Since I shared that Mike and I headed to Brussels for the day over the weekend I've had a few requests for a blog post about our trip. Now I hadn't really planned to write about the trip, in my mind we were just hanging out in a different city, but hey who am I to ignore the awesome people who read this blog? So here are a few of our highlights from the seven hours we spent in Belgium.
How we got there
I am a massive fan of Eurostar, and this is not the first time I've taken a day trip to mainland Europe. I blame my high school french teacher who took my class to Lille for the day when I was 15, she made me realise that you can have an adventure in a day and that the Channel really isn't that wide. Since then I've hopped on the train to France and Belgium every so often when I fancy a change of scene, or a trip to Carrefour.
We wanted a really chilled out day so opted for an outbound train at around 9am from London, which got us in to Brussels-Midi at noon - just in time for lunch! Our return train was at around 7pm, and we landed back in London by 8pm - all very civilised. There are earlier and later trains if you want to stretch your day. One of the real perks of Eurostar is that the check in and boarding process is pretty quick, we usually arrive around 45 minutes before the train departs, go through security and boarder control and then grab a coffee and a snack for the train (there is food on board, but I always find the options at the station preferable!). The great thing about doing boarder control before you get on the train is that once you arrive you don't need to queue or faff about, it's straight out the door and on with your day.
What we ate (and drank!)
Food and drink was a huge part of this trip, especially because Brussels is the home of all my favourites - mussels, waffles and beer!
Chez Leon - is my go to for moules frites (one of my all time favourite foods!) - for €15.95 you can get delicious mussels, chips and a beer, which in such a touristy city feels like a bit of a bargain. Plus it's delicious, the restaurant is very cute (I especially like the mural of dancing chips and mussels) and the staff are lovely.
Maison Dandoy - this is the place to head to for delicious speculoos biscuits and those all important waffles. I actually think it's more important to eat waffles in Brussels than chocolate, you can buy good chocolate all over London, but a Liege-style waffle (my preferred waffle) is harder to come by. And Maison Dandoy does the best. Don't be put off by the queue outside, it moves quickly and it is worth it. Oh and don't faff around before you eat it, get stuck in there while it's still warm.
Delirium Cafe - you can't go to Brussels and not have at least one beer, and Delirium has over 3,000 of them to try. It's actually a little bit overwhelming to choose what to drink (I am one of those people who struggles with long menus!), but it's a fun place to hang out and have a drink, especially if you have a beer nerd like Mike in tow.
What we saw
We aren't good sightseers, but we are excellent at wandering around cities. Luckily Brussels has lots to see including so really fantastic street art (got to love a good wall) and a very random statue of a small boy peeing...it's a serious attraction...that I can't take seriously.
Of course a day trip isn't complete without sticking your head in a couple of cute shops! I've already mentioned Maison Dandoy, but their store is so cute (and the packaging!) that it deserves a second mention. I also really loved the gorgeous Dille & Kamille for beautiful yet practical home stuff and organic toiletries (so gutted I'm not able to use soap at the moment otherwise my bathroom would be stocked right now!).
We had such an ace day wandering around and eating all the good food (oh and stocking up on beer to bring home!), I'd really recommend a trip next time you fancy doing something a bit different!