Try eating at La Quincaillerie, a typically fine restuarant in the city, but with a novel twist: it's a converted hardware store. The food is of high quality and, unusually for me, I can recall the unique interior in surprising detail.
We went specifically to see art nouveau architecture, but it proved rather elusive until we bought a 'Five Art Nouveau tours around Bruxelles' walking map at the Horta museum. This made everything accessible, and gave excellent summaries of art-nouveau style, museums, and brief notes on hundreds of buildings.
Visit Brussels on the first weekend in the month, when the wonderful Cauchie house is open, but be prepared for an enthusiastic and lengthy address in French!
Try the Den Dyver Restaurant. Forget the tasting menu with wine: this is Bruges and beer rules the roost. Seven courses are each served with a different beer. Good food, good beer and you might just learn something about the beers as well!
A lot of guide books to Bruges talk about 't Bruges Beertje, but if you go a few doors on to 't Dreupelhuisje, at number 9 Kemelstraat, you can try a fantastic range of Belgium's other great drink, Jevnever, in warm and friendly surroundings.
There's a bar on Kamelstrasse which looks like a bookshop from the front. It opens at 2:00pm.
It only serves beers, hundreds of them. Read any publication by Roger Prolz to narrow down the choice. My tip would be the Karmelite Tripel.
If you are not sated by about midnight, there is a jazz bar just up the road selling Genvier (a local spirit).
Don't be tempted to buy chocolates in Godiva, Leonidas etc. Avoid these overpriced tourist traps!
You can get a much better range of tastier (and cheaper) artisan chocolates from Tante Roos stall in the big Saturday morning market; its where all the locals go.
You must visit Kong restaurant in Paris. It's on the roof of the old Samaritaine department store on the rue de Rivoli.
With its glass domed roof you get the most spectacular views of Paris and there's a great bar on the floor below which is full of Parisian fashionistas.
As a tip you need to ask to be seated on the upper floor to get the best views. For a chic spring/summer afternoon, stroll around the Place des Vosges in the Marais district (Metro St Paul)and enjoy the eclectic boutiques in the surrounding streets. The department store is closed until 2011 but the Kong restaurant remains open.
1 rue du Pont Neuf / La Samaritaine
Téléphone : 01 40 39 09 00
Tickets to Bruges (or anywhere else in Belgium) can be bought cheaply at UK train stations. As long as you are prepared to take local trains and the ferry.
My wife and I bought train tickets that went from Lond to Dover, crossed to Zeebrugge and the by local train to Bruges. Yes, slightly longer, but we enjoyed this old-fashioned travel.
Try and spend a Friday in Bruges near the city hall in the Grand Place.
All residents of Bruges must be married in a civil ceremony conducted in the city hall in the Grand Place. There may be a religious blessing after.
Find a bench or low wall and watch the wedding parties arriving at the city hall by horse drawn vehicles, cars, buses or, accompanied by the rustle of fine wedding ensembles, on foot.
Check on the list of wedding times posted on a wall under the archway of the city hall in case you should hit a slack time.
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com