Wednesday, 21 November 2012


The husband and I just spent a whole weekend In Bruges without the kid. Ah Bliss. No offense to the little chap but it's been over a year without a night away for us so we were owed a lie-in. (He can open the fridge by himself now so we figured he'd be fine for a few days).

Bruges looks like a fairytale film set. It's beautiful. It is tiny so a weekend is perfect to wander the streets and hang out in the hotel without feeling guilty that you aren't doing more touristy things. The lights were all up and the shops were decked out with festive windows so it really felt like our first dip into the 2012 Christmas season. 

Choc-tastic festive window displays

I'll just do a quick Bruges summary for you: 
architecture, canals, chocolate, beer, moules frites, more beer, lace, waffles, bells

Now we've got the city down, on to the hotel which is always my favourite thing about trips away. I'm a total boutique hotel lover and am often more excited about where we're staying than where we're going (if you catch my drift). In this case we stayed at The Pand, highly recommended by all and dripping in accolades and awards. Luckily it didn't disappoint. A former carriage house it's now a 26 room hotel stuffed with antiques and different furnishings in each room.

My favourite bit by far was the sitting room (above) complete with Christmas tree and roaring fire where I merrily drank tea and read the paper in the afternoon and drank wine and played chess in the evening. 

Our room was called Ralph Lauren "Stapleton" after the fabric that's used in it (isn't that a bit odd?) The room was plush and cosy with some beautiful touches like this gallery wall (above) and a very cool claw foot arm chair which I would have happily packed up and taken away with me. 

(I am slightly dubious of the decor in other rooms, I didn't get to have a look while I was there but have a look on the website and judge for yourself. The "Burberry room" looks a little bit like a chavtastic disaster so we might have been lucky with ours).

 Christmas wreath in the white panelled breakfast room and vintage LV Luggage in the sitting room.

Back to talk of getting into the Xmas mood - dinner on the first night was spent at De Vlaamsche Pot, a little bistro that had been recommended to us specifically for it's Flemish Beef Stew. A sliver of a building with red and white checked table cloths, this restaurant had been Christmassed to the MAX. It honestly looked like Father Christmas had thrown up inside - I could see the husband's nervous face as we dodged tinsel and painted angels to get to our table. Luckily the stew was worth the blinding decor - as Greg from Masterchef would say, it was like "a hug in a bowl". I loved the place.

Left via, top right via.

Our second dinner was at Park Restaurant which I'd also hugely recommend. The food and service were both excellent but I especially loved it as the guy at the table next to us proposed to his girlfriend! So romantic! I'd never seen a proposal first hand so needless to say I got far too over-emotional/over-excited and ended up getting totally shit-faced in their honour.

The Park Restaurant. (I mentioned I was very drunk right? Seriously that's all I've got but it is a photo-worthy ceiling).

Finally some scenic shots of Bruges taken for once, not with my iphone but with a proper camera by my husband who knows what he's doing. Pretty as a picture don't you agree?


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