Bruges is an amazing Autumn/Winter destination, not least because it looks its most magical when it is lit up in the evenings. I recently travelled over there on a mini cruise (overnight ferry there and back and one night in Bruges), and thought that it was the most perfect destination for this time of year. The air was crisp, and wrapped up warm we enjoyed all that this chocolate-box city has to offer.
Some things to do in Autumn:
- Walk around the endless pretty shops that sell Belgian chocolates, lace and trinkets.
- Drink hot chocolate in a cafe overlooking the market on a Wednesday morning
- Stay over in a cute B&B such as Gallery Yasmine where the owner is lovely and the bread is freshly baked freshly for breakfast (http://www.gallery-yasmine.be/)
- Visit the Markt Square, and walk up the steps of the Belfry to enjoy the view of the city.
- Buy chips/frites from a stall outside the Belfry and eat them alongside the canal.
- Enjoy a romantic walk around the Lake of Love (Minnewater).
- View the city and its picturesque architecture from a more relaxing perspective by taking a canal tour. The city is definitely small enough to walk around, but it was lovely to see it this way and it also helped us get our bearings.
- Try a selection of beers. There are a number of different bars that offer an extensive beer menu. We went to Bierbrasserie Cambrinus on Philipstockstraat (near Burg Square and Markt Square), which has over 400 beers to choose from in a menu the size of an telephone directory (http://www.cambrinus.eu/default.htm).
My favourite find of the trip was Simon Stevin restaurant on Simon Stevin Square. On the advice of other visitors to Bruges we avoided the Markt Square restaurants and their inflated tourist prices, and looked elsewhere for somewhere to dine in the evening. Simon Stevin offered a set menu of 3 courses for about €20, and the food was well worth it:
- Pea soup – probably the best I’ve tasted. This also included a bread basket.
- Fillet steak and Fries – The largest fillet I’ve ever seen, cooked to perfection and quite literally a bucket of fries (each). I think there was some salad on there too.
- Chocolate mousse – I didn’t expect to make it through dessert as I was so full from the earlier courses, but the chocolate mousse, stylishly presented in a very cute tub, was simply divine.
I highly recommend this place for an evening meal. It was very cozy indoors, and there was also the option of eating outdoors, which would be lovely to do when the weather is fine and you want to watch the horses trotting by.