Bar Paralle - If you fancy something quieter (and friendlier) than Place Saint Boniface go down Chausée d’Ixelles to Bar Paralle (Place Fernand Cocq 27), which has great salads, or to L’Amour Fou (Chaussée d'Ixelles 185) which is a nice restaurant that again tries so hard to be trendy they forget to serve you.
Escape Brussels for a few hours and head 7.5km east to Tervuren.
A stroll in the expansive grounds of the Royal Museum for Central Africa is a joy in any season. You could describe a visit as quirky but it does give you a snapshot of Belgium's colonial past albeit from one side.
Then either continue by bus to the historic university town of Leuven or relax in a Tervuren bar or restaurant before catching the number 44 tram back to Montgomery where you connect with the Brussel's underground system.
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.
My favourite café in Brussels is called 'L'Ultime Atome' 14 Rue St-Boniface, it serves the best tart tatin I have tasted.
After you’ve eaten it there’s then a great opportunity for a post-prandial walk around the more interesting bits of Ixelles.
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.
Try the injera. It has a curious texture that some people don’t like and has a lemony tang as the batter is left to ferment like sourdough.
If you can’t stomach the injera, there is plenty of pasta available because the Italians occupied Ethiopia for a time. Vegetarians won’t have any problem as the Ethiopians fast frequently, which for them is doing without meat.
Country inn offering comfortable accommodation and good food. The Inn has been refurbished in the last couple of years to provide five clean and comfortable rooms above a traditional bar and modern restaurant.
The food was very good, made from local produce and good value. Located in a small very quiet village close to Betws-y-Coed and within easy reach of Snowdonia and north coast.
Well worth the effort to seek out.
The Lion Inn Gwytherin Ltd
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.
It is a cafe, cultural centre, and shop. The cafe has tables outside overlooking the Plaza San Fransisco which is very beautiful. The shop sells indigenous art ranging from clothing to paintings and jewellery.
Plaza San Fransisco, Quito
Just off the route of the #2 tram lie a number of interesting restaurants, notably, Le 4 Stagioni, a former butcher's shop, with antique tiles portraying the four seasons - le 4 stagioni.
- Palma, Johannes Verhulststraat 104, www.restaurant-palma.nl/do.php?lg=eng
- Oud-Zuid, Johannes Verhulststraat 64, www.restaurantoudzuid.nl
- Le 4 Stagioni, Johannes Verhulststraat 32, www.le4stagioni.nl
- Pulpo, Willemsparkweg 87, www.restaurant-pulpo.nl/index.php?pag=diner
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.
Mavrikos Restaurant is one of the oldest restaurants in Lindos village. After spending six months in Lindos already, working in a Hotel, I have eaten in each and every restaurant that exists in the village. Mavrikos does not compare with any of them.
Tastes and combinations are excellent! The prices are reasonable and the best of all is Dimitris Mavrikos,the owner. Besides being a great chef his singing talents are really good!
After lunch or dinner at Mavrikos, do not miss Geloblu in the centre of the village where you'll find the best ice cream ever - any flavour you can imagine. Vassilis Mavrikos, the owner, is a great host. Ask him to make you the Gelo-Marina Cocktail, it's really good
Main square of Lindos
In the center of the village
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