Going to do a change of blog style for my non existent readers. But as we are all in quarantine perhaps we shall take a glance.
So, Enough waffling.
Enough long winded stories.
Enough sharing of my potentially pretentious experiences.
When I read a new website I jump straight to the bottom, for tips on travel, restaurants, or recipes ext. No one actually cares if that is where ‘Sarah and her high school bf slipped over on some overcooked spaghetti into a strapping italians arms, and discovered the best ragu ever”
Perhaps sounds more like a crappy novel, but still, you get my point.
Yes Ghent. A small, historical and beautiful with amazing food and a lot of beer. Between Bruge and Brussels, its the holy grail. Never heard of the place? me either and shame on us, its fucking amazing. I actually won, yes WON, an Instagram competition (who knew that could legitimately happen) for a 2 night stay at the beautiful 1898 The Post Hotel.
If you do take my word for it, this is the hotel to stay at. A historical landmark, dark, gothic and beyond stylish. An architectural marvel. The interiors, meticulously placed and designed giving an air of old school gentleman’s club, sultry dark large windows looming down from high ceilings. A grand spiral staircase greets you on arrival, going all the way to the top. With the shower gel and shampoo being LeLABO, need I say more. Start your day at the delicious continental buffet breakfast. A chef waiting at an open kitchen taking egg requests, adding a touch of comfort but in such luxuary. Accompanied by attentive service refilling your empty juice and coffee glasses.
There are two cocktail bars, The Cobbler, and the honest bar. Both unique, and offering a variety of creations. The honest bar, is the true judge of your moral compass. Hidden up a small set of stairs, you find a cove, like a library almost with a tray of whiskies, vodka, brandy and tequilla instead of books. Take as much as you want, create whatever you like but remember to be honest and write down exactly what you had. The 1898 The Post is perfectly located right on the river, and looks even more beautiful at night when the lights touch the water. It truly is an enchanting Hotel.
You can wander around the historical centre in perhaps 1 hour. Thats if you really take your time. Waffles, frites and bars in every nook and cranny. You will not struggle to find something to quench your thirst and fill your belly with.
First, a gorgeous wine bar to recommend (classic F&As Travels). Very unlike the usual watering wholes of Belgium, this is slightly more refined filled with a much older…. older crowd. Try a few glasses of rouge with one of their amazing, local delicatessen boards. The perfect aperitif but Belgium style. Gouts & Couleurs is the name and located just off the river.
Next, which commenced our bar crawl, a classic Pub with a bible for a menu of all beers, Het Waterhuis aan de Bierkant, really slips of the tongue. Cosy, rustic and very medieval you can sit for hours drinking tipple pints and before you know it your staggering out the door.
Boozy and hungry, your munchies may start to kick in. We were here on a sunday night, so felt very similar to the current climate of London. Serial and empty. A glowing red light appeared down a cobbled street, a large wooden door and green ivy scaling the war, like a scene from The not so well written Witcher. Little did we know we found heaven. Amadeus Gent 1. Catchy name. Greeted by a large butler in a waistcoat and bow tie, accompanied by the sound of traditional Belgium music covered in a dark rouge brothel light and red checked tables. I was excited.
Amadeus Gent 1 is renowned for their ribs. A popular dish in Ghent. What’s so unique about this place, is that not only are the ribs delicious, covered in an rich saucy marinade accompanied by a fat jacket potato oozing a garlic butter… but, as you near the end of your dish, the bow tied waiter comes round offering ANOTHER plate of ribs or jacket potatoes. To wash your unlimited ribs down with is a magnum of red wine already sat on the table. Don’t flinch, or clutch your wallet. They charge you by measuring how much of the magnum you drink! Heaven is a place on earth which Fabio had to share with his family…. and friends.. back in Naples.
Fries. The home of fries is Belgium. They take the simple dish to a new level. The place to consume such treats is Frites Atelier. Place an order, get a buzzer, collect your chips and then… unleash yourself on the barrels of different sauces. I don’t say barrel lightheartedly, literally old beer barrels. Unlimited refill, and up to two sauces included or more! Mayo, truffle mayo, béarnaise… the list is endless. Chips will never be the same again!
Another delicious dinner we consumed was at what they call a ‘fast food chain’ but this put UK fast food to shame! Manhattans Burger’s, orgasmically delectable, flavoursome and accompanied by the best french fries and sauces. Not too pricey, and a casual dining experience.
Now for the sweat. Each chocolate shop serves varieties of rich praline treats. We tried Chocolaterie Luc Van Hoorebeke and sampled an assortment of different chocolates cappuccino and salted caramel were the top contenders. Then followed by Neuhaus chocolate shop. Everywhere does waffles, but don’t go to the overly commercialised/American looking shops. Located opposite the main Eurobank is a tiny window with a girl serving fresh waffles with a few topping options. Grab one and continue your perusing through the town.
For a 2 day european break, Ghent is the perfect antidote.