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Saturday, 23 January 2010

Bumbling around Belgium

Last year we took advantage of the Eurostar seat sale and booked ourselves some cheap tickets to Belgium. Then the snow came. After a few tweaks to our train schedule we finally made it to Brussels where it was a million times colder than London. After spending the morning trying to get out of the weather, we hopped on a train to Antwerp. For some reason, maybe because of the snow, the platform display wasn't working so well, and we ended up on a train traveling in the opposite direction. After about an hour we cottoned on, and quickly hopped off the train which by now was in nowheresville, and hightailed it back to Brussels...again. (Mental note: when you ask someone 'is this the train to Antwerp?' and they say 'yes', they might be on crack)

With Saturday a bit of a lost cause, I was hoping to get in on the sale action the following day, but unfortunately, like most European cites, everything is closed on Sunday.
A few vintage shops along Klosterstraat were open, so we spent some time ducking in and out of shops to get out of the snow. It was so cold it reminded us of Russia, minus the stone-faced locals. Then we stumbled across Ra, and if I wasn't frozen solid I would have jumped up and down with joy...

The clothing is gorgeous but the highlight was the cafe. There's a little loft section you could climb up a ladder to get to, and a cute friendly Italian greyhound trotting around. And most importantly...they do all-day breakfast on Sundays.
We shared an eggs florentine and a tofu miso soup - I'm aware this is a crazy combo but after a few days of frites, beer and waffles I was keen for something cleansing. The eggs were perfectly poached and came in a cute little fruit scone.

The next day we grabbed a beautiful (in both look and taste) hot chocolate at Bar Choq. Would have loved to have tried their coffee too because it looked like it was made with a lot of care and love. All the more reason to visit again...

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