London/Bruges: June 2009

Lunch at Caramel

Fairly new, trendy little place just south of the main square. Exceptional cappuccinos.

Written by: on June 25th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Canal Tour

Took a lovely tour of the canals of Bruges. Apparently, instead of fortifying Bruges, they just dug a giant moat around (and through) the whole city. It’s kind of awesome. Our tour guide/driver said everything in English, then French, then Dutch. Most everyone in Belgium speaks all three of those languages fairly fluently. Many speak Flemish as well. I barely passed high school Spanish. That is very sad.

Written by: on June 25th, 2009 at 3:35 pm

Belfry of Bruges

The guidebook says it’s a must-see.

The belfry of Bruges, or Belfort, is a medieval bell tower in the historical center of Bruges, Belgium. One of the city’s most prominent symbols, the belfry formerly housed a treasury and the municipal archives, and served as an observation post for spotting fires and other danger. A narrow, steep staircase of 366 steps, accessible by the public for an entry fee, leads to the top of the 83-meter-high building, which leans about a meter to the east.
To the sides and back of the tower stands the former market hall, a rectangular building only 44 m broad but 84 m deep, with an inner courtyard. The belfry, accordingly, is also known as the Halletoren (tower of the halls).
The building is a central feature of the 2008 film In Bruges.

Everyone say “thank-you” to Wikipedia.

Written by: on June 25th, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Bruges’ oldest chocolate shop.

Bruges' oldest chocolate shop.

We trekked out to Bruges’ oldest chocolate shop (apparently, there was an older one, but it shut down in the mid 70s) to purchase some delicious chocolaty treats. Nice people. We’ve decided that a the key to a good chocolate shop in Belgium, is the lack of chocolate genitalia in the shop’s front window. Pretty much, the simpler the appearance (and less obscene), the better the taste.

Written by: on June 25th, 2009 at 10:03 am


Who would have thought that there would be a ton of windmills in Bruges? Not me.

Written by: on June 25th, 2009 at 9:54 am

Brewery Tours and Canals II

Written by: on June 24th, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Brewery Tours and Belgian Canals

Had some delicious lunch...

Took an tour of an awesome old brewery. Beautiful view from the roof.

Belgian waffles!

So far, best restaurant in Bruges.

Crepes and more waffles!

Written by: on June 23rd, 2009 at 3:16 pm

In Bruges

Written by: on June 23rd, 2009 at 8:50 am

Portobello Street – Notting Hill

Written by: on June 22nd, 2009 at 8:39 am

Shoes, Liberty, and Happiness for us.

Our late start today meant that what was supposed to be an early breakfast turned out to be a lazy stroll through an unusually sunny St. James Park and a lot of toast boxes for all. After breakfast, we went our separate ways and Adam and I, mostly me, got to take A & A to our favorite shopping places. We found quintessentially British shoes at Liberty, the best department store in London. Adam and Alan lucked out at the twice yearly sale, while sadly the Oxfords I had to have had just arrived yesterday. Ashley has yet to find the perfect shoes, but there’s still time. We explored Carnaby Street and they even let me drag them to Vivienne Westwood’s shop for a bit. How can plaid and corsets look so great with boots?

Instead of lunch we met for tea at Fortnum & Mason’s, a food hall that puts Harrods to shame and is commissioned by the queen. After our tiny crustless sandwiches, violet frosted sponge cakes and scones, we ventured down the velvet stairs through floors with hats for Ascot, fans for coronations, pipes and driving gloves for gentlemen, and finally, most spectacularly, the chocolate shop. I’d tell you about the leather hippo and the Union Jack motorcycle helmet, but Adam’s all tuckered out from shopping and we need to take naps before dinner.

Written by: on June 19th, 2009 at 4:40 pm