#30things + valentines weekend = trip to Bruges!
2016 is the year of #30things to celebrate Frankie’s 30th year (her birthday in April) and so we decided to try to cram in as much new stuff as possible. Neither of us had have been to Bruges so we got booked cheap Ryan Air flights out of Manchester & combined it with valentines weekend. Having done some research we booked a B&B called Den Witten Leeuw through booking.com. Some great communication with the owner Ann & we were on our way!
Taking the cheap flight option with Ryan Air meant we were landing at Charleroi airport which is about 2hrs from Bruges. There are 2 public transport options to get from Charleroi to Bruges. You can get the Flibco bus from Charleroi to Bruges (every 2hrs from the airport) or the Flibco from Charleroi to Brussels & then the train to Bruges. The latter was the option we took as our flight time meant we had missed the direct bus by about 20mins! 17€ each for the bus followed by 14€ each for the train, both one way options. Not the cheapest of transfers but still cheaper than flying into Brussels International Airport! Straight out of the airport, signposted ticket office, English speaking operator meant for a fast transfer which was lucky as it was freezing conditions! The Flibco bus dropped us right outside Brussels Midi train station, a quick tickets purchase at the vending machine & straight into the waiting train, perfectly timed! An hour later we were finally in Bruges on the 10min walk to our B&B for the next 3nights.
Den Witten Leewu is situated on a small square about 10mins walk from the main Markt. The B&B only has 3 bedrooms, one of which is a suite, which is the room we stayed in. 4 poster bed, huge bathroom with bath, shower & twin sinks, separate toilet & a living room which also has 2 beds & a sofa bed. Wooden floors & wooden beams add to the quaint uniqueness of the property.
Having never been to Bruges before we took advantage of being a Yelp elite & checked out what restaurants & bars would be good in the area. 3 places quickly became ours favourites, 2be Beer Wall, #food & Vero Caffè.
2be Beer Wall is a unique type of bar. The entrance way is basically the ‘beer wall’. A glass encased wall of possibly 400 different types of Belgium beer.
They serve a small selection of typical bar drinks but the main draw is the 13 draught beers they sell. Hanging down from the ceiling at the bar is a list, with description of all 13 beers, in 4 different languages. They are served in small, medium or large glasses, each beer having its own branded glass ranging from 2.5€ to 7€ dependant on size & strength of beer. There is also the option of a taster tray which is 4 small beers, either light, strong or a mix with 3 small snack samples. This is a good option to be able to sample the different beers on offer. It also has a large balcony area which falls around the canal side at the famous Rozenhoedkaai view point. The atmosphere was great, heat lamps were an added bonus on the cold winters day & the beer was pretty good too. My favourite was the Kriek Boon, a cherry flavoured beer but Frankie was more adventurous & tasted most of them!
On our 1st day we found a gorgeous little coffee shop, just off the main road near to the Choco-Story (chocolate museum). Another big hit on the Yelp list, Vero Caffè was an inviting sight when the weather was at 1 degree! Some sofa’s at the window, tables for 2 along the wall & some bench tables in the back for larger groups. The coffee shop offered a large range of drinks, coffee, hot chocolate, tea etc, free wifi & amazing pastries! Waitress service, hot chocolate made with really Belgium chocolate.
3rd favourite was #food, another one taken on the advice of Yelp! Along son get cobbled side street with very limited branding to show its there is this small unique restaurant. Vinyl records for placemats, complimentary spicy popcorn, retro style decor.
Of course there are the tourist things to do in Bruges.
The hundred of chocolate shops……
The Lake of Love..….
The Markt & horse drawn carriages…..
A must is a canal boat tour which takes about 45mins & takes you around the canal ways in Bruges & underneath the lowest bridge!……
And of course the waffles (Chez Albert being the best!)……
There isn’t anything about Bruges we didn’t love, we’ll definition be back, but whilst ‘In Bruges’……..enjoy…..