grand Place). Oh, and the best chocolate is Leonidas.
In Lalibela we stayed at Blue Lal Hotel and at Yemhera Hotel.
The Yemhera has bungalows in the grounds and you can wander in the grounds without harassment. We visited the Blue Lal most days for toast and honey.
Lalibela is also the place to sample Tej, a honey wine, while enjoying the local music and dancing, an experience in itself.
Blue Lal Hotel, tel: 033 3360380
Yemhere Hotel, tel: 033 3360163
In my vocabulary, Bruges means beer!
Start with a morning brewery tour, there are two within walking distance of the centre with free tastings! Then, head for lunch at one of the swanky restaurants by the fish market (go on splash out - you only live once) where you get a different beer with each course and even your own beer waiter!
Then head for one of the taverns near the Cathedral to try a Kwak or two, just for the glass it comes in (think chemical warfare and you'll get the idea). Then if you dare, try climbing the Belfort Bell tower for comic effect or sober up with a walk around the city walls or by sampling a chocolate or waffle or a chocolate waffle!
Finally, end the day sipping your favourite beer while eating mussels and watching the world go by at one of the many restaurants in the Markt Square. Perfect!
Don’t miss a trip to the Half Moon brewery in the centre where you can take a tour and learn of the traditional brewing methods.
There are quite a few very steep steps so take the tour before sampling the beer but the added bonus is the fantastic panoramic view of the city from the rooftop. Included in the modest price (around €4) is a glass of the wonderful Zot beer. There is also a good café/bar. A Votre Santé!
Would highly recommend visiting Avignon in July 2008 for the annual Festival d’Avignon. But book your accommodation well in advance. This huge multi-arts celebration will guarantee you lasting memories.
Stock up with gourmet delicacies at Les Halles Market for picnics along the way. Indulge in calisson pastries made with almonds and candied melons and a chocolate, sugar and oregano liqueur delicacy called Papalines.
Get the free Avignon Pass Card offering tourist attraction reductions, available at the Tourist Office. Enjoy opera at the exquisite 15th-Century Eglise St Pierre followed by dinner at 'Christian Etienne' for the very finest of French cuisine.
The train is definitely the best way to arrive in this beautiful city - an experience enhanced if you're sipping some of the best wine ever made – Chateauneuf-du-Pape, which is a mere 10km from Avignon itself and should definitely be on your 'must-see' list.
In the meantime, there’s a fantastic restaurant at the hotel La Mirande in Avignon that serves the most delicious Foie gras imaginable. Mmmmm. I’m getting goose pimples just thinking about it. Or should that be duck pimples?!
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