Last Christmas, we finally got our act together and booked a Eurostar trip to Bruges to take in the Christmas markets in this dreamy town.
We ducked out of work an hour early on the Friday and made it to town for a late dinner after an easy connection in Brussels. Afterwards, we wandered the streets by night when the canals and squares their most picturesque.
For our main day in town, and with Katie Jr still waiting to join us, we had two main focuses – chocolate and more chocolate. We did a fair amount of reading beforehand and we weren’t disappointed. Our chocolate crawl took us all over town and past the main sites, but laid the foundations with another Belgian classic… No not beer, that’s later… Waffles!
After a some brief distractions with the Belfort tower in the main square it was back to business at Moeder Babelutte. They served amazing hot chocolate (basically melted chocolate and milk – no powder), had a marshmallow chocolate fountain and excellent truffles/ganaches. Next up was Mary. Excellent ganaches again and the salted caramel and pralines were the winners here.
It was then time for lunch and we ticked off two boxes by feasting at a brewery – Huisbrouwerij de Halve Maan – whilst tasting their brews. A hearty affair so we strolled through the grounds of the nearby Beguinage nunnery to work it off, before resting the barking dogs by the Minnewater lake.
Anyway, tangents, back to chocolate where we went to our final two of he day which also happened to be our favourites. Depla did excellent ganaches, but our main buys here were the hot chocolate sticks which you can take home and made a perfect Christmas afternoon treat. Lastly, the Olde Chocolate House sold some fun chocolate santas, great for work gifts, and a variety of chocolate nibs which we bought for pancakes and cakes.
After a solid meal at Gruuthuse Hof, we switched our focus to the Belgian beers beginning at 2be, sporting a wall of beers and a lovely patio overlooking the canals.
After that, we visited a few more local spots which both had extensive draft and bottled lists with most beers packing a punch north of 6.5%. ‘T Brugs Beertje, a cosy locals bar, was first before we closed out the night at Comptoir des Arts with some live jazz.