A weekend in Bruges

So I recently took my mum for a weekend in Bruges, with neither of us having been before.  After an obligatory glass of fizz at St Pancras we boarded the Eurostar and off we went arriving into Bruges around 7.30pm local time.

After a bit of research and finally with the help of Google maps I had managed to book a table at Kok au Vin ahead of our visit. It was close to our B&B and the perfect start to the weekend. It was a neighbourhood style restaurant and we were greeted warmly with the atmosphere buzzing. We quickly ordered a glass of white to start, an Italian Vermentino which was light and fruity. Home-baked seeded bread was then delivered to the table along with fennel butter and pork rillette. Absolutely delicious and a meal in itself.

We shared a starter of white asparagus, Bayonne ham and burrata. Fresh and beautifully presented. We then both opted for the beef from the grill menu and wow what a stunner. Cooked chefs way, somewhere between rare and medium rare, a plateful of beautiful steak arrived. Accompanied by green asparagus with romesco sauce and purple potato salad with a horseradish cream. Perfectly served and absolutely delicious. A well chosen Tempranillo from Spain was the perfect addition. I highly recommend if you’re ever in Bruges.

KATER score 9/10 – €140 for two with wine and service

 

Our B&B, Le Flaneur was fabulous, full of quirky memorabilia and wonderful hosts. Breakfasts were fantastic with baked eggs and salmon, homemade quiche, fresh bread with hams and cheese and a freshly made fruit crumble. Far too much but so good.

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Bruges is a very pretty city. We only really had one day so we started with a boat tour of the water ways which took about 40 mins and cost just €8 each. It was a great way see the city and learn a bit about its history.

We spent the day wondering around the pretty streets, enjoyed a beer by the canal and walked through the quieter pretty district of St Ana taking a detour to see the windmills. Nothing is very far in Bruges which makes for a great day sightseeing.

Still full from our breakfast, lunch was a difficult choice. In the centre of Bruges it’s tourist hell as you can imagine. That said we ended up deciding to embrace it and plumped for a restaurant on the Markt square. It was nice to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy some sun with a glass of wine or two. I ordered Moules frite…when in Rome and all that. And mum opted for a Caprese salad. Both absolutely acceptable and just lovely to be eating alfresco sipping chilled white wine in the sun.

Because we hadn’t had enough to eat (!) we treated ourselves to a waffle in the afternoon. I went for the modern take which a waffle on a stick dipped in a choice of chocolate and sprinkles. It was super sickly and I wished I’d just queued a bit longer for the traditional style waffle. Live and learn.

It was Saturday night and I’d booked ahead for a table at the Park Restaurant which was just south of the centre. It had come highly recommend and offered a set four course menu with wines for just €75.

The food was fabulously rich, the service warm and attentive and I would say you go here for the whole experience. Pink champagne to start followed by wine pairing for each course plus what felt like unlimited top ups throughout. You choose from four starters and four mains and the portions were more than generous, especially with little extras like the smoked salmon amuse and the custard tarts served with coffee.

Mum loved it and so did I. Dishes on offer included foie gras, mushroom pie, beef fillet and Dover sole. A warming and beautifully smooth carrot and tomato soup was served as the intermediate course. Fabulous value and a great experience.

KATER score 9/10 – €180 for two inc service and a supplement for the food gras!

Bruges was a great place for a bit of mummy and me time, I can thoroughly recommend a visit.

I’m dedicating this blog post to my wonderful Dad who sadly passed away eight years ago today.

CUB Restaurant

My amazing husband surprised me with dinner reservations at CUB. I didn’t know where we were going until we arrived and I have to say I’d never heard of CUB so was impressed and excited about what was to come.

We were seated at the bar with a great view of the chefs and bar. I was struck at how small the place was, specifically the kitchen area. The two chefs worked efficiently and in harmony and seemed unaffected by their limited space.

It’s a set menu with some of the courses food and some courses drink. First up was a glass of Krug – a perfect start for my birthday dinner

Then came the first course which was a beetroot steak, apple sourz and a miso cream, unusual, simple and delicious.

Then came a succession of beautifully presented dishes each offerimg new flavours and textures including Jersey royals with blood orange and pennywort; shitake mushrooms with artichoke puree and kelp, chicken bone broth served with fresh sourdough and butter. We finished with a fennel based dessert topped with Japanese knotweed. So many new flavours and combinations which left me inspired and excited.

For the drinks, we had a belverdere and cherry blossom cocktail, a rare tea and a toasted lager to name a few. The drinks were plenty, generous and beautiful.

This was much more an experience for me, the concept and delivery was exciting and faultless. The staff were engaged and well informed about each dish and took pride in telling you about each course. After speaking to the owner and chefs I discovered that the ingredients are all sustainable and mostly would be waste items. The menu is mainly vegetarian with the exception of the bone broth but again showing sustainability using the bones. Even their plates have been made from recycled plastic and table tops made from yoghurt pots and lids.

This is a definite must try for all you foodies and I am super impressed with Sam for introducing me to this very exciting restaurant.

KATER Score 10/10 – £55 set menu per person (drinks inclusive)