Category: Belgium

Europe Through the Windscreen (Part Two)

DEAL (COUNTY KENT) & BENTLEY

Like all of England, the rural landscape is manicured, clean and precise – the habits of an old and fastidious land where the great British tradition of an afternoon tea in a quirky worn-around-the-edges Tea Room is a prerequisite. Driving a Bentley Continental GT Speed (Conti Speed) through the rolling vastness of Kent’s achingly beautiful countryside, I head to Deal and the promise of finding one such remote temple to great …

Belgium: Flanders Battlefields

Wanting to explore Flanders’ WW1 poppy fields and old battlegrounds? I tapped in the GPS coordinates for Dover – just a stone throw from London only 82 miles away. In Dover I took a ferry which deposited me across the English Channel in France’s Calais 90 minutes later. I planned to explore the territories where The Great War had been fought and to see the appalling conditions in which the soldiers lived and the immaculate …

5 Chocolate Lover’s Destinations

Nothing says love more than chocolate – well, at least for most people. Why not plan a getaway to a destination known for chocolate? Go to a far flung part of the world where the heavenly creation of sweetened food made from cocoa beans excites your taste buds. What could be better than combining your love for travel with your love for chocolate?

Belgian Chocolates by Simon Howden

Belgium

In the European Kingdom of Belgium, …

Dinant, Belgium

In a tranquil Belgian town, some 75km south-east of Brussels, set in a landscape of quilted willow green and sage and threaded with a broad aquamarine coloured river, lies historic Dinant, famed for being the birthplace of Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone. Dinant is a pretty little town slung along the river Meuse beneath craggy green cliffs in the centre of the Meuse Valley, about 30km south of Namur – a handy base …

Have a Fall Festival Fling in Ghent

If you want to explore an old city European town with a youthful vibe without bumping into one too many collegiate themed party scenarios, consider booking a fall trip to Ghent. Become infused with the energy of 32,000 students returning to the Ghent University, as the city gears up to welcome international musicians and other artists for its fall festival season.

Belgian Fries

If possible, try to catch the Festival of Flanders which celebrates its …

Celebrity Dreams: A Perfect Day in Brussels

After spending some time with three Belgian celebrities, I got insider points of where to go, where to shop and what to eat if all you have is 24 hours in the EU capital.

Elric Petit, Belgium’s acclaimed interior designer, draws much of his inspiration from the original Art Deco interiors of the Royal Library (boulevard de l’Empereur 2) whilst breakfasting on a croissant and coffee.

“From my usual table I look across the city and …

The Insider’s Guide to Belgian Chocolate

I arrived in Brussels with a half empty suitcase, a few dozen Euros and a mission: to scour the Belgian capital for the best chocolate money could buy and to fill my suitcase with the rich, creamy fruits of my labor.

Haagen-Dazs at the Galeries Royales

With dozens of shops, workshops, tastings and an even an entire museum devoted to chocolate, however, Brussels can be a bit overwhelming— even for serious chocoholics. As it does …

Seven utterly underwhelming tourist attractions

Travel is full of enthralling encounters, of moments that stick with you forever — a glimpse of a wild gorilla, an African sunrise, your first sight of the pyramids.

But those moving moments wouldn’t seem so spectacular if they weren’t peppered with less exciting experiences. For every lion kill there’s a lame museum; for every gargantuan sculpture there is a giant ball of yarn. Here are eight utterly underwhelming tourist attractions, places that have you …

Antwerp shopping zones

Zone 1 — Did you now that seven out of ten diamonds come from Antwerp, the world’s largest diamond centre for more than 700 years? Diamonds from numerous mines all over the world are skilfully cut and polished, praised and appraised, bought and sold in Antwerp. Antwerp and diamond are two categories that have been closely related for over 500 years, yet the world’s largest diamond centre covers less than one square kilometre.

Opposite Central …

Belgium – Europe’s Best Kept Travel Secret

The secret of Belgium’s capital city, Brussels, is to go with the flow and allow yourself to become part of its charming everyday life.

Having previously been ruled by Spain, the Netherlands and France, Belgium is one of those countries that finds it easier to describe itself by what it is not: it’s not French, nor is it Dutch, nor German. Belgium is a country with an identity crisis, in the most positive sense of …

Embracing the “B” List

Basel, Brussels, Bologna: these three European cities may appear near the top of the list alphabetically. Yet they seldom top travel itineraries. That’s good news for vacationers who prefer lower-profile, less crowded — but no less charming — destinations. So go ahead. Dare to “B” different.
BASEL, Switzerland: photo by Susan M-W
Although it’s impossible not to fall in love with Switzerland’s Heidi-esque vistas, the country’s urban attractions deserve equal billing. Under-appreciated Basel is a case …

In Southern Flanders

Poperinge, a quiet little town a short drive from the Channel Ports, 175km from Brussels, is Belgium’s hops capital, and famously linked to WW1’s British war effort – it was well known to Allied soldiers who fought in the Ypres Salient. Other than its war memorials, the town also draws tourists for it’s Hops Festival each September.

The historical town square, surrounded by neo-Gothic mansions, has an assortment of taverns serving local brews and creative confectioners offering distinctly …

Brussels City Guide

Practicality and innovation are the key words associated with design in Brussels. The city’s style engineers sculpted its individuality with absolute respect for quality – then they dry brushed it with a good dose of humour. Whatever Belgian designers turn their artistic hands to, be it an ornament or a piece of furniture, an under garment or a ball gown, it sells almost as quickly as it is made to discerning customers in the best stores …

Keukenhof Gardens in Holland – it’s blooming marvellous!

There is no better time to visit Holland than in the spring when symphonies of tulips bathe the landscape in a carpet of rich, vibrant colour.

Holland dazzles the senses with Flower Power. The Dutch celebrate their blooms at every opportunity with a procession of flower parades, flower fairs, flower art displays, flower museums and flower markets. Each year Holland’s tulips attracts millions of visitors who gaze in awe at landscapes of crisp perfection, suddenly …